When I was eight years old, in October 1972, I played Monopoly with my mum and Gran and had to write an IOU to the bank (or banck) for £350.

I know this because we dug the old board out this weekend and found the IOU underneath the Community Chest cards. My six year old daughter is now hooked on the game and I foresee quite a few winter evenings spent in a mad rush of capitalistic game play.

There is a big difference though, and it's not just my ability to spell 'bank' correctly.

When I was eight I remember enjoying the game very much, but being aware that I was probably the only person in the room doing so. My dad would not play board games, my mum did her best, while my Gran made it fairly clear, even to me, that she would rather be doing something else. If my Gran wasn't staying then games like Monopoly were unlikely to happen. Finding anyone to play chess with, without going to my friend's house, was just not going to happen.

As hardships go, this is about as minor as they get, but I'm hoping to show my children a bit more enthusiasm for these games. The bonus is that I still want to play them. Bring on the winter.


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