As we might have mentioned once or twice, Bailey spent some of his childhood in a pub run by his parents in Exeter. One of the things you’d have noticed if you’d walked into that pub would have been the sheer number of games being played — darts, cards, dominoes and skittles (the West Country variety) were all taken very seriously.
When Bailey’s parents visited recently, they made sure to take cards and darts to the pub, just in case.
Their favourite game is Euchre, a card game invented in America but massively popular in Starkey, Knight and Ford country (Exeter, Tiverton, Bridgwater, and so on). Like Go Johnny Go Go Go Go the game has its own complex language apparently designed to baffle beginners — “Benny, both bowers, ace!” — and there are also cheat signals which they declined to teach us.
When you’ve dealt cards in a pub, though, you begin to realise why beer mats are a good idea.