Wednesday, 19 December 2007
I hope you all have a good Christmas as well - and if celebrating Christmas is not for you, please accept my good wishes nevertheless. And for everyone - have a great year in 2008, I hope it will prove to be a successful, peaceful and enjoyable one.
On the bridge front ... well, the lists are up to tell you which clubs are taking part in the January Simultaneous Pairs and as soon as I get back I will be inviting entries for the WBF Charity Pairs which is in aid of UNICEF this year - the Children's Charity, so I hope you will be able to join us for that.
But for now - I just wish you all peace and tranquillity, whatever you are doing over Christmas and the New Year - have a great time !
Thursday, 22 November 2007
It has been a frantic month, what with that, and getting all the information together about Beijing 2008 and the World Mind Sport Games.
Add to that extra bits to do with the Laws, lots of work on the EBU site, getting information ready for publication in the new WBF Directory, to say nothing of preparing for the EBL sims, sending out the mailshot for all next year's sims to the clubs, sending out the January Sims material and (well in a day or two) sending out the results from the Autumn BGB Sims ... with apologies for lateness, you can see why I am feeling positively breathless ! And looking forward to a nice break over Christmas!
But before that I need to get the BGB April Sims material typeset as well as the EBU May Sims stuff ... and get the July one off to the commentators and organise things for the Autumn ones ... one long cycle of events and you have to keep on top of it or it is a major "firefighting" exercise!
There isn't much direct news really, but I just wanted to stay in touch via this blog so you don't forget to come back and look occasionally you see !
A quick mention for my American friends who celebrate Thanksgiving today - I hope you have a great day ... and to my special Scottish friends who will be celebrating St Andrew's Day shortly - I hope you like our St Andrew's day cat, devised especially for you.
Until the next time ....
Monday, 29 October 2007
Last Monday Mark went into hospital for the day and had his gall bladder out (together with some very large gall stones !) and he is making a good recovery, though still suffering a bit as a result of the anaesthetic ... before he went in, we had a lovely weekend pottering around and taking photographs, with the colours and light really starting to tell us that autumn is well and truly here. Thought you might like this one, just to show how pretty it is round here!
As for me and the bridge stuff - well, I have been getting the results of the EBU Autumn Sim ready to post -they will be going to the post office this afternoon at last. The BGB one is having the frequencies checked at the moment then I will finalise that and, of course, we are gearing up for the Children in Need event - click here for more details of that and click here for lists of clubs playing in the event. Do join us if you can and help us raise lots of lovely money for the charity - we sent them over £53,000 last year and it would be wonderful to beat that in 2007. If you can't join us but would like to make a donation - well that would be wonderful. Just click here and it will tell you how !
Then once that is over there is the European Simultaneous Pairs on Monday 26 and Wednesday 28 November - all the material for that is sent by email, and if you would like to join us - well that would be great - just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can sort it out for you! By which time it will be time to pack up and send out the next BGB Event - the January Pairs ! Arrrrggghhh!
And in the meantime I really (really) need to get the entry forms out for 2008 - they are nearly ready to print so I hope to get that going in the next few days!
The EBU site has now got its complete calendars up for 2008 - do let me know if you spot an error won't you, or if you want your county event included, drop me an email. Club events can go on the club events page, so if you have an open event, again, let me know and I will try and sort it out for you.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Carol is double checking the minutes from this mornings meeting - and you should watch this space for exciting news about the junior events in Beijing next year! Christine is sorting out her last bits and pieces and we are all cutting CDs and DVDs of the data we have accumlated on our laptops so that it is all backed up in case of disaster - then we will give them to each other for safety (how paranoid can you get !)
Goodbyes are being said, as we all prepare to go our separate ways. Few of us will meet again until next year in Beijing, which makes these annual events extra special. Love is being sent to the ones who didn't make it this year for various reasons, boxes of material are being packed up ... how on earth did we fit it all in to get it here ? There is always so much more to take home, despite using up lots of consumables !
Then it will be time to go up to the room, open my suitcase and hurl everything into it - after all, packing to go home is just target practice ! Though why on earth packing clothes to go home should always seem to take up more space is also totally beyond me. Life is, indeed, full of mystery.
Tonight is the Victory Banquet, when we celebrate the achievements of the winners, relax with friends over a dinner, and - I am told - watch and enjoy a show, so that should be great fun. Not that I want to be too late, as I have to catch a shuttle to the airport at 06.00 tomorrow morning - yuk ! My flight is at 10.55 and I land at 4.15 ... please don't expect me to be in the office on Monday though. Sleep is top of my list of priorities (after cuddling family and cats of course !)
