Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's officially Christmas

The shops are filling their shelves with seasonal merchandise, the 2010 comic annuals are out, it won't be long before everywhere is full of decorations and the merry sound of carols! Which makes it all the more inappropriate that it was hot and sunny and lovely today. I feel like I'm living in the southern hemisphere, although that might also be something to do with the fact that I'm standing on my head as I write this.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mysteries of the Orient

Japanese TV want to fly me out to Tokyo to have my brain scanned! A free trip in return for some tedious documentary filming sounds like a good deal to me. It'll be some time in October, assuming they don't change their minds or find a cheaper way to do it without buying plane tickets for me. Maybe I can go and visit Ayumu the chimp while I'm there!

It's good that I'm going to Japan, because my brother's threatening to outdo me in the globetrotter stakes - having never in his life so far been farther away from home than Wiltshire, he's now got a job in Harbin, China for the next year at least. And I don't know if you've ever checked on a map, but that's a heck of a long way away. Still, hopefully next year's world memory championship will be in that neck of the woods (I forget whether anyone's told me yet exactly where in China they want it to be) so I can visit.

Anyway, it's the weekend and if I don't do lots and lots of marathon memory practice over the next two days I'm going to lose the world championship this year and be banned from competing ever again due to general rubbishness, so I'd better get on with shuffling cards. Also, I need to learn Japanese...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I've signed up to become a 'volunteer reading partner' - spending an hour a week helping primary school children with reading. It's one of those 'corporate social responsibility' things that Boots is keen on, and the idea behind me volunteering is that, much as I like my job, I do sometimes feel like I'm not exactly helping people or making the world a better place on a regular basis. I mean, at best I'm tangentially contributing in a minor way to enabling Boots customers to enjoy reasonably-priced cosmetics, but somehow that just isn't as fulfilling as it could be. And improving small children's reading skills might turn out to be fun as well as beneficial to the world in general. It's also a scary kind of prospect that I might well back out of at the last minute, but we'll see...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Forget that Northern Ireland thing

I've decided that it makes more sense for me to support Bahrain. They're playing Saudi Arabia tonight, with the winner going on to play New Zealand for a place in the world cup finals. And the second of their two games against New Zealand is on the last day of the World Memory Championship in November - it would have been a great double sporting event if only they hadn't changed the venue. Just picture it, we could have had all the excitement of the speed cards, then sat around watching the footy and impressing the press people with memorisation of international football trivia. It would have been in all the papers.

Except I would doubtless have gone to bed early, because I'm always dead on my feet after the final day of the world championships, and missed everything.

Postscript: Bahrain scored an equaliser in the last minute of injury time to win on the away goals rule! Yay! Go... whatever the national football team of Bahrain are popularly known as!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Red card

I need to get some new cards. I've had my current load for a good few years now, and they're getting to the point where they're too old for proper memorising - they might well start to stick together when I'm trying to nimbly flick them between my fingers in the space of twenty seconds or so, and that would be really annoying. Of course, it's too late now to get new cards for the world championship, because brand new packs are too slippery and I'd be liable to drop them. I'll just have to reward/condole myself after the competition with a big pile of brand new playing cards, and break them in over the course of the winter break.

Hey, maybe I could ask the organisers to just give me lots of cards instead of a trophy or whatever the prize is?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Because you demanded it

A regular reader (and I didn't even know I had any) has pointed out that I haven't mentioned my sainted grandmother on this blog for a long time. This is quite remiss of me, since I only saw Grandma last Saturday, and she's still alive and well and as brilliant as ever. Considering that, as she often likes to point out, she's eighty-nine years old, she's actually in great shape and likely to carry on having my visits to and conversations with her go unreported in my blog for years to come. I'll make more of an effort to give her a passing mention at least, seeing as I know she's got a lot of fans out there.

Apparently people do see her on the street, recognise her from the telly and stop to chat about whatever I've been up to recently. It's the price of fame, you know.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

International affairs

Does anyone know anything about the upcoming Slovenian Memory Championship? There's a website, but it's all in some foreign language (I don't actually know what language they speak in Slovenia nowadays) so I don't know any details about it. It clashes with the British Othello Championship, in the even more exotic and mysterious locale of Frimley Green, so I can't go along and see what it's like, but I hope some information about the event will somehow leak into my consciousness. I've never heard of anyone Slovenian even taking an interest in memory competitions...