On pain of death at the hands of RFW&N, my time in the Valle has been dominated by hard work and early nights.  And yet, somehow, amongst all the toil, we’ve still found time to have the occasional very small – and tightly regulated – bit of fun.

Take, for example, the games.

I’ve invented some brilliant games for us all to play while out here. So many in fact that last night Rob crowned me the master of games. The Gamesmaster. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that the title had already been claimed by someone else.

There’s ‘Kate Nash or Not Kate Nash‘ – where players listen to short (five or six second) clips from iTunes and have to determine whether the singer is Kate Nash or not Kate Nash. Rob is the current champion of this, having zipped through Kate Nash, Remi Nicole, Kate Nash and Laura Marling, Kate Nash and Kate Nash before being tripped up by Colbie Caillat. A bonus round involving a Victoria Wood clip took him a good minute and a half of internal debate.

Then there’s ‘Roof Ball’ – a game involving getting a ball stuck on a roof. That was quite a short game.

‘Passive Aggressive Friend Tweets’ is an all-weather favourite; a team game that everyone can play, whether they like it or not. The rules are simple – search through the Twitter updates of all of your mutual friends for the last 24 hours and find the most passive-aggressive one. The most passive-aggressive friend, on aggregate, by the end of the week is crowned victor. The great thing about it is that the winner of the game doesn’t even know he or she is playing.

‘Road Frisbee’ – All of the fun of frisbee, all of the excitement of being hit by a car coming around a blind corner at high speed.

‘Dancing With Dogs’ – That one kind of speaks for itself. Those stray dogs sure can move.

I could go on. ‘The Google Maps Challenge’, in particular, deserves a post of its own, but for reasons of taste, decency and not wanting to alienate the entire female readership of the blog, I’ll leave that alone. Sufficed to say, I’m wearing my victory lightly.

My two favourite games though – in the Valle as in life generally – involve stickiness and mess. I’m referring of course to ‘Waterballoon Dodgeball’ and ‘Ten Can Orange Bowling’.

The former was the result of a trip to Alora were we found a small kiosk selling ice-cream and water balloons. Regarding the rules, the name says it all. If it were entirely self descriptive it would be called ‘Waterballoon Catch-or-Dodgeball’, but you get the point.

Michelle and Anna arrived in the Valle on Thursday and proved themselves to be rather excellent players, although of course being girls and so unable to catch, they were no match for Rob and me. But it’s not the winning, but the getting totally fucking drenched on a boiling hot day that counts.

Ten Can Orange Bowling also ticks the self-descriptive box, being ten pin bowling using empty cans and the last of the ten million oranges that Eris cajoled out of a kindly farmer the other week. Each game lasts for five rounds, or until the last orange has been smashed to Tropicana.

One point per can, 15 for a strike. The loser makes orange juice for the winner. It’s great fun and in no other game does victory taste so much like sunshine.

Today’s game started well for me, with a strike straight out of the gate – Michelle following with an eight and Rob only mustering a seven. The second round was a very different story, Michelle and I failing to score with Rob delivering a textbook strike. Round three saw a four for me, a two for Michelle a single can upset for Rob. The penultimate round, and with all still to play for, my four, Michelle’s humiliating and orange-smashing miss and Rob’s seven brought the scores to 23 / 10 / 30.

It was time for Michelle to break out the juicer but the question remained – would she be squeezing for Rob or for me? I needed at least an eight to win – but a strike to have any real chance of victory. Rob was sitting pretty but needed at least a nine to totally finish me off.

I missed. Totally. It was embarrassing. But, fuck it, I’ll always have my Google Maps Challenge cup.

And drinking out of that, anything tastes good.