Friday, April 22, 2011

To heck with staying at home!

I found some extremely cheap flights and hotels, and I'm going to Frankfurt for the weekend. Just because I can. It'll be nice to see some sights of Germany without having a memory competition getting in the way! Also, this will be an interesting test of whether I can go for a quick holiday without resorting to my usual junk-food-eating ways...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Psychological secrets of Zoomy

I have recurring dreams about my teeth falling out. Not regularly, maybe once every six months or so, but often enough to be puzzling. Clearly this is something that my subconscious mind is deeply worried about, but I can't imagine why. My teeth are entirely healthy, I haven't seen a dentist for about twenty years and I never have so much as a toothache unless I accidentally use toothpaste with super whitening power (I think I'm allergic to the stuff, or else it's just generally bad for the teeth). I have got a missing tooth around the back, but that's because I never had a permanent tooth there, and the milk tooth eventually fell out. The baby tooth in the same position on the other side is still there, which I've always been impressed by. I've also never had wisdom teeth, which might explain my occasional unwise tendencies.

Anyway, as best I can tell, considering that I'm not working and never have occasion to check a calendar except for football schedules, it's the Easter weekend. I was thinking of going away somewhere, but everybody else is also going away somewhere, and they've booked all the hotels. I'll maybe stay at home and go for an Easter holiday some time after all these bank holidays, when all those other suckers are back at work. And send them postcards.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Toffee Crips

I've not really missed all the unhealthy snacks I customarily eat for this past week of dieting, but today in Nottingham I had a fierce and strangely specific craving for a Drifter. But then I went into two different shops looking for one (because I firmly believe in giving in to these kinds of urges immediately) and they both didn't have any! So I'm still officially on the diet, until I have a moment to go to the Co-Op down the road and see if they sell Drifters.

It's a chocolate bar, if you're foreign and think I'm eating vagabonds. Check it out on Nestlé's official website, which not only tells us that "on average, it takes one hour to make a Drifter bar from start to finish", which I find hard to believe in these modern times, but misspells Toffee Crisp as "Toffee Crips Biscuit" and claims that Breakaways are famous for their advertising slogan, 'Everyday should have a Breakaway'.

I've never heard that slogan in my life! If they're famous for anything, surely it's 'Don't take away my Breakaway'? Or am I just getting old? Anyway, that website is rubbish. I almost regret googling it now, but I thought it was important to keep my bloglings properly informed.

Speaking of bloglings, someone found me by googling "013457689014658757562987032105-5" - and if you don't remember what that number was then you'll never be the World Memory Champion - which reminds me how extremely sad it is that Elisabeth Sladen has died. And with Doctor Who coming back on Saturday, too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The wheels are in motion

I've been memorising all day! I did the full works - binary, words, numbers, spoken, images, names, cards, dates. And cycled into Long Eaton and back in the afternoon, cooked some really fancy (and tasty!) stuffed tomatoes for tea and then in the evening cycled to Nottingham and walked half the way back because I'd got a puncture. It'll keep me fit.

Actually, I'm feeling really great at the moment. I'm still enormously fat, but I have good reason to believe I'm gradually getting thinner, and my memory performances are abject, but I'm confident that I can get back to world-championship-winning standard in the fullness of time. World-championship-2009-winning, anyway, and then when I've got back to that level we'll just have to see about 2011...

Monday, April 18, 2011

As a fiddle

Whether it's the diet or the just not-workingness, I've been doing a whole lot of cycling and walking this last week or so. I'm downright energetic, which I know is very unlike me. I really am going to make an effort to sit still and memorise lots of things tomorrow, though, because let's face it, I'm never going to be the world cycling champion. That's a real thing, and you have to have one of those expensive bikes to be one.

Also, somebody found my blog today by googling "beard good or bad for face". It's good, whoever you are. Extremely good.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Memory training? I didn't say anything about memory training.

The weather was too nice today, I'll start my intensive training regime tomorrow instead. Or, if I go for a day out in Sheffield/Birmingham/Manchester/somewhere-along-those-lines tomorrow, as I've already decided to do, I'll do it on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, let's talk about cooking. Being on a diet that involves a lot of vegetables, I find that I've previously only thought of veggies as something you have with a roast dinner - boil them in a pan and plonk them on the plate. So it only took three days for me to get tired of having cabbage with dinner and conclude that I need to do something new. I had a really quite nice semi-casserole-kind-of-thing with beef, peppers, mange tout, broccoli and tomatoes tonight, and I'm feeling like a real proper chef. I've even bought herbs. Also, Worcestershire sauce.

Anyone got any cooking ideas that I can do with the kind of veggies that are low in carbohydrates and GI? (GI stands for something, I can't remember what, but I'm fairly certain that in this context it isn't an American soldier.) Because this diet is proving to be quite fun, and if I can find ways to keep the meals interesting, I'm probably not going to get bored with it and return to my chocolate-scoffing ways for another month or so at least. I get to eat as much rhubarb as I want! And while technically I've always been free to eat as much rhubarb as I want, I've never really availed myself of the opportunity until now. Rhubarb is great.

Meanwhile, another thing I've been meaning to mention is the Cambridge Memory Championship. I've had a few inquiries about it, and I want to gauge public interest in the idea. Please can you let me know if you would definitely/possibly/under no circumstances (delete as applicable) come to a memory competition in Nottingham, probably, in July, say. Email me or comment here, or shout at me if you happen to be passing my flat and notice that the window's open (warning, I might not hear you). I believe the current plans are to have the UK Championship in August, German in September and World in October, so this would be a good way to warm up. I can promise (well, not promise, but at least express the hope) that the room will be infinitely bigger and quieter than the one we've had for the last couple of years, but that the beginner-friendly and pleasantly social atmosphere will be better than ever!

Oh, and one more important thing! Did you know that Kinder eggs are illegal in the USA? And not just that they don't sell them there (like pretty much every kind of edible chocolate snack except Twixes), they're properly banned, you're not allowed to import them or send them to Americans who might want them! There are laws about having an inedible object inside an edible product, apparently, and also the small parts are unsuitable for children. I think this is disgraceful, and I'm going to set up a smuggling racket immediately.