Monday, 19 December 2011
On the work front, all the "have to" jobs have been done so anything I do this week is a bonus for next year. Everything is in place for the BGB Simultaneous Pairs in January - the last BGG event I will be doing, and I am ready for the WBF/ECats Charity pairs at the end of January.
Admittedly there is quite a long list of "New Year" jobs, but I will come back refreshed after the break and really look forward to tackling them with zest !! I hope !!
So really what remains is to wish any of you reading this a very very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and (dare I wish it) Prosperous New Year.
love to you all
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
So - Children in Need - well, what a dream We - well - all you wonderful bridge players - have now raised over half a million for Children in Need over the past 10 years. How cool is that ! And it looks as though this year is going to be at least as good as last year ! We are still getting cheques in, and a lot of clubs haven't actually emailed to tell me how much they raised, so there are lots of nice suprises in the post. I am still staggered by some of the clubs - the Ace of Clubs for raising over £1,800, Adur Valley with over £1,600 and Summertown with over £1,100. But somehow singling those out seems a bit off, given how magnificently some of the other clubs rose to the challenge of fund raising - I just can thank you all enough.
We were fortunate enough to be sent tickets for the BBC show, which was enormous fun. They didn't present any of the cheques this year, which was a bit sad, but I am told that the ticker tape thanked the bridge players at one point. The show was great - we were a bit worried as there weren't any seats left, but in the end we stood very close to the stage and the four hours just flew past ... though I do admit that my feet were getting a little tired about 20 minutes from the end! Then we drove home in thick fog which wasn't so good - Mark insisted on doing all the driving which was magnificent of him, especially as we had to go via Felixstowe, adding an hour to the journey, to drop my daughter, Vickie back home, as she had to teach exam classes (ballet, tap and modern) at 10 on Saturday morning. She said her feet have only just recovered, but it was worth it as all her students passed their exam the following Monday :-).
Just waiting for a couple of queries on the scores to be answered then I will finalise it, do the master points and ... start looking forward to next year !
In quick succession that was followed by the European Sims, which is now over (master points to be sorted there too !) and now I am starting to gird my loins for the BGB Winter Pairs - the last BGB we will ever do !
The kittens settled in very quickly and are fun, naughty, affectionate and playful. the purrs start the moment they are picked up and they are deliberately naughty running into rooms they are not allowed in - the hall is one - and then lying down waiting to be picked up and cuddled. They have learnt that they are not allowed on the kitchen work surfaces which at least means they jump down in a hurry when we walk into the room :-). Our Maine Coon, Phercad, looks ENORMOUS beside them and they are still a bit wary, in an inquisitive way, when he is around. But his tail is a source of endless fascination. When he feels they are getting a bit uppity he hisses and they back off, but he is being very good with them, and just retreating with dignity when it all gets too much. Nimbus is the adventurous one, doesn't look before he leaps, which results in some embarrassing tumbles. Cirrus is far more serious, carefully judging the distance before jumping on something, and giving careful consideration to the world around him. They have their last injections on Thursday and then can be introduced to the big wide world outside the windows.Luckily we have a very safe back garden where they can explore to their hearts content ! And then we can get the litter tray out of the sitting room ... hurrah !!
so that's about it for now - hope you like the piccies of the kitties :-)
Friday, 28 October 2011
Tonight we are off out with friends from the Bulletin and Press Room for dinner at a local curry house - something of a tradition at these events.
We escaped for a brief while this morning - Marina (PA to the WBF President), Carol (Secretary to the WBF Executive Council), Sevinc (Member of the Executive Council) and I - to go to a shop in Veldhoven - a really amazing Garden Centre but the real reason for going there was their Christmas department which was just gorgeous. We all spent too much money on new decorations ready to be squirreled away for a month when we get home, before putting on our trees !
As for the bridge - well, it got pretty exciting yesterday with the semi finals, to the point where even I was watching the results coming through and I confess that is a rarity ! One of the matches was won by 0.3 IMP ... talk about close ! And a lot of the other matches were close as well. Now we just hope that the finals will be as good - it is quite sad when you have good semi finals and then the final turns out to be a big disappointment.
The duplication of the boards is done and dusted - can you believe, the team duplicated 50,052 boards over the two weeks!
The trophies are all here and polished, and looking splendid and ready for presentation on Saturday. Speeches are being written (oh I DO hope they keep them short !) and, of course, all the last minute things are being remembered that haven't been done during the week !
I am going home with a number of joyous tasks, like re-sectioning all the Conditions of Contest, setting up World Simultaneous Pairs to raise money for Junior Bridge (well that will be quite fun actually!), setting up contact lists for Junior Administrators, Tournament Directors and things like that. All interesting but time consuming.
