Friday, June 24, 2011

Mind sports!

I'm seriously tempted to go to the Stratego World Championships in Newcastle on August 3-7. This will only be possible if I've got any money left in the bank by that point (because that's well past the deadline of needing-to-get-a-job and I really don't want to run up too big a credit card bill before I even start job-hunting), so we'll just have to see how my many and varied sources of income in July pan out.

But it sounds like a great event, five days of different kinds of stratego in the company of board-game-weirdos like me! And although I'm a pretty poor player, and only a couple of the regular players are even nodding acquaintances of mine, they seem like a nice bunch. Facebook page here for anyone who might be interested.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately, I know how many devoted fans there are who hang on my every word. For an unemployed layabout, I've been surprisingly busy, and the next month is going to be even busier. Here's my schedule (I thought I should write it down here in case I forget something important):

Monday June 27th it's BBC Television Centre to film the pilot episode of their cool new show (that I'm not supposed to talk about until it's been on telly). I don't know why they're making a pilot when the series has already been commissioned, but the workings of television people are a mystery to me. I was just down there yesterday to see if I fit into the box that I'm going to be lying in for part of the show - tune in next month to see what I'm talking about.

For a couple of days in the first week of July I'm going back to my old job, probably, to show them how to do some things I didn't get round to leaving instructions for. I'm bad at writing instructions.

Sunday July 10th it's back to the BBC to film the first real episode of this exciting new show, which will be much the same as the pilot only bigger and better.

At some point in July my brother's coming back from China and staying with me.

July 15th I'm flying out to St Louis, for various scientific experiments and a public meeting where people will poke and prod my brain and see how it remembers things. Talking to a friend who lives around there this morning, he told me he'll be in Joplin on the 16th, but back in St Louis after that, and consequently I've been singing the Route 66 song all day. How do people live in places like that? Or do you develop an immunity to the song after a while? I suppose I don't constantly sing "Slow Train" despite growing up in Tumby Woodside...

I land back at Birmingham on the 20th and then immediately go on holiday for a week with some other friends in a big country house near... Ipswich? I must look it up.

Barely back home from that, it's the Cambridge Memory Championship, not in Cambridge, on the 30th.

And after that, I really need to get a new job. I've essentially completely run out of money at this point, but the various things above are giving me small amounts of money (except the holiday, which is already paid for; my brother, who normally has the decency to chip in for the food bill; and the memory championship, which will make only a small loss, I hope), enough to keep me gainfully unemployed for the month of July. There's also the possibility of a small amount of prize money from the TV show, but I'm not making any plans for that. I know my TV performances too well.

So between now and the end of June, I need to crack on with memory training (been doing quite a lot of speed practice but not enough marathons these last few weeks - I should be starting to do half-hour numbers, cards and binary in preparation for the German championship) and get to work churning out the memorisation papers for Cambridge (not Cambridge). I need to get the historic dates written about a month in advance so I can get them translated, and writing them is always a bit of a chore...