Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ben Pridmore on Saturday Live

The rather uninspired title is a cunning plan to attract the attention of googlers wanting to look me up after this morning's radio show. Is it a 'show' if it's on the radio? Well, it is now if I say it is.

Anyway, this unseemly publicity-seeking is an attempt to atone for a fairly serious mistake I made during the show - I forgot to mention the thing that was the main reason I agreed to do it in the first place. I still had fun, though - you can hear it here if you're so inclined.

But the thing I was supposed to talk about is that myself and a group of other British memory competitors, all of them called James, are in the process of organising educational and entertaining visits to as many universities in the country who will let us into their hallowed halls. We'll put on a memory performance, hand out memory manuals teaching tricks and organise university memory competitions. It'll be a fascinating introduction to the world of amazing feats like the ones I performed with mixed results on the radio. And you know, I was just about to post this without including the link to the website. I really have a mental block about this, for some reason. CLICK HERE!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm going to get a badge!

Remember back in March when, in a misleadingly-titled blog post, I mentioned that I really love Blue Peter and have always wanted a Blue Peter badge? Well, I got an email today, and they want me on the show! Some time in December! Oooh, I wonder if they'll let me light the advent candle?

Seriously, this is big time stuff, isn't it? Blue Peter! Proper BBC1 nationwide TV, not some grotty satellite channel or Channel 5 or Irish or Brazilian TV, proper British television that lots of proper British impressionable young people will be watching! I don't know why I've suddenly started being famous again, but today I confirmed that I'll be on Radio 4 on Saturday morning (set your tape-recording devices for 9:00), agreed to do a bit more filming for the memory chimp documentary and gushed to a Blue Peter Forward Planning Producer that I'd really really love to be on the programme. And this after a good few weeks when nobody's wanted to talk to me at all.

And maybe I'll be so impressive as a guest on the show that they'll ask me to become the next Blue Peter presenter, and thus fulfil another of my life's ambitions! You can be a Blue Peter presenter when you're bald and bearded and 31, can't you?

Also got a job interview tomorrow, but who cares about being an accountant when you're going to be on Blue Peter?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our radio, our radio, our radio rocks

Remember back in early July when Radio 4 wanted me to be on Saturday Live? Well, they just got back in touch today, as if it was only yesterday, and renewed the offer. So I might be on the wireless this coming Saturday morning, assuming they do call me back tomorrow and do still want me. And yes, I know that it's not usual to use the word 'rocks' in connection with Radio 4, unless possibly in the context of a thrilling programme about geology, but hey, if I'm on it, it really does rock.

I've even got something I can possibly plug while I'm there, and benefit the memory-competition world as a whole - it's one of those projects I wasn't supposed to talk about that I mentioned a while ago. Assuming the others think it's a good idea to talk all about it on the radio before we've finalised any real details, I'll spill the beans. I'm sure you're all excited and giddy with anticipation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The footballer's wife tells her troubles and strife

I'll start with a confession - the song "Mr Rock & Roll" by Amy Macdonald makes me cry. It's also a good song, so when I saw that her album was reduced in Woolworth's, I decided to buy it. But while I was there, I made a shocking discovery - the speak-your-weight machine is gone! I suppose they've got rid of it for the Christmas season when there's less demand for weighing oneself and more for buying huge quantities of cheap tat. So now I'm not going to be able to weigh myself and see if my weight and body mass index have gone down to reasonable levels in the last month!

And then when I got home I noticed that they've stopped doing the 1250+ tournaments on Kurnik othello! Just when my rating has reached the dizzy heights of 1275 and I was planning to play in tomorrow's! Actually, they stopped doing them two months ago, I just haven't noticed till today because my rating's been a touch on the low side lately, but it's still terribly upsetting. There should be more elitism in modern society! It's really exciting when you're eligible to play in the 1250+ leagues! Now I don't get to look down my nose on people who have slightly lower ratings!

AND I found out today that I didn't get the job at Proquest. THREE earth-shatteringly traumatic disappointments in one morning, followed by repeatedly listening to a song that for some reason never fails to bring a tear to my eye. By the standards of some of those true-life-tragic-stories books out there, I could make a fortune writing about this. But I'd settle for a hug and a there-there if anyone's got one handy...

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I've just seen an advert that uses that song. I've never heard it before anywhere except from the singing Christmas tree that used to be in the Eagle shopping centre every festive season. It wasn't there last year, as I think I lamented in my blog at the time, and I hoped it would be back this year now that the rebuilding work is all finished and the centre is much bigger and better than ever, but no, rotten old Santa's grotto is there again. Poor tree. I wonder what happened to it.

On the other hand, I went through a pack of cards in 22.67 seconds today. Didn't get the recall right, but that's the fastest I've ever managed. Passing the cards between my fingers works so much better than turning them over onto the table. So many wasted years, doing it the wrong way... sigh...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Working like a dog

Hmm, I'm feeling horribly unproductive. I think I'm going to set myself some hugely excessive targets to achieve tomorrow, so that I can get lots of stuff done and still feel like a failure. That'll do wonders for my psyche. I really need to get back into practicing the long memory disciplines, so that I can win the world championship next year. I think I'll really make an effort with it tomorrow, for want of anything better to do with my time, unplug the phone and see if I can fit in two three-hour sessions. I'll also scour the recruitment websites to see if there are any interesting jobs going, clean up the pigsty I live in and who knows, maybe even write that book I keep talking about.

And learn to do an amusing conjuring trick. I don't know enough amusing conjuring tricks.