Friday 19 July 2024

COVID-19 Coronavirus, Avian Flu and other virus UK and World News Update 19th July 2024

 COVID-19 Coronavirus, Avian Flu and other virus UK and World News Update 19th July 2024

"More from COVID inquiry on UK preparedness - strategy “outdated and lacked adaptability” , “fatal strategic flaws”, “lack of adequate leadership” by ministers, advisers and officials, Planning and policy  “failed their citizens” , system was “unduly complex and labyrinthine”"
Hugh Pym,  BBC News Health Editor, with the release of the first report from the UK COVID Inquiry. 

WHO Immunization has saved over 154 million lives text with image of baby receiving oral immunisation

Wednesday 17 July 2024

Mölkky Outdoor Finnish Pin And Skittle Game Review (Sent for review by Tactic Games).

The Summer holidays are on their way, and once your children get older the opportunities for playing outdoors together become more limited. Tactic Games have sent us the Finnish skittle game Mölkky to review, and it is perfect for the whole family or group to play together - pretty much wherever you are. 

Molkky Garden Skittle Game in wooden crate as delivered with plastic sleeve

Suitable for 2 or more players aged 6 or over, Mölkky involves throwing a large wooden skittle at a group of pins on the ground. Your game comes in a very neat crate for carrying, transport and storage, and is 100% wood (except for rope handles), plastic-free and solidly made. 

You'll need some outdoor space and fairly level ground to stand the pins, but it can be played on grass, sand or any hard surface. Because the skittle is thrown, not rolled, you don't need a very large flat area as you would for bowling. Brilliant for home, visiting, days out or holidays, Mölkky is so easy and quick to play that it's also a great way to entertain everyone at a barbeque or other outdoor get together with friends or family. 

Molkky game in carrying crate sitting on grass outside

When I first opened my set, I was a bit disappointed with the finish on some of the wood, but after playing a couple of games on grass you can already see that it really isn't important. After a few rough throws your skittle and pins will have developed their own unique dings and dents to go along with the memories you make playing it. The crate could be better finished, but again, it's sound and robust, and if you are going to place it on mud, sand and grass, you probably don't want to be too precious about it. 

Molkky wooden crate not perfectly finished

Mölkky has a really clever scoring system, which is a cross between darts, snooker and skittles. It's really easy to understand, and there's a free Game Tracker app. you can use to keep score as you go along, which is most useful when you have a lot of players. There are also scorecard pages in the included instruction leaflet, or you can trust everyone to keep their own score. Each game lasts about 15 minutes, it's turn based, and there's very little waiting or frustration. Set up takes 2 minutes, and the rules are so simple, you can play immediately. 

molkky garden game collage of pages from instruction leaflet showing free scoring app.

The 12 equally sized pins are numbered, and the aim is to get a total score of exactly 50. You aren't expected to score 50 on your first throw alone, scores add up. Go over 50 and you drop back to 25. This happens a lot.

Because pretty much everyone exceeds a total score of 50 and ends up aiming for 25 (repeatedly), younger family members shouldn't feel demoralised or get upset, and any player actually has a pretty fair chance of winning. 

Molkky garden game pins in formation on grass

When pins fall over, they must be flat on the ground to score, any pin leaning on other pins doesn't count. Add up the score and stand the pins back up exactly where they fell. This is where you realise tactics can make all the difference - if you are a good enough shot to actually use tactics, obviously. 

Molkky gameplay pins spreading out as you score

At the start of the game all the pins are in a diamond formation tightly standing together, but once throwing starts they begin to spread out. It's often an advantage in later turns, because it means you can aim for the score you want far more easily, and you can try to separate any pins you might want yourself for the next turn. That makes it sound pretty easy to do, but the reality is that by their second turn everyone is searching for the lowest scoring pins, so you won't only benefit yourself!  

Molkky gameplay showing the pins scattered after a big hit from the skittle

Mölkky is incredibly inclusive. It is very gentle exercise, and can be played by people with a vast range of physical abilities, including wheelchair users. Officially it's suitable for 2-6 players, but we found you can add more without losing pace or gameplay. The suggested age is 6 or over, and it isn't suitable for young children because these are big, heavy chunks of wood and wild throws might head off in a direction you aren't so pleased with. There are no complicated rules to put anyone off, and there's a large element of luck involved as well as skill, so anyone can end up being the winner. 

Molkky skittle large chunk of wood being held in a hand

Most of us have played skittles or been bowling, so from the outset there is a familiarity to Mölkky, but because of the scoring system, the huge wooden throwing skittle and the way the pins are replaced, you have an entirely different and more interesting game. It really is loads of fun. 

Molkky gameplay a throw in action

Mölkky is great, and I'm fairly sure will become an outdoor staple for my family. What could be better stress relief and entertainment than throwing a big bit of wood at other bits of wood, and with a competitive reason to do it? It appeals very much to people of all ages and temperaments. A really excellent all rounder that will last for years... 

Molkky game pins lying on the grass in close up

Mölkky is sold in the UK by Tactic Games, and available to buy now priced at £39.99 rrp (at the time of typing discounted to £34.02 on Amazon). That's a fair price for any game, and it should last you long enough that your Grandchildren can play it with their children. 

We were sent our game to review, but were not paid or given any incentive. My teenagers no longer wish to fully feature in my blog, which is fair enough, so gameplay images are a bit lacking in people. I shall however attempt to photograph the Grandparents next time we get them playing... 

Friday 5 July 2024

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 5th July 2024

 COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 5th July 2024

“The NHS saved my life. Now I’m determined to save our NHS. That work starts today.”
Gawd bless him. High hopes Wes, high hopes. Don't let us down. 

Hands up who stayed up all night watching the election results? Thank heavens there isn't a huge amount of news to share, because I am not my most productive self today. I'm not even sure if I'm actually still awake, but I'll do my best. Overall I think a very positive night for the UK, and a clear message that we aren't best pleased with politicians or parties who serve themselves rather than the people who put them there.

Stuart McDonald COVID Actuaries BMJ vaccinations compared to excess deaths

The UK election results saw the end of several key players in the UK COVID response, including the Conservative Party itself. The new Health Secretary has been appointed, and it is Wes Streeting. He was applauded as he arrived at the Department of Health. Hope returns.