Tuesday 15 September 2009

Home Safe .. normal service will be resumed shortly!

We are home safe ! The Championships rounded off with one of the best Victory Banquets ever, and we danced the night away with a great band playing many of the old favourites! Enormous fun...

Sunday was a loooooooong day, as we had to wait until 11.45 pm for our flight, which was on time thank goodness, and returned us safely to London where we landed at 3.15 and finally got back to our Railway Station around 6 pm. Time to unpack, have a glass of wine and a nice risotto and head for bed. Mark has woken with the "Championship Sore Throat" this morning. Every Championship produces some bug or other and this one is not nice ... even Mark Horton lost his voice for three days ! So I am expecting "my" Mark to be languishing for the rest of the week, and just keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get it. Anyway, I woke about 10.30 and am now going to try and catch up with my email etc.

And, of course, keep an eye on the EBU Simultaneous Pairs which is running today and tomorrow!

Watch this space for future blogs, won't you - not quite daily but I will try and update regularly!

Saturday 12 September 2009

all over bar the shouting

As I type this, USA 2 are 45 IMPs ahead with one board to play, so ... they have beaten Italy and won the Bermuda Bowl !

And that's it ... all over until next time !

It's been a great Championship - lots of exciting bridge or so they tell me .. I only watched the nail biting ending of the Seniors yesterday, and a few boards at the end of the Bermuda Bowl but I know a lot of people have had a great deal of enjoyment and excitement and that's brilliant!

Thank you to the many of you who have followed my blog ... don't forget me, as I will update it in future, not just at the Championships, so keep an eye out for future information.

Look after yourselves - we start the long journey back to England tomorrow and I will be in the office when I re-surface :-)

Goodbye, and, as they say ... thanks for all the fish


Friday 11 September 2009

oh fantastic

What a marvellous few moments :-)

The English Seniors team has just won the World Seniors Championship AND the Chinese Women's team has just won the Venice Cup ! How exciting is that ? Here are the Senior Team - from the left, David Price, Paul Hackett, Coli Simpson, Peter Baxter (NPC) Gunner Hallberg, John Holland and Ross Harper. What a great bunch of guys (and they were all very huggable tonight !)
The EBU Press Release about the team can be found by clicking here

I have just been drinking Champagne in the Press Room courtesy of Ross Harper (thank you so much Ross) .... it was great to see the English Seniors Win - David Price said that now he knows what it feels like he would like to do it again :-)

As for the Chinese Women's team - that is very special - they have been "up there" so many times and, indeed, lost to the English women by just 1 (yes ONE ) IMP last year in Beijing, but have never one a World Championship, so tonight's win creates four Grand Masters at a stroke and I am so very happy for them.

So ... just excellent. And we still have the Bermuda Bowl Final to be resolved ... all so exciting ... and Mark is better too, so life is good :-)

Thursday 10 September 2009

Getting there ...

Last night I was taken out to a Churrasco restaurant, which was really amazing - it was great fun and we had a lovely evening. Sadly Mark isn't very well, so didn't come with us - he is still in bed today, languishing which is a real shame but I am sure he will be OK tomorrow ..

This morning sees the last of the Executive Meetings, where they consider the minutes from all the committee meetings that have been held during the week. I have a meeting at 2 to look at a new bridge teaching site and consider how best to translate it to English and publish it, then "the boss" wants to go through some photographs with me, to choose some for a book about the WBF.

I suspect tonight will be a nice quiet one - maybe just room service - and an early night ! I could certainly do with one ...

Wednesday 9 September 2009

getting calmer

Mark made a video of the storm we had yesterday and has posted it on Youtube ... with apologies for the expletive in the middle!

Much quieter here today - no sun, but not raining either .

Had a meeting this morning about all the technical stuff for Philadelphia ... it is going to be a very big event indeed (do join us !) and will be brilliant, but it does mean that the technical side is going to be very complex without doubt. I have - like a good girl - typed up notes from the meeting, and now am waiting for another meetng, this time with Anna Maria Torlontano, Chairman of our Women's Committee, to make sure we know what we have to do when we get home! It is funny how it goes really ...you start a Championship and two and a half weeks loom ahead, so you seem to have masses of time to get things done, meetings held, decisions made. Then you get to this point, with just 3 days to go and starting thinking "oh ***** I haven't talked to xx about this", or discussed this point with members of that committee and so forth, and now everything goes into major panic mode !

