Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bow down and worship my othello-playing ability!

I've just stopped off at my hotel to enthuse about the othello tournament. I didn't win, but I came an even closer second than I did in Oadby, just losing to David on disc count. We only had the room until 5pm, so we agreed to have 20 minutes on the clock rather than 25, to make sure we could finish in time. Eight people there, so we started out on a seven-round all-play-all. Then Aidan turned up as well and rather threw things out of whack. In the end it turned into a nine-round all-play-all, with the last round played on the grass outside the school since we couldn't fit it all in in time.

I just seemed to keep winning, for some reason. I beat Imre again, although frankly that's happening so often nowadays I probably shouldn't even bother to record the fact. I also beat Phil and David, and was on 7 out of 7, until I lost my last two games to Jeremy and Geoff and let David catch up with me.

I've also just calculated the latest British Grand Prix standings, not for any big-headed kind of reason, just because I know all my readers are fascinated by the competition and it would be letting them down if I didn't post them here for the world to see. It goes:

Me 410
Phil 400
David 390
Jeremy 310
Geoff 300

I've never been in the lead in the BGP before! Even though you'd think I would, seeing as how BGP are my initials, so it's pretty much the law that I should win it every year. Two more regionals to go - can I keep it up?

Tomorrow's memory competition is going to be in the same room, although we don't get kicked out till six so, if everything goes really, really quickly and smoothly, we won't have to do the speed cards outside on the street. Hopefully it won't be quite as noisy in the room tomorrow as it was today, with infant chess players running around screaming in the background. It's the over-twelves chess tomorrow, so they'll probably be shouting and swearing and writing graffiti, or whatever teenagers do these days.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Guest of honour

I'm in my hotel in Cambridge, complete with wireless internet access in the room. Rather temperamental internet access that goes on and off, so if you're not reading this, it's because the connection died before I could post it. Went to the new Wagamama in Cambridge with Jenny tonight - it's a very cool place, and it certainly seems to be doing excellent business, there were people queueing up outside all night. Meeting Jenny, of course, is just the first of many social engagements while I'm here - it's the othello people tomorrow, and the memory people on Sunday (along with the TV people pestering me all day, of course). I feel like the Queen in America, only on a slightly smaller scale and with a more stylish hat.

I posted the above, then realised I forgot to write the bit that would justify the "guest of honour" subject line, so edited to add: when I checked in this afternoon, the man said "Oh, yes, they're coming to film you on Sunday," with a grin, and was excessively friendly and helpful. I also have the idea that they've put me in the nicest room (because it is very nice indeed). There are definite advantages to being a celebrity.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


There are lots and lots of things I need to remember to take down to Cambridge with me tomorrow. And unlike other times when I go away for the weekend, a lot of these things are essential, absolutely can't forget or the whole Cambridge Memory Championship will be ruined, kind of things. It's not like forgetting my toothbrush or to wear any clothes.

So, let's see. There's my laptop, lots of brown envelopes full of memorising and recall papers, lots of packs of cards, the snazzy timers for the speed cards event, my stopwatch so I can keep track of the time, my alarm clock so I can get up at the crack of dawn rather than oversleeping and missing the whole affair, scrap paper and pens, the prize money, the event timetable and rules, a map of the area so I can find the way from my hotel to the venue, my hat so that I look cool...

I bet I forget something. The laws of comedy demand that I forget something important and essential for the memory competition.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I was going to write about comics tonight

But the scanned covers I wanted to include in what would have been a very long and boring post won't upload, so I'll save it for another day. Although that does leave me without anything interesting to talk about at all. I'm watching the snooker at the moment, and as usual thinking to myself "I could do that. Easy." I tend to forget that I can't play the game until the moment I find myself at the table with a cue in my hand. It's a lot harder than it looks, you know.

On the other hand, becoming snooker world champion remains one of my ambitions. When I'm a millionaire (that's another one of my unfulfilled ambitions), I'll have a big house with a billiard room and two or three servants to keep the table in perfect condition. There will also be a log fire and lots of bookcases with three-volume novels, and everyone who comes in will be required to wear a smoking jacket, although you won't be allowed to smoke. Then I'll practice snooker every day and become brilliant at it and win the world championship. You see, I don't just have ambitions, I have practical plans to make them happen. That's the secret to success.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I'm going to give blood. I've never done it before, and I've spent practically my whole life saying 'I must get round to doing that some time'. Which is exactly the kind of attitude I always criticise in other people. So I've decided to do it, next Tuesday when the blood-sucking people (I think that's the technical term) are next in town. Hopefully it won't kill me. I gather that it doesn't usually, but I'm not a big fan of having needles stuck in me.

I don't even know what blood group I am. I have a feeling that I'm A and my brother's AB, or possibly the other way round, but I'm not sure. I also have a feeling that mine is one of the more useless blood types to have, but that's probably just my natural assumption that nobody could ever find a use for bits of my anatomy.

Maybe I'll donate some platelets too. I hear that's all the rage these days. Or bone marrow. Or a limb. I've got more than I need already, and I wouldn't want to be selfish.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Be Prepared

I still need to print everything out for the Cambridge championship. It's surprising how much all those sheets of paper weigh, you know. Last year I felt like I was lugging a ton of bricks around with me. There's not just piles of papers, there's lots of packs of cards (at least it's just tens, not hundreds like the WMC), my laptop, and the snazzy timers for the speed cards (yes, we've got them this year, not the hopelessly 20th-century people with stopwatches). It's a good job I'm such a perfect physical specimen.

I wasn't going to write anything else tonight, but then I remembered that last night's blog entry was one of my occasional super-brief rip-off ones, and that makes me feel guilty about not giving my readers their metaphorical money's worth. So here's a second paragraph, for your reading pleasure.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I fixed my video!

That tape I trod on last week? Fixed! Thanks to Ravinder, who advised me that you can cut the clear plastic bit out without ruining it, and gave me permission to blame him if I did ruin it despite that.

Apart from that, I've done nothing else all day today, but I still have a great sense of achievement.