Saturday, June 30, 2018

Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man

It's the othello nationals, in the scenic location of the confusingly-named Newcastle Castle. Which is, of course, a very old castle.

You can see how it must have happened, obviously. "Why-aye, man," one of the founders of Newcastle must have said, for that is how people from Newcastle invariably start a conversation, "let's name our 'toon' [for that is how people in Newcastle pronounce the word 'town'] after this lovely new castle of ours!"

"Jolly good idea!" the other founder of Newcastle must have replied, "for while the castle will inevitably grow old in time, it won't be until long after the pair o'wers [meaning 'the two of us'] are dead and gone, so it won't be US who get jeered at for living in a 'toon' called Newcastle with a very old castle!"

In any case, the whole thing's gone on for about a thousand years too long for them to change the name now, so we're stuck with it. As for the othello playing, interesting features included a pre-competition excursion to see a were-rabbit that lurks nearby, and me generally playing badly but getting more discs than I really deserved. We have nine players overall, a nice number for a nine-round competition (though ten would be even better), and played the first four games of the round-robin this afternoon.

I started out against David Stephenson, playing his first tournament for about 25 years, and lost 34-30, then in the second round lost 33-31 to Roy. But I regained the momentum by scoring a point in the third round against that perpetual loser, 'bye', and finished the day off with a (rather fortunate) 36-28 win over Bruce.

And it's finely poised on the leaderboard, with Imre and Iain on 4 out of 4, then a whole five other people on 2, including me. So if I was to somehow win all my games tomorrow, I'd be entirely possibly in the top two, who contest the grand final! But I'd probably have to remember how to play the game first.

We had dinner this evening in the Herb Garden restaurant, notable for having a giant horse statue, wearing roller-skates and leg-warmers, outside the door. It just needs a horn, and you've got Marigold Heavenly Nostrils.

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