We are delighted this year though - with the excellent organisation done by Ernesto d'Orsi, and the way the event is run, we don't have the responsibility for the Victory Banquet - everyone is invited, and all the teams and delegations have to do is to confirm to the Brazilian Hospitality team that they will be there. Such bliss after the normal hectic rush to get tickets out to the right people and so forth.

Carol and I have the task now of ensuring that all the documents from the meetings are put onto a memory stick for each member of the Executive - that's quite simple really but we still have a number to scan in, so I guess I had better go and get on with it !

More tomorrow ....

Tuesday 8 September 2009

A real doozy ...

of a storm is raging around us at the moment ... thunder, lightening and torrential rain! It looks like the middle of the night it is so dark ! I confess to loving storms and almost wish I could go out in it - would be drenched in seconds but it would be fun !

Anyway, we finally got the transnationals going last night, about 68 teams I believe, and the semi finals are safely under way as well, so the tension is building! All the sub committees are meeting this week, and we are getting to work on stuff for the next Championship - Philadelphia 2010. You can find information about it by clicking here

well, I started this early on today, but then got involved in doing other things - in the meantime the weather cleared and the sun almost came out but now we are having another torrential downpour - including INSIDE the corridor to our office !!

Not much else to say really - maybe something exciting will happen tomorrow :-)

Sunday 6 September 2009

sorry about yesterday ...

Yesterday started with a Women's Committee meeting - a very lively and enjoyable one - which I had to minute, then we plunged into registrations for the transnational teams, other reports to be checked and typed and somehow the dy just disappeared !! And today is going to be much the same I fear ... I am being asked to type reports and being bombarded with transnational registrations even as I type this - so it may be that you will not get a long blog today

In fact I am going to have to stop now and get on with things - sorry!

More tomorrow ....

Friday 4 September 2009

I spoke too soon !

Yesterday lunchtime it started to cloud over and the wind got up, then we had R A I N ! and parts of the city were flooded ! Seems we have the tail end of a hurricane passing us by - lightening and thunder in the evening, and the people who went to Iguazu for the day couldn't get back ... we are told that they flew in this morning and should be back at the hotel soon, but I haven't seen them yet.

The day continued to be quite quiet and peaceful, so we got quite a lot of work out of the way = and the draft timetable was sorted out for Philadelphia ... it should be approved at the meeting of the Executive today and then I will be able to publish it on the website for you. It is going to be an amazing set of Championships!

After lunch I sneaked off quietly for a while, and on switching on the TV in the room found that they were broadcasting Shaun the Sheep ! Well, it is fine in any language of course, and most entertaining, so I watched that for half an hour before returning to the computer, and it made a nice change.

Jean Paul Meyer, who is co-ordinator for the vu graph, asked me to go to be interviewed before the start of play in the evening, which was very nice of him. He asked me how long I had been working in International bridge, which was actually positively frightening ! The first Championship I was involved with was here in Sao Paulo - I didn't actually attend on that occasion, but my work with the British Bridge League had me dealing with all the hotel and flight reservations for our Women's Team who went on to win the Venice Cup - I remember staying up to get the results! It was my first "World Championship" and was really exciting. And that was backin 1985. Two years later, the British Open Team qualified to go to Jamaica for the Bermuda Bowl and on that occasion I went with the team - not to work, but as a supporter, and that is where I met Carol for the first time ... she was working as WBF Secretary, working with the then-President, Jaime Ortiz-Patino. And with two exceptions I have worked at every World Championship since!

Anywa - back to Brazil. Yesterday evening we were invited to a cocktail party given by Jerry Fleming, the President of the ACBL, which was most enjoyable ... talking to his wife we discovered that they live in New Mexico, and we recalled working at the Championships in Albuquerque, which was another really enjoyable one! Then we went up to the Piano Bar and joined Grattan for a while before retiring to bed, where we found that the film "The Queen" was on - one I hadn't seen, so we watched that before a good night's sleep.

Now I must do some work - another meeting will be starting very soon!

Thursday 3 September 2009

Another sunny one ...

I am seriously beginning to wonder if the weather ever changes ! It is another glorious day, hot and sunny ... and nice and peaceful as the Press have an outing to Guaraja (click the link to look at some pictures - it looks wonderful ...) and some of the Executive have gone off to Iguazu to see the waterfalls, so Carol and I are catching up with work in the quiet moments!

