So, I flew into Landvetter airport on Friday afternoon, to find someone waiting for me with a sign saying "Mr Ben", who chauffeured me to the tournament venue. As venues go, it was just plain awesome - just inside the main entrance to a gigantic book fair full of people who crowded around our glass box to watch what we were doing. It was like being in a zoo, or at least in the kind of zoo that Ayumu lives in. There was also full coverage in Swedish newspapers and radio broadcasts and things, so perhaps everyone in Sweden will want to take part next year!
Here's an interesting thing about Sweden, incidentally - they show a lot of British and American programmes on TV over there, subtitled. And funnily enough, on the Simpsons, even Bumblebee Man's Spanish is translated into Swedish! So any watcher unversed in both languages would think that Bumblebee Man is speaking the same language as all the other characters.
Anyway, suffice to say that I was hopeless all throughout the competition, much as I'd expected. And Simon Reinhard was entirely non-hopeless, so he beat me hands down. This is probably a good thing for me, because while I was generally poor in London, I didn't have any complete disasters, and I did have at least one in Gothenburg - in ten-minute cards, I tried for eight packs and ended up only getting one.
They arranged the speed cards for maximum spectator entertainment, with me, Boris and Simon in one group, lined up in front of the glass windows, and all the others (nine of them) thereafter. It was still technically possible for me to win if I did under 30 seconds and Simon didn't memorise anything, but we all just went for fast times without any of this namby-pamby "playing it safe" stuff. However, we possibly disappointed the watching masses when we all three of us failed to remember a pack of cards twice in a row. They were cheered up again, though, when Swedish newcomer Florian Minges did a pack in an extremely groovy one-minute-nineteen or so.
Full results can probably be found on the all-new statistics website here, along with the world ranking list and all the awesomeness of statistics from 19 years of memory competitions!
I must say, that I'm really hugely fired up, enthusiastic and motivated today... about playing the ukulele. Last night has really put me in the mood to be musical. I don't seem to have any enthusiasm about memory training, though...