And of course very soon after we get home we have the Children in Need Sims - fingers crossed lots of people come and play in that. I will get the club lists up as soon as I can once I get back !
Monday, 24 October 2011
Tonight I have a meeting with the Anti Doping Commission at 7.20 then we are going out for dinner with Marina and Carol, which is going to be good fun. Nice to get out and escape. The weather has been amazing - cold and sunny with over night frosts, but we have been able to wander down to the lake where there are enormous carp who come to be fed and a heron that watches all the time ... the autumn colours are just lovely so it has been a good way to relax after our brief lunch - a nice walk round the building to get some fresh air!
The venue has been buzzing today with the transnational teams flooding in - we are hoping for a record entry. That starts at 8.30 tonight after the end of the quarter finals. I bet the Tournament Directors aren't looking forward to getting it going but I am sure they will do a great job.
Now I need to go to the meeting so ...more another day. And I will try and take some pictures !!
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Then last night Mark and I were invited by the President to the Executive Dinner; sadly Mark wasn't well but I went along and it was a brilliant evening. I sat with Carol and Joan Gerard and Patrick Choy, and we had a DEEEEEEEEEElicious Italian dinner. Cippi Rona, the President's wife had selected the menu and wow was it good. Some lovely red wine made an evening to remember.
Today has been a day of bits and bobs, sorting out the Minutes from the Meetings of yesterday, writing a report for the Bulletin about one of them, sending out the duplimate files for the Children in Need Sims (well, starting to anyway ...). I had a long meeting with PO Sundelin about the WBF Convention Card and the layout of supplementary sheets, the Guide to Completion and things like that. And now Mark and Federica are editing the picture of the five Presidents so that it can be printed and framed for each of them to have a copy as Gianarrigo (the current WBF President) wants to give them as a present at tonight's Gala Dinner (which we are going to later). So now I must go and change ... more anon !
Monday, 17 October 2011
|The Presidents at the Opening - from the left: Bobby Wolff, José Damiani, the Magician /Compere, Jaime Ortiz-Patino, Gianarrigo Rona (the current WBF President) and Ernesto d'Orsi|
We went to the Opening Ceremony (of course) which was enormous fun. ... the Compere, or Master of Ceremonies, was a magician and was most entertaining as well as doing a great job of introducing the "speech makers" and the teams and then we had an amazing performance from magicians and illusionists MagicUnlimited ... they were excellent. At the end the Master of Ceremonies noted that no less than FIVE WBF Presidents were present and asked them to come to the stage for the raising of the WBF Flag and the playing of the WBF Anthem. You can see them all above ... a great occasion indeed.
|Mark, Bud Schoder, John & Adele Wignall|
It always takes a day or three to find ones way about in this sort of event, and this one is no exception - the convention centre is HUGE and we seem to walk miles to get anywhere, but it is all good exercise and means that you meet up with different people all the time which is great fun. Play is well under way and everything seems to be going smoothly.
|Adele Wignall, Beverley and Al Levy|
Anyway - hope you like the pictures ! And more before too long ... xxx
|Richard & Susie Grenside, Carol von Linstow, Mark and Adele Wignall|
|Bud Schoder, US Captain, Bill Schoder (WBF Chief TD Emeritus)|
Saturday, 15 October 2011
The office we are in could reasonably be described as enormous, with one wall being a massive window overlooking a grassed square with trees which is lovely. The sun is shining (long may it last!) and so I think all in all the working conditions are excellent. We have a water fountain, of course, and Lavazza coffee (thank you Madame Lavazza), so that is also good.There are plenty of offices available to us - something that doesn't always happen. Oh, and there is free wi-fi throughout the building, at very high speed, which is also a big bonus!
The playing rooms are brilliant as well - actually that is obviously the most important area, so it is good that they are brilliant! But I am sure all the players will enjoy them.
The teams have been arriving and checking in all day, and all seem to have arrived safely which is always a relief. Lots of meeting and greeting of course, and I can't set foot outside the office without meeting some more old friends. It's always great to see everyone of course, so many people I see only once a year at these events. Our World Bridge Family !! It's lovely that so many of you have seen my pictures of my new Grandson
The Captains' Meeting has just finished, after showing off the new camera technology that is to be used at some of the tables, which looks pretty impressive and will, I am sure, be welcomed by the players and spectators alike. I am trying to find a few minutes to put up the full list of people who are blogging from here - maybe I should be doing that before writing this, but I will get to it as soon as I can, I promise !
We are all off to the Opening Ceremony at 6.30 and then play will get underway tomorrow. I will try and get some pictures to decorate the blog with, but don't hold your breath ... first I have to find where I packed my little camera !! and the battery charger and the leads. I am sure they are here somewhere, but just not quite sure where.
So now I must go and change ... more tomorrow (if I can ..)
