Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

December Social 2011Monday 5 December

Read the story about what went on at the December Social.

Story of the December Social

About 20 members gathered at Margaret and Les’ house in Penicuik for the December Social run, refreshments and chat. It was a cold and frosty evening with a couple of centimetres of snow on the ground, but when well wrapped up and appropriately shod, running was rather pleasant and there were no accidents. Christmas lights were already on in what Janet calls “the Ho-Ho houses” (presumably referring to the anticipated salutation from Santa Claus), adding to the festive atmosphere. Margaret had also added some sparkly decorations to the table of goodies she had set out for us after the run, the food topped off with some hot mince pies.

The run, devised by Les and Andrew, was a 60-minute score and a play on Monopoly, called Mon-O-poly. Controls of the usual street variety, e.g. what is the price of a festive lunch, what is the telephone number of the vicar, were in groups of three, 10 points for each control and a bonus for getting all three in the group. There were 27 of these controls and, in addition, two control with boxes of cards at them - Community Chest and Chance - giving further bonuses or a mystery prize. My recollection was that Chance could be nasty, but on this occasion all the Chance cards were a bonus, in keeping with the spirit of the occasion.

An intriguing aspect of the groups of three controls was the size of the bonus awarded for collecting all three. Since groups of three were in different areas of Penicuik, such as “ town centre”, or on different sorts of buildings, such as “churches” or “schools”, it seemed appropriate for the bonus to go hand in hand with the quality or value of the areas or properties, as property costs do on the Monopoly board. I was delighted to see that my house came into an area that merited a 40 point bonus on the 10 to 50 scale. The three churches merited a 25 point bonus, about average on the scale and the same as three public houses (an interesting reflection of their equal value to society, perhaps), and the three schools merited a 50 point bonus, the top bonus, and quite right too in my opinion. However, this intrigue did not last long, since Andrew informed me that the bonuses reflected the distance of the group of controls from Margaret and Les’ house, the nearest group having the highest bonus, which is counter-intuitive in terms of the effort required to win the bonus but not an unusual ploy by a score course planner.

Now to the important information. Winners were, in the Ladies: 1st Rachel Fawthrop, 2nd Eleanor Pyrah, 3rd Maggie Scrugham, and in the Men: 1st Andrew Dalgleish, 2nd Brain Yates (with some help from Janice), 3rd Ian Pyrah. Congratulations to all these folks for a sterling effort in tricky conditions. Chocolate thingies were awarded to prizewinners. There was also a rather splendid spot prize of a bottle of sparkling Italian wine for Martin Caldwell, who was the only person to pick up a Community Chest card with a mystery prize. The remaining unclaimed prizes from Community Chest and Chance boxes were ‘raffled’, with Gemma Karatay winning a Christmas candle holder and Fiona Findlay winning a mini Christmas pudding. The festive season had begun!

Very many thanks to Margaret and Les for hosting a successful and very enjoyable evening.

Roger Scrutton

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