So - as in the title (thanks Douglas Adams !) ... so long and thanks for all the fish - thank you for reading my blogs, and I hope you have enjoyed them. And I will be back with more in due course ...
Friday, 12 October 2007
Today has seen the 2007 Laws adopted by the WBF Executive Council, and they are posted on my website for download, translation and adoption by the Zones. I will be emailing out very shortly to tell all the NBOs, Zones, TDs and Press about it ... it has been the culmination of 5 years work by a great sub committee, all of whom are very relieved and are wandering around looking relaxed!
We are all looking with some dismay at the amount of material we have to get home with us - many of the people here have been shopping to good effect, and have quite a bit of extra baggage. Mine was very overweight on the way here, but I haven't been near a shop, being a good girl, so if I can disgorge some of the non-essentials like the shampoo, I may get near the 23 kilos I am meant to have!
The Championships are all winding down - we are busy checking to see who will become World Grand Masters at the end ... looks as though there will be one or two, but of course it depends on who wins! You can only become a World Grand Master if you have a) 10 placing points - very hard to come by - AND b) have actually won a World Championship.
Poor Carol has been in meetings again today - the final council meetings, where they deal with the reports from all the committees and things like that, and make plans for the future. Beijing is going to be really (really) exciting next year, so watch this space for more information and all the details!
And now it is just one more day - I fly home on Sunday, and Mark is going to meet me at the airport and take me home, to my fabulous family, to my extended family (Mark's sons), my cats, the railway station and my own bed! And to my relief I have heard from my younger daughter who has got to Lima safely AND found an internet connection which is marvellous! Tomorrow will undoubtedly be extremely hectic, with all the final last minute things, the packing up and so forth, so if you don't hear from me ... I will be in touch again when I get back to England, home and beauty !!
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
But it has been a good day for getting things done. You may have seen the picture of the Laws Drafting Sub Committee in today's bulletin, relaxing after a job well done. It has been a long hard slog for them to get the draft done and they certainly deserved the celebration !
The day went quickly - the last bits of the laws printed off for the final final proofread, the transnational teams checked, the start of the arrangements for the Victory Banquet, plus sundry other bits and pieces. A working lunch with Anna Maria Torlontano, working on Women's Committee things - there is a new project afoot for a WBF / BBO Women's Festival to be held next April which should be excellent fun, so watch this space for more information as it becomes available.
I am told that the bridge is quite exciting too !!! After the fall of mighty Italy, everyone is watching the South African team of course to see how they fare in the semi finals. We got 148 teams in the transnational in the end - what you might call a goodly number ! They are all battling it out now - when you go down between sessions the noise is just unbelievable mainly because the halls are all marble so the echo is incredible! I am just grateful that it is 2 floors down - I remember in Istanbul the playing rooms were right outside our office and every time the players came out we were nearly deafened by the noise.
There are lots of meetings going on with IMSA (International Mind Sports Association) to set up the World Mind Sport Games in Beijing next year - poor Carol has had the joy of taking the minutes at those ! And Christine has been going nearly demented sorting out the entry fees for the Transnationals and the payments to all the staff, the per diems etc.
So - now it is time to go and find some Appeals Committee members who may be needed for an Appeal, then I am going to call it quits for the day - it is 7.20 pm and I have had enough for one day
I have been online (thank you MSN) to Mark in the office, and as he has installed a webcam there, have been able to watch him at work, and also see my daughter, Vickie, who is busy packing up the CiN material ready to post when the post office will accept it. My younger daughter flew off on her adventures (see an earlier blog for more detail) at some "oh-mi-god" o'clock this morning, lucky girl! and I am going to have a little brag about my granddaughter, Jasmine who has just won the Year 7 cup for Maths at her school :-) Heaven knows where she gets it from - it certainly doesn't come from me !!
more tomorrow ... hope I am not boring you !!
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
The wind has died down and the sun even came out for a while I am told ! I have been hiding behind my i-tunes to such good effect, I don't even know what has been going on in the bridge ! No doubt you can find that out by going to all the links and looking at the results and Vu Graph and things like that. And there are bulletins to read as well, with lots of the hands being reported.
So, not much news today - will try and do better tomorrow !
