They play darts there, as I understand. But tomorrow and Sunday, they're playing othello there instead. And by 'they', I mean me and the rest of the British othello posse. I actually decided yesterday that I wasn't going to bother with the nationals this year, because getting a train back on Sunday night is a long, tedious process that is almost certain to result in me being marooned at midnight somewhere en route, probably Penicuik, when the various trains are delayed, diverted and cancelled.
And have you ever tried getting a train ticket to Farnborough North on thetrainline.com? It sends you to Farnborough Main, and then the last leg of the journey is walking, 22 minutes (exactly) from the one station to the other. I haven't checked the prices, but I expect it costs more, too.
Anyway, after telling everybody I wasn't coming, I thought that maybe I could cope with a five-and-a-half hour train/tube/walking journey if I leave fairly promptly at four o'clockish (I'm expecting the tournament to run ahead of schedule as usual and me not to get to the final as usual - although I did end up in the 3rd/4th play-off in 2004, I remind you), as that'll get me to London before the last train of the night that stops at Beeston leaves (all the later trains force me to get off at Long Eaton or even, heavens forbid, East Midlands Parkway, and get a bus).
But I still wasn't entirely sure about whether to go or not, so I decided to go to playok.com and play (ok) a few games of othello, to see if I was in good form. If I ended up winning, I reasoned, I'd go to Frimley Green and long journeys be darned. Having then lost five games in a row against mediocre opposition, I decided to go to Frimley Green anyway, because I wanted to. Never put your fate in the hands of your othello-playing ability, people.
Now all I need to decide is whether to stay up and watch the first of the new series of Peep Show, or go to bed early in order to be good and refreshed for the competition tomorrow. Choosing the first option forces me to find something to do for an hour to avoid Derren Brown on telly, but I'm sure I can manage that if I really try. Anyway, wish me luck, and I'll resume bloggery on Sunday. If I get home early enough.