Sunday, 25 April 2010


I have recently decide to learn how to play backgammon properly. I hate suduko and crosswords so I figure a vigourous work-out of the mind through a game of backgammon will surely stave off early onset alzheimers( at least for another week.) I actually bought my first backgammon set at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul over fourteen years ago. ( Truth be told it is the only one I have ever bought but I thought the sentence read better - poetic licence and all.) It was my first ever bartering experience and I was so proud of how I had haggled/ flirted for a good price. I also remember being mesmerised by the glittering alleyways of the Grand Bazaar, finding it so foreign and beautiful and almost other-worldly. Surely such a lovely backgammon box had to be magical in some way.!

Anyway I bought this beautiful game and lugged it around Turkey with no clue how to play it. I met the odd Turk who seemed happy to teach me but I don't think I ever got a full grasp of the game. In fact I know I didn't because I remember sometime later trying to play a game with my Irish boyfriend at that time and him saying rather sweetly: ' Well now Jo, am I right in saying you haven't a clue about this game!'
I was devastated.
I was the mistress of the board, wasn't I?
Of course I pouted and he was horrified so he very quickly added that there was no harm in me inventing another game quite like backgammon which could be called Jo-gammon instead
(aw bless).

Anyway these days I can't even remember how Jo-gammon goes anymore so now seems as good a time as any to learn backgammon for real.


On a related topic (in an Istanbul-Turkish-Gallipoli kind of way) I have been thinking about Australia over the weekend because I know today is ANZAC DAY. This day is so ingrained into the psyche of every Australian child that I don''t think it is possible to let the day pass without remembering it. It seems quite incredible to think that 95 years ago on this day so much blood was shed ( and continued to be shed for many years to follow.) Honestly war has got to be the most stupid invention humankind ( and yes I would like to emphasise the syllable 'man' in this word ) has ever come up with! Nobody ever wins. They didn't win then. They're not winning today.

Martin Luther King Jr

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I love to play backgammon. I was given a thorough hiding by the wee little ones in Dahab. The children would challenge us to a game for 5 Egyptian Pounds if they won or a hand bracelet if we won. Of course the cunning little things moved their pieces faster than lightning and in a manner that did not accord with the face value of the die. Nevertheless I have loved the game ever since and even play against myself. May we meet for a cup of tea and a game of backgammon in a far away bazaar some day soon.


Father of Sam