Kalimbawu ~ Chromatic Thumb Piano

Kalimbawu By Simon Jepps
The Kalimbawu or Double Kalimba
It took a long time, but in the end my years of research, pouring over numerous photos of various different kinds of thumb pianos eventually paid off.

Here is my invention, the Kalimbawu.

It gets its name by borrowing the term “Ba wu” from the Chinese flute of that name, meaning “him” and “her”.

Whilst not a reed instrument, the metal tongues of the Kalimba do resemble the shape of the Bawu flute’s reed. Also as I will explain, the Kalimbawu features two voices, one male and one female.

If that’s not an excuse, the word just works!

The Kalimba, also referred to as a “thumb piano”, is a modern variant of the African Mbira, developed by Hugh Tracey and which features a Westernised tuning system.

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Wallooning

WallooningThe sport of Wallooning involves the application of two or more strategically adept individuals into a challenge of water pistols and balloons.

The rules are very simple.

Each player must try to keep their own balloon airborne by shooting at it each time it begins to descend towards the ground.

If a player’s balloon touches the ground then that player loses the round and the opponent is awarded one point.

However, players may also shoot at each others’ balloons in attempt to burst their opponent’s balloon.

If a player’s balloon bursts then that player loses the round and the opponent is awarded one point.

Additionally, players may also shoot at each other. This is considered an advanced tactic, which when employed decisively, can completely ruin your opponent’s chances of success.

Beware however, shooting at your opponent may not always produce the desired result.

A bonus point is awarded to any player who successfully fires his own balloon into his opponent’s, providing his own balloon does not burst during the collision.

Note; doing this is not a sign of affection and may instead cause you undue stress.

Each game lasts five, six, seven or eight rounds. Occasionally it can stretch to nine or ten rounds.

During the hot seasons players may keep going all day long until they can no longer see their balloons, either because it is now too dark, or because they are too sloshed to see clearly.

In any case, there are definitely rounds, but certainly no cubes.

Wallooning was invented by Simon Jepps one summer in 2018 whilst watching aeroplanes flying in squares above his house.

He still drinks Banangerang.

Martian Snowball

Martian Snowball by Simon JeppsHere is another good recipe of mine. This is the really good stuff, a splendid medication for your stressful pains.

I will say in advance, Martian Snowball is very addictive and will go down very comfortably with a large bag of dry roasted peanuts.

  • One good shot of Advocaat.
  • Fill glass with Ginger Beer.

The correct size glass is a standard tall tumbler, but any will do, to your preference.

Stir them up with a teaspoon for a few seconds to get them well acquainted.

It will froth like heaven, so be sure to keep a towel handy in case it over fills.

Live long and prosper!

Cha’nga

Chaturanga
Chaturanga is the sacred origin of a pastime
Rekindling an ancient pastime, by Simon Jepps.

Cha’nga, pronounced “shangaah”, is a version of Chaturanga, which allows just two players to employ the classic four armies.

I invented this game because I know as much as people love Chaturanga, its inconvenience is the requirement of four players.

Creating an understanding as to how only two people can play, in turn sanctifies its misunderstood silence, revealing instead its diversity and adaptability to all walks of life.

But first a truth.

However you interpret history, there is no avoiding the fact that “Chaturanga” literally translates as “the four arms.” It comes from “chatur”, meaning four, and from “anga”, meaning arms.

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Cobra Paw Dragon

cobra paw dragon by simon jeppsA variation of Cobra Paw by Simon Jepps.

The game of Cobra Paw Dragon is played in very much the same way as classic Cobra Paw, except the following.

  • A maximum of two players assume their places about the arena.
  • Each player chooses one of two symbols as his own, suggested by the roll of both dice.
  • All tiles are snatched and scored as per usual except whence you snatch your opponent’s symbol by mistake.
  • For any tile snatched carrying your opponent’s symbol is surrendered to the opponent and thence… turned upside down.
  • The upside down tile scores double, or 2 points and may not be snatched again ~ so look out!
  • The tile carrying the symbol of both opponents scores thrice, or 3 points and can be claimed by either player.
  • BEWARE, if a player rolls a double of his own symbol, that tile also scores double, or 2 points AND if snatched by mistake, is turned upside down scoring quadruple, or 4 points.
  • “No touchy” law applies throughout.

NB:~ There are two styles of Dragon…

  • Dynamic: The player chooses a different symbol each round, from the two suggested by the dice, in order to increase confusion.
  • Straight: The player keeps the same symbol every round, but only if the dice permit, reducing confusion but receiving an extra 5 points at the end of the game.

The dice must suggest a symbol to choose or keep. If the dice do not suggest the same symbol thrice, the player cannot thrice keep it.

A pen and paper is required to keep score and to mark down each player’s symbol for each round.

Kudos to Karen Arnold for the Dragon.

Banangerang

banangerangThis is a recipe of mine. I make 4 litre kegs of this stuff and drink it all the time. It’s a staple and goes down well with a slice of something you like.

  • 1.5 litres of Old Jamaican Ginger Beer
  • 500 ml of Banana Beer
  • 1 capful max of Cpt. Morgan’s Rum

So basically 75% of one and 25% of the other. One capful max of Rum doesn’t sound like much, but its presence in the mixture significantly influences the taste. In fact I usually prefer to use half a capful, thus one cap into 4 litres. Adjust this to your taste.

Banana Beer is made in Wells, England.

Stir them up and chill it well.