Games People Play: Geoff Capes, 49, Former Shotputt Champion

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The Independent Culture
I MAKE words out of cars' registration numbers on the motorway. You look at the number plates and use the three letters to make the longest word that you can. It's quite a good game actually, as you get to make up fabulous words that you'd never even thought of. BEK for instance, let's think of a word - beckoning. Do you see what I mean? Or AER - aerosol. You can play it with your passenger as well, and the one with the most letters wins. So it's not only for passing the time, it's also educational.

I've played the number plate game for bloody ages - I'm talking about 10, 15 years, because I used to spend Fridays driving up to Scotland to do the Highland Games, and then travelling back down to Lincolnshire which used to take between six and seven hours driving. I had to think of something to do, and that was one of them I suppose.

The other game was "I've been here before". In other words, you're passing places that you've gone past before. You can set your watch, and try and make a certain spot by a certain time on the way home. Whatever, Scots Corner, or the turning off the A66, from the M6 to the beginning of Scotland where it says "Welcome to Scotland", on to Glasgow from Blackford in Perthshire. I know every road in Scotland like the back of my hand, probably.

I suppose it's a game in one sense, but at least it gives you an idea of when you're going to arrive at a certain place, or when you'll get home. And you can say: "I'll be home in 25 minutes because I'm just passing the Grantham roundabout", or "I'll be home in 10 minutes, get the kettle on."

Geoff Capes is co-promoter and presenter of the annual Britain's Strongest Man competition. Entry forms and venue details from Live Promotions 01775 768661

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