A 50-year-old woman has confessed taking days off work to spend time GAMING.

Self-confessed nerd Caroline Alexander, 50, takes around seven days a year off to play on her Xbox Series X. when big games are released.

She's been gaming since she was six and has even roped in her husband, Phil Alexander, 57 - with the pair now spending date nights playing Diablo 4.

Caroline - who gets 22 days off for annual leave each year - first fell in love with gaming through a popular arcade game, Jetset Willy in January 1982, before moving onto modern consoles.

Now, she plays modern classics like Fable, Diablo 3, and Mass Effect with Phil, a computer programmer, after ''demanding'' he join her beloved hobby.

Caroline, who has been taking annual leave to game for seven years, began booking weeks off after the release of Dragon Age Inquisition, an action role-playing game, and now continues to take annual leave for every big game release.

Caroline, social researcher, from Dundee, Scotland, said: "I've always been a nerd and I love it.

"I tell my co-workers about my staycation of gaming.

"I don't use my annual leave for anything else important.

"It's definitely worth the days off."

Since childhood, Caroline says she was only interested in ''nerdy'' activities and fell-in-love with gaming upon the release of arcade games in 1982.

Despite her mum being keen for her to develop more ''feminine'' hobbies, she gave up after buying Caroline her first console, the Saga Master System in 1989.

Caroline said: "My mum never thought any man would want me.

"A girl gamer who loved spending their evenings killing monsters.

"Fortunately she was wrong."

After attempting to date men who didn't share her passion for gaming, the researcher eventually included her gaming interest in her Okay Cupid bio.

Caroline and Phil clicked matched in October 2016, and began chatting online with Phil being in High Wycombe.

Although Phil wasn't initially interested in gaming, he soon shared his eagerness to learn and the pair became official just two days afterwards.

Caroline said: "I invited him over and sat him down.

"I passed him an X-box controller.

''I let him know him know for the relationship to work he'd need to be a gamer.''

After teaching her new partner the ropes, the love birds continued to game together after their marriage in December 2020 at the Aylesbury Registry Office, Buckinghamshire.

Phil was quickly introduced to Caroline's annual leave scheme and quickly followed suit.

Phil, who also does stand up comedy, said: "I very quickly came around to gaming.

''I loved that she was honest about her love for gaming.

"It's just like taking time off for a holiday,

"But this one is digital!"

Caroline, a mum-to-nine cats all named after Scottish foods, started to book weeks off her job of two years upon the release of Dragon Age inquisition on May 2016.

She continued this trend with the release of Elden Ring, Diablo 4 and The Witcher 3.

In total, Caroline says she has taken seven weeks holiday over seven years- to sit on her sofa and game.

Caroline, who games 14 hours a week, said: "I'm proud to be a gamer.

"Everyone is shocked by my age, and my time spent gaming every week.

"I have thousands of hours clocked on Diablo 3 alone.

"I'm so glad I was able to find someone that accepts my hobby.

"I can't wait for the next big game, so I can book off another week."