Monday, 8 October 2007
Beside us is the WBF Meeting room, set up boardroom style, where the main Meetings are held, including the Meetings of the WBF Executive Council. It has the comfiest chairs in the building, and is really a very imposing room, with a massive oval table with a hole in the middle to put projectors on for presentations and things .
Next to that is the duplication room – now, I am sure that some of you will deal the boards for your clubs using the duplimate machines – spare a thought for the team doing it here in Shanghai – they are pictured here with some of the hundreds of boards that they deal again and again. The hands played in the events are, of course all the same and during the fortnight this team will deal a staggering 40,200 boards!
On the other side of the corridor is the Main Office, where the photocopying of the hand records is done, and where the Operations Director, Maurizio Di Sacco has his office. Next up is the IT department, full of boxes of equipment (mostly empty at the moment) and there are a couple of desks set up there with computers for use by committee members.
The final room on "our" corridor is the bulletin room, where the editors try and convince me that they are slaving away all day and deserving of my deep sympathy! They do a great job on the bulletin though, as I am sure you know from reading it each day!
Across the way – over on the other side of the main corridor is the Vu Graph room and the filming studio, and I posted a picture of that early on in these blogs. Next to it is the Press room where all the members foregather to write and send their articles. Behind that is a small meeting room that is used for Appeals and sub committee meetings. And that's about it really for the offices – in some ways we could do with a bit more space – another couple of meeting rooms would be useful, but we manage OK !
The Vu graph theatre is also on this floor, and is packed for every session ! The computer championships is being played up on the 5th floor (we are on the 3rd floor) and the main playing rooms are all downstairs on the ground floor. However, the semi finals have been moved up to the 5th floor to permit the Transnational open teams to take up all the space on the ground floor – it is going to be a bit of a squeeze as at the moment we are expecting some 150 teams!
It has been the most chaotic afternoon, with teams registering left right and centre, changing their team members – which sometimes changes the amount they have to pay – but, we have got there. It is about to start !! And that is my work done for today … phew – I am exhausted !!
Sunday, 7 October 2007
The days are long – I am generally in the office by about 8 or 8.30, finishing around 7.30 or 8 in the evening, sometimes a bit earlier but not a lot. So that in itself is tiring.
Here there is no chance of going out for a breath of fresh air – it is hot and sticky outside, not fresh at all, and the pollution is … well, let's just say that fresh it isn't ! And I am a country girl at heart – I am lucky enough to live in the country in England, in a village, but behind the station (I live in a Railway Station in case you didn't know!) there are trees and the river and lovely wildlife and I am missing it dreadfully ! It isn't helped by Mark not being here with me, by knowing that my daughter Vick is going to be at home packing up the Children in Need material and I am not there to help and – most difficult of all in many ways – knowing that my younger daughter, Catherine is about to leave for a year to travel through South America, New Zealand and South East Asia with "her" Mark (all these Mark's get very confusing). So … mid term blues! And in the words of the song … "I wanna go home" !!
Anyway, today is a "Transnational" day, when the teams who have not qualified will make themselves into new teams to play in the new event, and will come to register ready to start play tomorrow, so it is busy busy busy and the office will be buzzing all day – which is why I am actually writing this first thing, although I won't post it until the end of the day in case there is any extra news.
And there isn't much really ! The quarter finals are under way and, as I guessed, the transnationals have kept me very busy – I have been preparing invoices, checking the numbers of teams and the names and things, and Christine has been dealing with the finances.
And the day has run away with me as usual, and it is time for me to close down and go and find some dinner … then to bed and back to the fray tomorrow ! Hopefully the blues will start to turn rosy pink as we get closer to the end :-)
Saturday, 6 October 2007
It's been quite a reasonable day for me, sorting out Transnational entries as teams realise they will not be playing in the Knock out stages, finding some pictures of Beijing for the Bulletin, to tell the world about the World Mind Sport Games next year, printing up some more documents for the Laws Committee and generally dealing with various bits and bobs as they came up.
Seems we are in for a typhoon either tonight or tomorrow morning, so that will be an interesting experience. The local organisers don't think it will disrupt play but it may not be too good for the Grand Prix tomorrow ! Looks like the drivers are in for very wet conditions!
Don't forget to go to the page of links on the site to find out all about this tournament will you - you can get all the convention cards of the players and see what systems they are playing as well if you are interested.