Last night we went to a cocktail party to celebrate the election of Gianarrigo as the new President, which was very enjoyable. Harvey went off to a typical Brazilian restaurant which he said was excellent - expensive and a complete meat-fest which he really enjoyed! We joined Christine and Carol in the bar for a sandwich which was all we wanted - there were lovely nibbly bits at the cocktail, and so a sandwich afterwards was just fine !

So - as I say, Carol and I are sitting quietly, she is sorting out the minutes and I am about to deal with entries for the transnational so that when the teams start getting knocked out of the round robin I am "ready to rock" and take their entries quickly ! We are also getting the adverts ready for Philadelphia next year .. note the dates, which are 1 - 16 October as that is going to be a fantastic event, with transnational championships in all series AND a regional running alongside!
Watch this space for more information about that, but do try and come if you can, it will be amazing and is open to everyone. It is YOUR chance to play in a world championship!

Now I guess I had better get on with some work - more updates tomorrow

Wednesday 2 September 2009

what a great evening we had !

The WBF Elections happened yesterday, and Gianarrigo Rona from Italy will be the new WBF President starting next year after the Championship in Philadelphia, so I am looking forward to working with him. There was a general feeling of relaxation now that is out of the way, and we were invited to a dinner given by Ernesto d'Orsi last night. We started with cocktails by the pool (and for once I was very good and kicked off with orange juice so felt very virtuous!). Then we moved in to the restaurant, where we joined with friends on an excellent table, so not only did we thoroughly enjoy the very good food and excellent wine, we had great company as well with Carol and her son Mark, Christine, Marina who is Gianarrigo's PA, Grattan Endicott, Max Bavin (Chief TD for the WBF) and Yashar and his wife - Yashar is curator of the card exhibiton that I told you about a few days ago.

We were really quite late to bed, and I must confess to some reluctance to getting up this morning ! But I duly struggled out of my "treacle well" ... Alice in Wonderland fans will understand that reference ... and down to breakfast. Then into my office where it has been a decidedly hectic morning, with emails flying in all directions, systems to change and post onto the website, photocopying to be done of documents for the Executive. arghhhhhhhhhhhh.

There is a helipad here, just off the hotel's mini golf course, and the helicopter has just flown in - it sounded as though it was going to land in this office it was so close! I wonder who it was!

There are some photos on my Facebook ... do have a look!

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Tuesday morning ...

Well, yesterday was nothing if not stressful for our IT Manager Harvey as the hotel lost the internet completely ! The frustrating thing was that it was totally outside his control - indeed it was outside the hotel's control as the Service Provider had managed to "lose" a 10M pipe ! The hotel has a backup solution, which gave us a very very very slow connection that limped us through the day, but poor Harvey was bombarded with questions everywhere he went! It finally got back up and running late last night thank goodness.

The meetings continue this morning, with, I am told a very long discussion on the By Laws and statutes of the WBF. Carol is taking the minutes and I really don't envy her that task. I don't seem to have stopped for breath all morning somehow, but it has been little fiddly things like trying to match up the stapler we have with the right sized staples ! We finally tracked some down, but it means a shopping trip for someone to get more ... funny how sometimes the little things prove so awkward. Then there were the systems to print for the teams playing on VuGraph, more to print for a pair that pre-registered one system and is now playing something completely different. Definately frowned upon that was ...

There was the projector and computer to set up for the video presentations in the Council Meeting room - Bernard Delange who does the vugraph presentation always has a projector and screen we can use, and Mark helped us get it all set up smoothly so that all Carol has to do is double click an icon to get it going when it is to be played. Seems such a simple thing, but it is surprising how long it takes

The nice things that make such a difference though are things like the free coffee machine and, of course, a water fountain that have been provided in our office - we really do appreciate that !

The sun is shining outside, and Mark managed to take a beer and relax by the pool for a while yesterday - not too long, he didn't want to fry ! But at least he got some time in the sun ... I must admit that as far as I am concerned it really is a bit too hot and I prefer to look out from the comfort of an airconditioned room. Sadly the only daylight in the office comes from skylights, and they are frosted glass, but in the mornings we can hear the bird song which is nice.

So ... now I had better get back to work. This evening we are invited to an official dinner given by Ernesto d'Orsi which should be great fun and we are really looking forward to it.

Oh - I almost forgot. Mark von Linstow took this picture at the Opening Ceremony showing the giant hands that I told you about in an earlier blog, so Ithought you would like to see it ... on stage are Jose Damiani - WBF President, and Ernesto d'Orsi, Zone 3 President and a Past President of the WBF (Jose is on the left)

More tomorrow ....