The Crib


In my family, we play cards.

Not full time, obviously. But, when we get together at my parents' place on Georgian Bay - a remote island cabin from the 1940s, with limited solar power & no TV or internet connection to speak of - that's when the games begin.

My parents have had an ongoing cribbage rivalry for as long as I can remember; they stay at the cottage for up to four months a year, and spend many of those evenings locked in crib battles.

Mum is generally thought to be better at it - Dad talks somewhat ruefully about the times she 'let him win one' - but on a good day, when I'm on a roll, I can pinch a game once in a while. (One famous summer I won a number in a row, and chalked the score on the shoreline as I was leaving! Visitors 6, Home 4.)

With myself and my sisters somewhat scattered these days, between Toronto, Sydney, and Saskatoon, the games are less frequent; and now, the next generation have come along, and are starting to mount their own challenge to the hosts. Sometimes, they get help from their mum, and that's allowed; but make no mistake about it.

They're here to win...

And they're pretty good these days, as it turns out! For the four-handed version, you cut for partners before each game; so this time they were each playing with one of their grandparents (rather than against both of them).

But it's only a matter of time before they play alongside each other, pitted against the generations with more experience - and, just maybe, conquer the island.

p.s. yes, Mum won again.

Robert Catto

I'm a Canadian-Kiwi photographer in Sydney Australia, specialising in performing arts, live events, editorial and corporate / commercial work.