Tonight I am off out for a birthday party, and the Birthday Girl (Adele Wignall from New Zealand) has expressed a strong wish to eat Peking Duck, so we have found a nice restaurant and will be off there shortly. Now it is time to try and phone my daughter - thank goodness for VOIP! and then close the computer down so it can cool off and be ready for me tomorrow.
Friday, 5 October 2007
I left you last night to head for the WBF President's Dinner - and it was such a great evening ! Here is a picture of José Damiani - the President of the World Bridge Federation.
The atmosphere was far more relaxed than it has been at some of these events in the past, and it really turned into a good party - one where it seemed that everyone really enjoyed themselves. The dinner itself was delicious, and my table companions delightful, so a good time was certainly had.
There were a number of presentations of WBF Awards made at the beginning of the evening, then Bill "Kojak" Schoder played the piano for us for a while - for those of you who don't know, Kojak was Chief Tournament Director of the WBF for years and is much loved. Max Bavin (Chief TD of the EBU) is now Chief TD of the WBF and led his team to stand with Kojak - it was a wonderful moment !
Today started with a meeting of the WBF Women's Committee ... I am Secretary to the Committee so need to attend, and that took up a big chunk of my morning, followed by sorting out a few bits and pieces for the bulletin. There was a big meeting of IMSA today (International Mind Sports Association), and so I got invited to their lunch, which was nice.
This afternoon has kind of vanished, strange really as I don't feel I have done very much yet I have actually been hammering away at my computer the whole time so I guess I must have done something ! Quite a lot of time was devoted to the new Laws, getting the latest set of files into order ready for the Executive (that necessitated putting the headphones on and shutting the world out!)
Now, it is time to head out for dinner and (hopefully) an early night to be ready for the fray tomorrow !
Thursday, 4 October 2007
The pace this afternoon didn't let up either, with designing posters for the President's Dinner this evening to tell people where to go, plus I was interviewed on Vu-Graph by Jean Paul Meyer - a very nerve-wracking experience let me tell you ... I am unused to being in the public eye like that ... normally I am just behind a computer screen :-) Then there was the President's speech to be typed and corrected ready for him to deliver this evening.
I left you last night to go out for dinner with two members of the Australian Open team - we had a lovely evening, at a Japanese Restaurant. I don't "do" sashimi, but the food we ordered was delicious - some super beef, savoury noodles to die for, vegetable tempura ... all sorts of yummy things !
And tonight I leave you to go and change ready for the President's dinner, always a great occasion and one I really look forward to. I will tell you about it tomorrow :-)
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Then there was my normal daily clutch of emails to be attended to, together with a whole raft of documents about the new laws which had to be sorted, saved, converted and printed - a job requiring high concentration so I put the headphones on and disappeared into my i-tunes ! Next job up was sorting out the transnational teams - we have 125 teams at the moment and rising, so it is a matter of checking them into the database and hoping there are no duplicates by mistake! then all the printouts have to be done, so that the people at the registration desk can do their job properly.
Managed to escape for a quick lunch and a whistle stop walk round the hotel to take a few photos - there are too many to upload here so if you want to see them, click here. Didn't stay out too long though - it is HOT out there !!!
Then back into the lovely air conditioning and off into to the playing area to try and find someone to arrange a meeting (failed miserably). However, I did meet up with friends from South Africa and had a nice natter with them. Back up to the office to get going with the report I have to do but was called into an appeal to give some information to the Committee which took an age .
And suddenly it is 19.30 and I haven't done half the things I set out to do today! So I guess it is an early start for me tomorrow :-) ... time to wander down to meet friends for dinner.
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
We made it safely to the restaurant which was in one of the old buildings and is used for private parties. And the food started coming - I have never seen so many courses ! There was something for most tastes, and it was a real challenge to try them all. I found that I really don't particularly like jellyfish ... it had been (I think) fried, and was kind of like a solid crunchy but nevertheless jelly-like texture - I can't describe it better than that. I bottled out on the sea-cucumber, but tried most of the other dishes. Some I liked better than others, but there were some really fabulous ones among them. The slow cooked pork was memorable and the braised beef nothing short of magnificent. I was surprised to find foie gras and caviar (not togther - as separate dishes!) on the menu and I have no idea what variety of mushrooms we ate but they were excellent. There were some amazing vegetable dishes including one of the smallest peas (or maybe a variety of bean) that I have ever seen and were quite stunning! I discovered that I can live without ever eating Lotus again, and the shrimps with ginko aren't very interesting unless you dip them in the vinegar/soy dipping sauce. The company was fun and it was a great evening.