Monday, 10 October 2011
And now I am preparing to head off to the Netherlands for the World Championships. I will try and do a regular blog from the Championships, and will also put up a list of other blogs / links to where to get other information etc on the website - just click here to go to it. The excitement is all building up of course, and I am sure it is going to be a wonderful Championship so do keep an eye on how things go during the event. I would like to take the opportunity of wishing all the teams a safe journey to Eindhoven, and really hope they will have a great Championship, win or lose. Playing in an event of this stature is really exciting. I will put links to any blogs from the Championships on the website - just let me know if you are blogging (or tweeting come to that ...) and I will do what I can!
The BGB Sims runs this week, Wednesday and Thursday and the results will be in the usual place of course - click here to find them. Good luck if you are playing one evening - I hope you have fun and do well !
Because of the World Championships, we had to send the material out for the Children in Need event a bit early - it is all on its way ... so if your club hasn't entered and would like to, drop me an email and we can get a pack off to you when I get back - there will be plenty of time!
On the way back from the Netherlands we will be stopping off to pick up two new additions to the family - two Chocolate Burmese Kittens. You may remember that I told you that Mark's lovely Burmese cat, Emale, died back in the summer, leaving us with just one cat, my completely mad Maine Coon called Phercad - honestly if he had a brain he would be dangerous! He is very lonely, all on his own, and to be honest it seems really strange with just one cat. We had only intended getting one kitten but ... but ... Pictures will follow in due course. And here is a picture of Phercad taken last Christmas to be going on with ! Don't worry, he was only posing for the camera with the ribbon round his neck - it's not a normal adornment !
So - watch this space for blogs from the Netherlands ...
Thursday, 15 September 2011
And all at a time when the bridge world is exploding with activity ! The WBU Sims last week, the EBU Sims this week, the BGB Sims coming up in October, and of course our own ECatsBridge Simultaneous Pairs for Children in Need is on the horizon, with all the booklets arriving soon and needing posting !
I will be sending confirmations to the clubs today, but if haven't yet entered... now's the time! Just email me and let me know which club you are, which day you want to play and how many tables you expect and I will sort it out for you ... oh and don't forget to include a mailing address for the booklets !! Please join us and help us raise lots of lovely money for Children in Need ... we have raised a total of £464,176 since we started the event in 2002 ... can we top the half-million this year ? Wouldn't that be wonderful !
In addition to all that of course, there are the World Championships in the offing ... they are in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and I have been working on the Systems for the event (you can find all of them by clicking here) as well as collecting the photographs of all the players for the badges, dealing with the regulations and all sorts of stuff. It seems never ending. I will be glad to get to the Netherlands for a break !
Not much other news really - there hasn't been time for me to do much else really. I hope all is well with you as the new bridge season gets under way and let's hope for a nice sunny autumn.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
And now, after the ringing round of the family and friends it is time to get back to my desk ! The material has all been sent for the Welsh Sims and the English Sims in September - the maps are on the website with the venues so if you are looking for somewhere to play, just click here and you will find them under the More information links for the events.
I will be getting ahead of the game soon as well, sending out the material for the BGB Autumn Pairs and the Children in Need events early because of being in the Netherlands at the World Championships ... I hate fire-fighting so do try and stay ahead !
Of course, it is all hotting up for the Championships in Veldhoven ... the systems are all on the website (click here), we are collecting photographs from all the players ready for the badges etc.
On the more domestic front I am trying to clear things in the office so when we sell the house we can move easily, but that really isn't so easy. So much paperwork it's quite frightening ! And then you see fun toys like a scanning mouse and just have to buy it and add to the piles of "stuff". We have been here nearly 17 years, and there is just so so much ... ho hum. A selling spree on E-Bay may be the answer.
And now I really am going back to my desk. But I just had to tell the world about Jasmine. I am so so proud of her ...
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
It didn't stop us getting all the material sent out for the Welsh Bridge Union Simultaneous in early September though, and the results for the BGB Summer Pairs have also been sent (the files has=ve gone to the EBU for registering the master points as well ...) So that's two jobs out of the way. The EBU Autumn Pairs material will be sent next Tuesday.
We can still take entries for the WBU Sims and the EBU Sims so if your club would like to take part, do get in touch.
All the systems are now in for the World Championships, although there are still a few actually to be added to the site ... I iwll try and do that later today or tomorrow. Anyway if you are interested, you can find them all by clicking here.
Did you see the article about Bridge Players in the Business Insider website ? Click here to go to it ... see, we all have great business brains obviously !! I thought it was interesting though ...
Now, I wonder if anyone out there can help me ... I am looking for a copy of the World Championship Programme from Beijing in 1995 ... not to keep, but to borrow and scan. If you have one lurking in your archives and could send it to me, with your address contained in the package of course, I would love to get it scanned and would then return it to you immediately ... anyone ? Please ?
