Friday, May 01, 2009

The loveliness of Leicester

Getting to Cambridge from Beeston tonight took less than three hours, which only happens on very rare occasions when you can change at Leicester without waiting more than a few minutes and get a direct train to Cambridge. But the 17:08 tonight was one of those times, and I managed to leave work early despite having to cover someone else's Friday-afternoon report that always takes ages to gather various different people's input.

So I was already in a good mood when I went in to the cafe at Leicester station for something to eat, and it only got better when it turned out that the till wasn't taking cards and I didn't have quite enough money to pay for my crisps, ham salad roll and bottle of coke, only for the man behind the till to cheerfully chip in 50p from his own pocket to make up the difference!

And then, if that wasn't enough to convince me that Leicester station is great, the announcer over the tannoy described the next train to arrive as "the chronologically disadvantaged 17:30 to London" and got a chuckle from the crowd of people waiting for it. Most big stations like Leicester have a robot announcing the trains, or else a low-paid, non-English-speaking temp. Hooray for the traditional British sense of humour and the traditional British sense of giving someone 50p to pay for a sandwich!

That's made me all cheerful and chirpy about the weekend ahead, and was just what I needed after lots of busy-ness at work and lots of running around frantically for the last few evenings getting everything sorted for Sunday (I still need to create the spoken numbers program on Powerpoint, but I can do that in the comfort of my hotel room. All the memorisation papers are printed out and safely stored in my small rucksack - which I was carrying on my front, like some kind of baby harness thing, because my big backpack was on my back. And in a way, these memorisation and recall papers are my babies. A strange way that only a certifiable lunatic would use, but a way nonetheless. I laboured over the things and printed them out, using the very last drop of ink my Lexmark cartridges would allow me. Wait a minute, I opened a set of brackets about 500 words ago, let's close them before we go any further). That's better.

On my journey down here tonight, I must have given people the impression that I'd recently come from Bahrain - I was wearing my souvenir Bahrain T-shirt, and my big rucksack has still got the little white band around it saying "Bahrain International Airport Security" from my trip there six months ago. People probably concluded that I'd been to the grand prix. Perhaps that's why the guy gave me that 50p - he must have assumed I'm a millionaire playboy and would reward him with gold bars and mansions!

Anyway, I'm rambling. I think I'll go to bed now. Othello tomorrow, memory on Sunday!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

If you're a man and you want to be healthy

Then you could probably do worse than buying the latest issue of Men's Health magazine, available now for £3.95 from all good newsagents. Or just ask me if you can borrow the free copy they sent me. I'm on page 108, the fifth in the series of profiles on 'superhumans', incongruously sandwiched between Lance Armstrong and Sebastian Coe. "The Genius", they call me - I won't disillusion them if you don't.

You can also find that interivew I did with the Canadian news agency on the internet with a quick Google search, if you really want to. It covers essentially the same ground as the Men's Health article.

I'll leave you with a quote attributed to Tony Buzan in an email I got from some Australians:

Quite Simply...
"Good Food = Good Brain
Junk Food = Junk Brain”

Tony Buzan

And an alternative quote from someone whose brain is generally held to be not too shabby:

Junk food is great! What are you talking about, Tony?

Ben Pridmore (genius)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cambridge? Yes, I probably should do something about that.

Haven't booked a hotel for the weekend yet. If I end up having to commute from Beeston and back every day, I'm really going to be worn out by Monday...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There just aren't enough puns in the world!

On BBC2 tonight, there was a trailer for a programme about Kew Gardens, followed by the snooker. And nobody made a "and now a different kind of cues..." quip! What is wrong with everybody nowadays? Don't they know there's some kind of depression happening, and the best cure for depression is jovial banter from BBC continuity announcers?

Monday, April 27, 2009

A thought occurs

Do you think that some fervently anti-Communist heraldist has ever reworked the old 'Better dead than red' slogan to make it 'Better ghouls than gules'? If not, do you think I could trademark it somehow? Because it really makes me giggle.

Anyway, tonight I'm going to do something productive for once - a bit of memory training, a bit of finishing off all that printing for Cambridge, maybe even a bit of typing up my othello transcripts from London, like I've been meaning to do for quite a while now. And a minimum of snooker-watching.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I work for MI5

I spy on people, memorise what they say and do, and repeat it with roughly 85% accuracy. They hired me for my binary-digit-remembering skills, obviously, but we're still waiting for the first terrorist attack (or whatever it is that MI5 investigate, if indeed MI5 still exists and is still called that - I don't keep up with the news as much as I should) that somehow involves a need to memorise up to 4000 1s and 0s in 30 minutes. The bosses were thinking of letting me go, but then someone realised that I'm quite a bit cheaper and easier to secretly install in someone's house than a hidden microphone.