Monday, November 26, 2012


I thought I should mention it, since the organisers of most memory competitions are used to me by now and just ignore me, but the Memoriad is new territory for me... I really like my competitions to be endearingly shambolic. I like to make light of their foibles, but please don't think that means I don't love all memory competitions everywhere!

For example, if the only thing I mention about my hotel room is that there was a pair of pants (not mine) under the sofa that had been missed by the cleaners, you shouldn't assume I was in any way unhappy with the hotel. Indeed, you should assume it was completely and totally awesome, if that's the only negative thing you see me say about it! And besides, they looked clean, and I can always use extra underwear. I see it as another free gift.

So, the Memoriad - I'd like to know the logic behind the seating arrangements, if there is any. Was it random? Everyone was assigned a different seat at a different computer for each discipline, but I was somewhere near the front for all the memory ones and somewhere more towards the back for the mental calculations, so maybe there was some kind of seeding involved, I don't know. Perhaps the super-computer decided everything, as part of its plan to take over the world.

We also had a name-sign to put on our desks, and an appropriate national flag along with the Memoriad flag - one of the British flags was upside-down until I fixed it, while one of the German flags was upside-down throughout the Memoriad; in fact, Jan van Koningsveld seemed to make a point of having that one on his desk every time, so perhaps he did it on purpose as some kind of cunning joke. He has got a Dutch name, after all, maybe he's subverting Germany from the inside?

We all also had T-shirts; one white and one blue, and an instruction to wear the former on Saturday and the latter on Sunday, with a note that anyone who didn't wouldn't be allowed to compete. The white ones had the sponsor logo, the blue ones just had the Memoriad logo. Boris's was upside-down. I think that one was intended for the Australian competitor.

And did anyone notice that there were two different designs of the Memoriad logo? It's five multi-coloured brains in the Olympic rings pattern - the T-shirts and the computers had them red-black-blue-yellow-green, and the nameplates and big posters had yellow-black-green-red-blue. Or something along those lines. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what colour the Olympic rings are, so perhaps they change colours too, when we're not looking.

Okay, that's all out of my system now. Oh, and one more disclaimer - the money I won goes towards paying off the massive debt I accumulated during my latest not-working-for-a-living adventure; I'm really not financially stable, so you shouldn't come asking me for money, please.

Tomorrow - a few more of the really great things about the Memoriad!

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