This morning started with reading the bulletin as normal, but it was full of bridge hands so I didn't linger over long with it !! Then there were some reports to type up and get ready for the WBF Women's Committee Meeting which is on Friday, then a report to write for the Executive Committee about the World Wide Bridge Contest (by the way, don't forget to come and play in that next year will you !!)
Monday, 1 October 2007
As far as I can tell, play is going smoothly - we are on the 3rd floor of the conference centre and play is on the ground floor - you can't even hear the hum of noise when the players start to come as we are quite isolated up here. The Bulletin room is opposite the office, with the editors coming and going, but the Press room is across the corridor and we don't even hear them ! We are kept well supplied with coffee by the organisation - I am going to be bouncing off the walls tonight I think, I have drunk so much caffeine !
Last night I worked late, helping with the bulletin, but after that I went with one of the Tournament Directors up to the Moon Bar, which is fabulous with great views over the river, where you can see the lights of Shanghai - it was beautiful and we sat up there with friends and took it all in. Tonight I have been invited to dinner with the President of the Zone 6 Bridge Federation and am really looking forward to that.
Tomorrow I will try and get out and about with the camera a little bit, if I have time.
Sunday, 30 September 2007
Saturday, 29 September 2007
Friday, 28 September 2007
Tomorrow things get going in earnest, with the Captains' Meeting and then the Opening Ceremony in the evening ... then an early night for everyone ready for the start of play on Sunday morning.
On a personal note, we discovered a great Korean restaurant last night and enjoyed beef with noodles and some fantastic chicken soup with ginseng! It was a fun evening – a massive building, the first four floors filled with shops then the next six (yes six) floors just of restaurants ! I have never seen so many restaurants in one place – something for every taste, and it was really hard to choose between them.
This is a photograph of the Huang Po River taken from my bedroom window at dawn … just to show you a bit of Shanghai !
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
I am going to try and post a blog on a regular basis, to try and give you some idea of what it is like "behind the scenes" at one of these events - so watch this space. I will take some pictures and post them as well, and hope you will find it interesting.
Today, we have had brief look round the Convention centre - which is enormous, and some initial plans are being made by the technical team for the exact layout of the rooms and offices. Tomorrow will be the major day for those decisions and for starting to get to work in readiness for the arrival of the various teams of people who will be working here - the Tournament Directors, the Scoring Team, the Bulletin Editors and of course the Secretariat (well, we are here already!) and later on the Press and Media.
I have seen an army of helpers already packing the hospitality bags - all the participants get one of those - and they will soon start filling the empty rooms with tables and screens, computers and technical equipment, bidding boxes, bidding trays and all the attendant paraphernalia needed for a World Championship
The WBF Executive are also arriving in readiness for their meetings and I have spotted the first of the participating teams coming to get acclimatised and over their jet lag before play starts on Sunday.
It is all quite quiet and empty at the moment, but it will soon start buzzing! And I will try and keep up with the atmosphere and the excitement for you ... hope you will find it interesting!
Friday, 31 August 2007
So what news on the bridge front ? Well, the system cards have all been filed for Shanghai - you can find them here if you are interested in seeing what the top players are playing this year. I am not quite at the stage of packing a suitcase, but I am certainly thinking carefully about what I am going to take especially in terms of the technical stuff!
And we are also looking foward to Beijing of course, in October 2008 (I can't wait !) ... I have just put up a press release about that - click here to read it. And click here to read the other Press Release about FISU (been a busy day today !)
Not long now to the EBU Simultaneous Pairs - Monday 17 & Tuesday 18 September. Club lists are up if you want them - just click here to find them. And the material has just been sent out for the BGB Autumn Pairs on 10th & 11th October. Club lists for that will go up in due course.
Our annual ECatsBridge Simultaneous Pairs for Children in Need is fast approaching - the dates are Friday 9th, then Monday - Thursday 12th - 15th November ... different hands each night of course (I must be barmy!). Last year we raised a staggering £53,567.35 - that's $107,975.09 which is amazing - aren't you bridge players just fantastic ! I wonder if we can beat that this year. If your club wants to enter, do email me and let me know - we would love to have you join us! Details of the event are here
That's about it for now - watch this space though for future blogs!
all the best to all of you
Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Don't forget you can enter the transnational Open Teams - such a great event and wow ! you get to see Shanghai as well as play bridge in a fantastic tournament. AND you get to see some of the great players in action in the final stages of the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and Seniors Bowl. All very exciting ! Have a look at the ECatsBridge website for more information about this.
