Friday, September 18, 2009

Frimley Green

They play darts there, as I understand. But tomorrow and Sunday, they're playing othello there instead. And by 'they', I mean me and the rest of the British othello posse. I actually decided yesterday that I wasn't going to bother with the nationals this year, because getting a train back on Sunday night is a long, tedious process that is almost certain to result in me being marooned at midnight somewhere en route, probably Penicuik, when the various trains are delayed, diverted and cancelled.

And have you ever tried getting a train ticket to Farnborough North on It sends you to Farnborough Main, and then the last leg of the journey is walking, 22 minutes (exactly) from the one station to the other. I haven't checked the prices, but I expect it costs more, too.

Anyway, after telling everybody I wasn't coming, I thought that maybe I could cope with a five-and-a-half hour train/tube/walking journey if I leave fairly promptly at four o'clockish (I'm expecting the tournament to run ahead of schedule as usual and me not to get to the final as usual - although I did end up in the 3rd/4th play-off in 2004, I remind you), as that'll get me to London before the last train of the night that stops at Beeston leaves (all the later trains force me to get off at Long Eaton or even, heavens forbid, East Midlands Parkway, and get a bus).

But I still wasn't entirely sure about whether to go or not, so I decided to go to and play (ok) a few games of othello, to see if I was in good form. If I ended up winning, I reasoned, I'd go to Frimley Green and long journeys be darned. Having then lost five games in a row against mediocre opposition, I decided to go to Frimley Green anyway, because I wanted to. Never put your fate in the hands of your othello-playing ability, people.

Now all I need to decide is whether to stay up and watch the first of the new series of Peep Show, or go to bed early in order to be good and refreshed for the competition tomorrow. Choosing the first option forces me to find something to do for an hour to avoid Derren Brown on telly, but I'm sure I can manage that if I really try. Anyway, wish me luck, and I'll resume bloggery on Sunday. If I get home early enough.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

There's just one thing I don't understand

Why is there a Sea Life Centre in Birmingham? Who goes to Birmingham wanting to see sharks and giant sea turtles? And isn't it really inconvenient to ship all that sea life overland to the middle of a big city? And what do they do if the big tank springs a leak and they need to fill it with more sea water?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's a working man I am

Sorry I didn't blog anything yesterday, but I was tired after a day of stacking shelves, and I didn't realise I hadn't blogged until after I'd turned my computer off for the night. My memory is bad, you know. However, after another day of hauling a wide range of desirable products around a store that strangely keeps its stock three storeys above the salesfloor, I'm feeling quite invigorated. I think everyone who knows me knows that I'm not really what you'd call a manual worker - I've never had a job that involved anything other than sitting at a computer, and I'm really quite feeble as a result - but it's good fun to do something different. I could quite happily change careers and haul haircare products from one place to another all day long, provided they still paid me what I get now for being an analyst, of course.

Also, on an unrelated note, I've noticed lately that the best way to get a reply from me is to send me an email and not a Facebook message. I think it's because I'm terribly lazy, but since I don't use Facebook very often, I only see the notification-email and replying to it involves at least another two or three clicks of the mouse, so I tend to put it off until I can be bothered. Whereas if I've got an email, I go through my inbox at least once a fortnight or so and make a point of replying to everyone who's expecting me to...

Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm going to Birmingham for the next couple of days, working in the big High Street store. Just for a change of scene, you know. I can't remember the last time I went to Birmingham, actually - I used to go there fairly often, but it's about twenty minutes longer on the train from Beeston than it is from Derby and somehow that tips it over the edge of 'too far away to be worth the trip'. So I'm hoping to find the city so enthralling that I want to visit more often in future. Hopefully there will be fireworks and escaped zoo animals of the non-violent kinds, and balloons.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm memorable!

Also memorable are 2808 decimal digits or 36 packs of cards in an hour, I'm sure of it. Didn't have much luck memorising them today, but the important thing is that I attempted to, and every time I do that it gets my brain more accustomed to the hour of solid concentration and the extensive mental imagery involved. If I can find another weekend or two to practice before the WMC, I'm hopeful that I can do something world-record-breaking there.

Not that I'm going to have many free weekends over the next couple of months, what with the British Othello Championship, the Mensa Annual Gathering (remember that I promised to do some kind of presentation there? I seem to have forgotten to weasel my way out of it...), that potential trip to Tokyo, an important bon-voyage kind of get-together with my brother, a birthday party (York, weekend after October 14th, anyone?) and probably other stuff too. Maybe I should quit my job again.