Friday, October 02, 2009

Her Britannic Majesty requests and requires

My passport expires in June next year, and what with lots of countries insisting you've got six months still to go on it before they let you in, that means I need to sort a new one out as soon as I get back from Tokyo.

It's rather sad, you know, because this current passport of mine was the first one I've ever had - just ten years ago, I never considered that I might ever go abroad. Nowadays, of course, I'm hopping on a plane every week and zooming off to some far-distant land, but back in 2000, going to Washington DC was scary and exciting. Turned out to be fun, though, which is probably a good thing, because I might have never gone anywhere ever again if it had turned out to be nasty. I should write to the city and say thanks.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm not going to win the World Memory Championship

Just can't get into training at the moment. I've got to do something this weekend before I set off for the Mensa thing in... Tamworth? Telford? Somewhere that begins with T, anyway. I hope it's Tamworth, that's much closer. But anyway, I need to find the time on Saturday morning (conditional on me having prepared my presentation, although I can always do that on the train or in my hotel room on Saturday night) for a good long memorising session. Because I'm conscious that I haven't practiced enough, and when I feel like that, I do badly at memory competitions. Positive thinking is essential for good memorising. I should mention that in my presentation.

Tell you what, let's save a bit of time by looking up right now exactly where I'm going at the weekend (for a gala dinner on Saturday before the 'Ben Pridmore demonstrates his spectacular talents' bit on Sunday lunchtime - I hate gala dinners, and since that's the only payment I'm getting for this beyond doing a favour for the old acquaintance who's organising the whole event, it makes me wonder why I agreed to it in the first place...) so I don't have to spend Saturday morning making travel plans...

Bristol. Why did I think it started with T? And Bristol is bleeding miles away! Okay, that settles it, I'll do an hour numbers practice in the morning and spend the long train journey preparing my speech/slideshow. Pictures drawn by hand, with the mouse-pad on my laptop.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Starting to believe my own hype

I have planned out the general kind of thing that I'm going to do at this stupid Mensa presentation, but I haven't written it down. It occurred to me that speaking with notes at a presentation about memory is probably a bad thing, but really, that's exactly the kind of misconception I'm intending to try to debunk - do people assume Usain Bolt never needs to catch a bus, because he can just run everywhere? There's a better analogy out there somewhere, but I haven't worked out what it is yet. Anyway, I need to go on some kind of campaign to stop people asking me how to remember where they put their car keys. It really annoys me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've still got a cold

And I've also got the slight annoyance of having promised to do an hour-long talk/presentation on the subject of memory for Mensa members on Sunday, and haven't prepared anything for it. When asked if I'd like accessories like a laptop and projector to aid my presentation I said yes, sure, why not, so now I've got to create something on Powerpoint too if I want them to think I know what I'm doing. It's a hard life, being a celebrity.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reading and sneezing

I've got a cold and would appreciate sympathy. I've also got a new old book, as part of my continuing quest to actually read some books that edumacated people have read - "The Woman In White", cost 50p from a charity book stall. I have a vague idea that they did a BBC adaptation quite recently, so I might be jumping on the bandwagon like some kind of dreadful wannabe-intellectual, but I'm hoping that I'm thinking of someone else, and the book is still known and cared about only by stuffy old people with too much time on their hands. It's quite good, actually.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm rubbish at memory

Sorry for not blogging yesterday, but I was hanging out with my imminently China-bound brother. If it's any comfort, we did spend the time productively, including thinking up an advertising campaign for a beer targeted at sissies.

However, I'd set aside today for some more long-distance memorising training, but I just haven't been in the mood to do anything. I've had a sore throat for the last three days, and I feel fed up. And also, I think some books I ordered from Amazon have got lost in the post. It never rains but it pours. But never mind, I'll spend some evenings this week doing nothing but memorising stuff, just to get me more in the mood...