More local (and much sooner!) don't forget the English Bridge Union Brighton Congress - it starts on 10 August, but there is still time to book in. Click here for more information about that one.
Don't forget the next Green Pointed Sims will be the EBU Autumn Pairs on Monday 17 & Tuesday 18 September ... just get in touch if you haven't entered and would like to ... details are here
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
And I had a reminder about another wet summer yesterday when a very old friend, Tony Sowter emailed me telling me he has set up his own website. Tony is/was an international player of some repute, winning the European Championships back in Killarney in Ireland, playing with Roman Smolski .. all too many years ago but what a fun Championship that was! But I think it rained every day - soft Irish rain, but no less wet for all that!
But anyway, to bridge and more work related matters ... we are really starting to "ramp up" towards Shanghai and the World Championships, and the lists of teams, although incomplete as yet, is up on the site - click here to get to them.
The European Championships have come and gone and were, I gather, very successful - I wasn't their myself, but am meeting friends who were at the weekend so am looking forward to hearing all about them. You can find all the bulletins and results etc on the official event site of course. Congratulations to the teams and pairs who were "on the podium" - a full list of them can be found in the final bulletin.
And next week sees the start of the European Youth Championships in Jesolo, Italy, so for the youngsters and young at heart among you, take a look at the official event site for that as well and see how the Junior, Schools and Girls teams get on.
Simultaneous Pairs - well the BGB Summer Pairs is at the end of the month, and I will be putting up lists of competing clubs in a day or two so you can try and find one to play at if your own club isn't running it. Remember, it is green pointed, so well worth entering !
So - wherever you are have a great summer. And if you have been on holiday I hope it was as good as mine, and if you are going on holiday I hope it will be as good as mine !! But's let's hope for a bit of sunshine wherever and whatever you are doing.
Friday, 1 June 2007
As I write this, the first clubs are uploading results from the World Wide Bridge Contest - it seems a long time ago that my daughter and granddaughter came over to help me pack up the last of the booklets ready to send out and I took this picture of them in the office. I do hope those of you play in the event enjoy it - and the excellent commentary by Eric Kokish! Click here for the results pages.
The European Open Championships start soon, in Antalya - all the information is on the EBL site, which will also have the results and bulletins once it all gets going. Vu-Graph will be broadcast live on BBO as well of course!
Now it is probably time to take a deep (very deep) breath and start looking forward to the World Championships in Shanghai - there is more information on the website - including the Conditions of Contest - so click here to go to the relevant pages. Do join us for the Transnational Teams if you can - it is such a great event and I am sure you would love it. And you get the chance to enjoy all the fun and excitement of the final stages of the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and Seniors Bowl!
The BGB and EBU Spring Pairs have come and gone, and we are now looking forward to the BGB Summer Pairs at the end of July - but there are also the Bill Hughes and Kidney Research events in between. So if your club isn't yet entered and wants to be, click the links and you will see what to do ! Overseas clubs are welcome to join in these events if they wish ... the more the merrier.
So - back to work ... time to typset the Children in Need booklets I guess. It never stops !!
Friday, 4 May 2007
I knew Jimmie in the days of the British Bridge League, when he captained the British Women's Team, leading them to success and gold medals. My job was to make all the travel arrangements, book the hotels, and generally sort out the logistics of getting everyone to where they had to be at the right time, so I got to know Jimmie and his lovely wife Jill, quite well as a result !
I know you will all want to join me in sending our heartfelt sympathy to Jill and to Jimmie's family. You can read a full obituary on the EBU website
Friday, 13 April 2007
Then came Tuesday and back to earth with a thump !
Wednesday saw the first of three BGB Simultaneous Pairs and the results have been rushing in as clubs upload to the servers. Nice that they are all in London now (we wave to them when we go past Canary Wharf) - it makes it much quieter in the office without them and we don't have to panic every time there is a thunderstorm, worrying about the power going off! Living in the country is great but it does have the occasional drawback - I remember running a big sim and having the local farmer put his digger through the mains!!
The EBU Simultaneous Pairs material has now been dispatched and I have a reminder pinging me to put the club lists up, which I will try and do on Monday if not this evening.
The first batch of World Wide packages have left here, and we have more to pack on Monday - bless her, my other daughter, Vickie has said she will come and give me a hand which is great because she will bring Jasmine, my granddaughter with her so I can spoil her !
