Saturday, January 09, 2010

Snowed in

Actually, there's no more than an inch of snow around here, because Nottingham never gets the really bad weather, but it's on top of all the ice and nastiness from last week, so I'm not going anywhere this weekend. I'm staying in the house and hoping everything will have melted by Monday. I even cleaned up my spare room and refreshed my knowledge of basic conversational Japanese!

Friday, January 08, 2010

I've been to Frimley Green

Why does Martin Adams keep winning at darts when he can't hit doubles? Or is it just that whenever I turn the telly on, he gets nervous and starts missing? Because he seems to do a lot better whenever I'm not watching him. Perhaps I'm just intimidating to darts players in general.

Also, whatever happened to those groovy displays they used to have of giant dartboards with lights that would be turned on in a position roughly corresponding to where the dart hit the board? They were extremely cool, but it's all TV screens nowadays. Did they all end up on a tip somewhere? I'll have to go and look.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Yep, it's definitely confirmed, I'm going back to Tokyo for a flying visit - flying out on Saturday 23rd, arriving Sunday morning, then back home on Tuesday morning, and back into work on the Wednesday, thus only using up my last two remaining holiday days of the financial year. I think it's fair to say that jetlag will be a problem, but I'm sure I'll be up to whatever memory stunts they're wanting me to perform in the studio.

The weather is apparently really quite nice in Tokyo at the moment, so hopefully it'll be a nice change from the ice and snow and nastiness over here. And even if it's not, yay! Japan! Again! For free! Being the World Memory Champion is great!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I don't plan my life in advance, generally speaking, so when everything works out nicely like it did at lunchtime today, I feel quite pleased with myself. The meeting at work didn't overrun at all (since someone important had a conference call scheduled for twelve), I was able to honestly say "I'll have to look into it and ask someone else" when someone came up to me afterwards with a mysterious piece of paper and leave at exactly the time I was meaning to. And then I got back home at the exact moment when a postman arrived to deliver my new passport (which has to be signed for and would have gone back to some depot somewhere if I hadn't been around), made myself a sandwich and finished eating it at the exact moment when Radio Gloucestershire phoned for the interview, talked to them for a concise five-minute chat and had ten minutes left to browse through the latest othello newsletter before having to go back to the office. It was quite the most productive and well-organised lunch hour I've ever had, and perfectly timed throughout! I'm very nearly a yuppie!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It's like being Princess Diana

Tune in to Radio Gloucestershire tomorrow for a live, in-depth, five-minute interview with the World Memory Champion during his lunch hour. Work permitting - I've got a meeting at work scheduled to finish at twelve, but it's the kind of thing that's likely to overrun, and I do rather have to give priority to my real job, even in favour of Radio Gloucestershire.

And then on Sunday I'm being interviewed over the phone by the second-biggest newspaper in Israel! This one has come about because a journalist in Tel Aviv has just seen "The Mentalists", which I think is extremely groovy. I'm glad to hear that it's still being watched by people, because it really was an excellent documentary about memory competitions, and it's exactly the kind of thing there needs to be more of if we're going to get new people interested in taking part.

And I tell you, this constant pursuit by the media of the world really takes its toll on a celebrity like me. I'll probably go mad and turn to drugs and shoplifting and cutting all my hair off and things, and it'll all be the fault of the press.

Monday, January 04, 2010

New cooker smell

I've got a new oven. Don't you love it when you turn them on for the first time and they melt the protective covering stuff on the elements and fill the house with poisonous toxic gases? It really takes me back to my short-lived student days when we also got a new cooker and were similarly gassed.

Smells are really good at triggering distant memories, as people always tell me. Seriously, people tell me that quite often. It's the kind of person who comes up to me and says "You're the memory man, aren't you?" and then follows it up with "I've always had a good memory myself..." and then tells me everything they know about the process of memory. I think they're expecting me to say "Yes, that's right, my goodness, you certainly are clever!" But the smell thing is always one of the first things they say. It's true, anyway, and I'm currently trying to formulate a way of cheating in memory competitions by smuggling scratch-and-sniff books into the room, disguised as rough notepaper.

Actually, now I come to think of it, I do say something like "Yes, that's right, my goodness, you certainly are clever!" in that kind of situation. So I've only got myself to blame if people keep doing this to me. Maybe I should just sneer contemptuously at them instead, but then I'm afraid that they might punch me in the nose and destroy my sense of smell, and with it my memory.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Back, back, back to school again

Well, after an enjoyably and completely squandered week off, it's back to the office again tomorrow. Possibly this will motivate me to do some more memory training and the like, although it probably won't. Anyway, I'll do some more heavy-duty blogging soon, I assure you. It might involve giant spiders or something equally exciting, although it probably won't.