I played cards a lot as a child. No TV, video games or internet back in those days. You used to have to make your entertainment. As my mum always told me when I did something as new-fangled as listening to the radio.
Bored during the summer holidays, me and my brother learned all the two-handed games in a book we'd borrowed from the library. Crazy, old-fashioned games like bezique and pinochle. If we'd had computers, we'd have had our backs turned or been in different rooms
Then there were the times at the caravan. Without electricity or TV, radio and cards were our only entertainment once the sun had gone down and we couldn't play cricket. Not just me and Dave, but Mum, Dad, Aunties and Uncles, too.
I remember playing Newmarket with Uncle George and Aunt Florrie. She was full of great stories. "I always got a clout every Christmas." That's how they mostly started.
I'd have suspected they let me win. Except they were old school. That's how I learned to play whist and solo. It was one of my Mum's principles. If you play a game, you play it properly. No special indulgences for the kids.
Maybe that's why I still love playing cards. When I played with the adults, we were equals. No special favours for anyone. For once, we were all playing to the same rules.
I taught my kids Montana Red Dog yesterday. A game I learned from Alias Smith & Jones. And got me suspended from school.
For an hour or two, they forgot the digital world. As did I.