The master points from the Charity Challenge will go out after the weekend - sorry for the delay on that but what with Easter and everything else it has taken a bit longer than I would have liked. The master point list is on the website if you want to see how many you earned.
If your club wants to enter the World Wide, do email me, because we would love to have your company, wherever you are on the planet :-)
We are also starting to work towards Shanghai and the World Championships in September - there is lots of information on the website about that - click here to go to it. I will let you know when I put new stuff up - there is bound to be lots coming through as we get nearer to the event. And remember that there is the World Transnational Open Teams Championship in the 2nd week - anyone in good standing with their Federation can play in this, and I have some pretty leaflets about it, so if you want one, email me and I will pop it in the post for you. It is a marvellous event and you get to enjoy the final stages of the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and Seniors Bowl as well, with all the tensions and excitement that is created by that. Enormous fun - truly. And Shanghai as well ... all that shopping ! I can't wait !! Mind you, I will be working there, not playing bridge, but it will still be enormous fun I know.
That's it for now ... look after yourselves !
Wednesday, 21 March 2007
It is such a fun event to enter - watching the results coming in from all over the world is really exciting, and I can tell you that Eric Kokish has done his usual wonderful job with the commentary which is really entertaining and interesting! Do join us if you can - we would love to have your company ! Click here for more information about the whole event and to find out how easy it is to run a heat.
What else - well, all is in place for the BGB Sims on 11, 12 and 13 April (Friday 13th must be lucky for someone !) ... the club lists are on the website (click here) so you can look for the club nearest you to play at. Again, a fun and enjoyable event, so do try and find a heat to play at. We can take late entries, up to 2 days before each of the events, so if your club decides to hold a last minute heat we will do our best to help.
On the home front, we are enjoying some glorious spring weather and the cats are moaning less which is always good news - though I have a feeling that we will soon be seeing the baby bunnies being brought in ... always a drawback with cats I am afraid. The garden is springing into life though, and shaking off the winter browns and greys. I have been inspired into some eastern mediterranean cooking with lovely Ras-el-Hanout spice mix which went down well!
And my spare time this week is being spent helping my daughter with her dancing school - they do an annual show, this year with 129 children in it, and I get brought in as a licenced chaperone to help backstage! My 12 year old granddaughter is in the production, so I get to be in her dressing room which is great fun. And on Friday I will be going to see the show so I am really looking forward to that.
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
On the bridge front, it is the usual scramble to get the files to the printers for the World Wide booklets - don't forget to enter that will you ? All the details are on the website - just click here for the information. It is such a fun event, with clubs from all over the world competing - so your scores are compared with players from New Zealand to Alaska. We love watching the results coming in as the world spins and the time zones change - it is really exciting, even after doing it so many times!
Have you got - or has your club or organisation got - a bridge related website ? If so, do make sure it is linked from our site. Just click here and you can a) check and b) enter it yourself if it isn't there. And when I see it come through I will make it live - have to do that or some dear soul will put something up that is totally unsuitable !
So what else - well, we are really getting our fish tank going ! It is tropical freshwater, and we have some zebra danios, neon tetras, glass catfish, honey gouramis, a couple of khouli loaches (which we never see!) and two adorable, very busy little corys! And don't let's forget the two angel fish - small ones or they might eat the tetras. It is such fun .. it is a 300 litre tank so there is plenty of room for some additions as time goes by.
It is going to be a very hectic and social week, culminating with Oliver's birthday celebration on Friday (Oliver is Mark's younger son). I have agreed to do a Chinese feast for 10 - I normally do about 10 different dishes, including lemon chicken, Szechuan Prawns, sizzling beef, Kung Po Chicken and I try and do a completely new dish each time to add to my repetoire. I LOVE cooking - my major relaxation at the end of a day.
Monday, 5 March 2007
And to remind you about the EBL Open Championships in Antalya - don't leave it too late to book will you ? Click here for information about that ...
The sun has been shining, the birds singing and the daffodils dancing today - most unfair as it poured with rain all day yesterday (Sunday), and I have had to sit and watch it out of the office window today instead of enjoying it in the garden or something. Ho hum. Never mind, another time. And at least it is 5 o'clock now, so nearly time to stop ...
