Friday, April 30, 2010

He's a Japanese boy

That was a fun afternoon's filming! My flat hasn't had so many visitors in all the time I've been living here - most TV documentaries in my extensive experience send a crew consisting of director, cameraman and sound man (either or both of these 'men' can be female, obviously, but 'cameraperson' just sounds silly), but Fuji TV had a team of eight charged with capturing evidence of my amazingness (it's a hard thing to track down and capture, I'll admit, so clearly we need as many people as possible working on it). There was the presenter of the show, the completely awesome Ken Mogi; a director, cameraman, sound man and producer; another (female) cameraman with a smaller camera; the British-based Japanese woman who's been making all the arrangements for schedules and things; and a driver who stayed in the van all afternoon. They all hung around the flat performing their various roles and giggling in Japanese about my untidiness (I happen to know that the Japanese word for 'pants' is 'pants', and since I had several pairs strewn about the floor of my bedroom that I somehow forgot about while tidying up yesterday, I could catch the gist of what they were giggling about).

But the filming was really awesome. The crew all already knew everything about memory techniques, competitions and all about me, so I didn't have to answer any of the usual boring questions, and I think I came across as quirky, eccentric and likeable as well as an amazing person who can remember cards. Mind you, I normally think I come across as a complete berk, only to be told that I wasn't that bad, so possibly I'm going to horrify and disgust the Japanese audience.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's a complicated business

There comes a time in everyone's life when you think to yourself "Right, that's got my flat clean enough that I won't be hideously embarrassed when the Japanese TV crew come round tomorrow, as long as they don't look in the spare bedroom or the bathroom... now I'd better get on with stapling all those memorising and recall papers together and putting them in big brown envelopes ready for Sunday." And then you generally think "You know, I haven't seen my stapler for a very long time. Not since this time last year, probably. I don't have much call for stapling in my general everyday life. Never mind, I'm sure I put it back in the top drawer of the desk in the spare room, with all my stationery."

Obviously, I didn't. And obviously, that means I dumped it on the floor of the spare room the last time I cleaned up my flat (about nine months ago, I think it was). And after that point, my brother left all his worldly posessions in my spare room when he went to live in China. And after that, I'd just dumped all the rubbish from the rest of my flat on top of the general pile in there. I clearly wasn't going to find the stapler without mounting the kind of expedition that would lose me for weeks and involve discovering whole new tribes and sharp pieces of glass. It's a shame, because it's a very groovy stapler, made of see-through plastic (I also own a very groovy phone, made of see-through plastic - got to be good looking 'cause they're so hard to see), but I'm sure I'll see it again some day. When I clean the spare room.

So, since I needed to go out and buy big brown envelopes, I bought a new stapler as well. You might say that this anecdote doesn't really merit a three-paragraph blog entry, especially one which only mentions in passing the clearly more interesting fact that Japanese TV are filming me tomorrow and doing no end of doubtless exciting things that I'm not telling my readers about, but hey, that's the way I do things. And I do love transparent plastic office supplies. If I get my own business some day, everything will be transparent!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Greatest advertising slogan I've ever heard

"We use real ingredients" - advert for Hellman's mayonnaise. That even beats that advert for some yoghurt or something that boasted that it only contained two ingredients.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An Unforgettable Winner

There's a transcript of a radio interview with me available on the internet, apparently recorded immediately after the world championship last year, in which I answer the usual range of questions for the benefit of Americans. The particularly interesting thing about it is that I have absolutely no memory whatsoever of doing this interview. I obviously did do it, because it's all exactly the kind of thing that I would say, and anyway who would want to make up an interview with me, but this is a fine example of how mentally drained I always am after a world memory championship. I'm fairly certain that these things aren't good for your memory.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cambridge draws nigh

I realise that I haven't blogged so much as a tweet (as the cool kids are saying nowadays) for the last couple of days, but I've been busy getting everything ready for the Cambridge championship... well, technically I've spent most of the weekend not getting ready for the Cambridge championship and feeling guilty about it, but that also takes up a lot of time. Procrastination is really hard work, I'm quite exhausted.

But I'll have it all done before Friday, when I have Japanese TV descending on me again to film me at work and at play. Then it's othello on the Saturday, and a day of exciting memory on the Sunday, all in the beautiful surroundings of Cambridge. I must admit that the interesting politics around here has been a big part of what's been distracting me this weekend - I've just been to the hustings down the road, which was really quite fun, with lots of interesting and occasionally childish bickering from all the candidates. They're all splendid people really, obviously. But Cambridge has already got a Lib Dem MP, so presumably it's now a super-safe seat, so there won't be any local fuss to distract me from running the competition. Or does it work the other way around, and all those students will be determined to vote against the established power and will be campaigning wildly for someone else outside the window? I don't really understand the whole concept of politics, so I wouldn't know. Anyway, I'm not blogging about it.