Thursday, 1 March 2007
We have sent out all the material for the April Sims - the Wednesday and Friday sackloads (28 of them) went last week, and another 13 sacks will leave here tomorrow containing the Thursday packs. And I can tell you I will be very glad to see the back of them ! My ex-husband used to reckon that if he nailed a matchbox in the middle of an empty floor I would trip over it, so you can imagine how I am with a hall full of sacks ! The only thing is ... the travellers for the EBU May event arrive next week, so there will be a whole set of new boxes just lying in wait for me. Ho hum !
By the way - speaking of Sims - the club list for the Charity Challenge Pairs is up, so do try and find somewhere to play... Action Medical Research is such a good cause and we would like to raise lots and lots of lovely money for them.
So what is new in the bridge world - well, I have been asked to tell you about the Estoril Bridge Festival in April - this is an excellent event I am told, so you might want to have a look at the brochure - click here to go to it. And don't forget that if you go to our Events pages there are lots of different tournaments etc that you might want to play in - or perhaps you would like to add your own event ? You can see the link on that page so that you can do it yourself!
One thing I did get a chance to do over the weekend (before I succumbed to that totally uncalledfor bug that attacked me) was to add to our pages about the ECats Cats - you see EMale now has a friend in South Africa, who is trying to persuade him to learn bridge (yes, OK, I know -we are not the sanest people here at the Railway Station, but hey - life is for having fun and enjoying !). Click here to find out more about Emale and sevenlives!
Now it is the end of the day, lots of plants have arrived for our splendid new tropical fish tank, and I am off to help Mark plant them! Pictures will be forthcoming in due course.
Happy March days !
Friday, 16 February 2007
Mark has been doing some funky programming to make the sims stuff easier for me to use and I can't wait for that to be ready - he really is a star. And Emale has spent most of the week asleep on top of the radiator at the back of my desk (or in my bed when he thinks he can get away with it!)
It has been fun on the home front though ! We have been decorating our hall way, which runs the whole length of the station, and the carpet is now fitted and the new bookshelves delivered, and very nice they look too. Not only that but we have also had a lovely new sideboard in the dining room - solid oak and very heavy but it is great to have it and be able to store lots of bits and pieces at long last, instead of having them stashed in corners. Isn't it amazing how long it takes to get a place straight - we have been here for 12 years and we are still doing stuff !
The birds are all making spring type noises (did you know that people believed that birds chose their mates on 14 February ?!), and I have a couple of daffodils out which is ridiculously early.
And it is Friday which means I have the weekend to look forward to with my daughter and her husband coming over for dinner on Saturday which will be great.
Thursday, 8 February 2007
Anyway, that's not what I really wanted to tell you about today .. I have just been sending out information about the European Open Championships to be held in Antalya in June. And "open" in this case means anyone can play as long as they are approved by their own National Federation. It is being held at the World of Wonders resort and more information about the event itself, together with details of how to register, can be found on the EBL Website.
I have also been updating the pages about Shanghai and the World Championships in September - click here to see when the zonals are, which teams are going to play and even the first set of names! And don't forget - the World Transnational Teams is another Open event that everyone can play in provided they are approved by their Federation!
Now it is time to go and clear a bit of the platform area so I can feed the birds, then it is back to work on the EBU website which is my main "job of the day"
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
In the meantime I am busy getting the paperwork ready for the EBU Spring Sims and the World Wide Sims, as well as getting hands to the commentators for the EBU and BGB Autumn Sims, nagging the commentator for the Summer Sims, looking ahead to the Children in Need, tripping over the boxes of booklets for the Charity Challenge Sims, and waiting for the delivery of the booklets for the BGB Spring sims so I can trip over those as well!
Fortunately for me (and the family) none of this impinges on my kitchen, which is a Work Free Zone - I love cooking and it is the time of my day when I can relax and be creative ... seems I make a reasonable hash of it, as my friends like coming here to eat ! Last night it was honey & soy chicken parcels served with cardamom rice and stir-fried vegetables ... yummy.
So - back to the sims I guess ... ho hum !
Monday, 22 January 2007
Saturday, 20 January 2007
And a quiet Saturday seemed like a good time to start - I am not really working, just doing a bit of tidying up of the files on the computer, and getting rid of some rubbish, dealing a few sets of boards for Simultaneous Pairs, a job that always slugs the computer I do it on, and I thought - hey, why not, let's see what this blogging is all about!
I will use this blog to try and keep you informed of some of the things that are happening in the bridge world, but you may find it interspersed with rather more personal stuff, so if you find that boring ... well, don't read it !