Right - time to put my work-hat on again and get on with things ! I will be in touch again soon ...
Look after yourselves, and enjoy the summer
Thursday, 28 July 2011
First of all, there has been a Press Release from IMSA concerning the SportAccord World Mind Sport Games in Beijing during December - click here to read that and click here to see which teams have been invited by the WBF to participate.
The BGB Summer Pairs was held on Monday and Tuesday this week - results are all on the website as normal. The next one will be the WBU Simultaneous at the beginning of September closely followed by the EBU one. All the material arrives from the printer next week, to fill up my hall before we send it all out to the participating clubs - it isn't too late to enter though ! Just email me if you want to take part and tell me which club, the address to send the material to, which day and how many tables you anticipate having and I will do the rest.
One of our main servers had a hiccup last week and we have presented it with a shiny new 2TB drive and have now got all our data back onto it from the backups. It's a great opportunity to have a good tidy up and get rid of duplicate files - quite staggering how many we have managed to accumulate !! And how long it takes to get rid of them as well. But it's a very satisfying task it has to be said and does mean that it is easier to find archive files etc.
There has been some information added about the World Championships, including the draws, and of course the systems will be going up quite soon ... just check back on the website and you will soon see if there are updates - www.ecatsbridge.com and, of course, at www.worldbridge.org
On a personal note ... did I tell you I am going to be a grandmother again ? I have a 16 year old granddaughter (awaiting her GCSE results poor girl), and the new baby is due to my other daughter around mid-September. All very exciting!
And now I am off back to those wonderful systems !
Keep safe ... xx
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Kidney Research Sims today - I do hope lots of you are playing to raise money for this extremely worthwhile Charity. The BGB Summer Pairs is at the end of the month of course - I have put the lists of clubs up, so you easily see where you can go to play in it. That one is Green Pointed, so a chance to win some of those precious points! Non-affiliated English clubs may play in this event, but there is a surcharge of 50p per player.
Then we have a "breather" through August before the Welsh Simultaneous (also green pointed) at the beginning of September, and the EBU's Autumn Pairs a week later. Clubs are, of course, welcome to play in either or both of these. English clubs must be affiliated to the EBU to participate.
I am starting on the fairly long haul of getting all the systems in for the World Championships in October - they need to be registered by 31st July, so if you are in one of the teams for the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup or d'Orsi Seniors Bowl, please send your system to me as soon as possible. Players in the Transnational Teams only need to register Red Sticker systems, but are encouraged to register their convention card whatever system they are playing - but the deadline is much later. Details of the Championships can be found on my website, and I have now published the draws, regulations etc. so do go and have a look if you have not already done so - just click here.You may also be interested to know that the World Computer Championships will be held during the event - more details of that are here.
For Junior players, the World Youth Bridge Congress is being staged in Opatija, Croatia .. this is a great event for youngsters, giving them the chance for some exciting and challenging bridge as well as to make new friends within the bridge "family" and meet other like-minded young people - so if you are reading this blog, and know of some young bridge players, do pass the word along ! It was great to note that the team winning the USA Trials for the chance to be Team USA 2 in the Bermuda Bowl were all players who until very recently participated in World Youth events.
Now I must get back to work ... I see some emails have pinged in with details of some more teams for the Netherlands and I need to go and deal with them :-)
Still haven't sold the house - don't forget, if you know someone who would like a lovely Old Railway Station ...
Friday, 1 July 2011
The main reason has been big changes for us here at ECatsBridge with the EBU plans to take the EBU and BGB Simultaneous Pairs in-house after April next year ... they are going to be doing the organisation and are writing their own scoring program so a large part of our work will disappear. We will still be organising our own Children in Need and Charity Challenge events, of course, as well as the Welsh Bridge Union Sims and the ones like the Kidney Research etc - but we are going to miss it, not just financially, though obviously it makes a big difference, but also all the contact with the clubs which I really enjoy! I am sure, however, that with the events we will still be organising, that we will still have lots of contact and I look forward to that.
This has all resulted in a major decision to down-size, so our Railway Station is on the market ... if you know of anyone who would like lovely converted Old Railway Station in Suffolk do get in touch !
On the bridge front, things progress much as they have always done - we are heading for the Kidney Research Simultaneous Pairs (still just time to enter ...) and of course, the BGB Summer Pairs at the end of July.
My workload for the World Championships is building up nicely as the various systems start to arrive in my in-box, and (being one who likes to get ahead and hates fire-fighting) I have been getting stuff ready for the WBU Autumn Pairs at the beginning of September, plus the other Autumn Simultaneous and our own Children in Need event. In fact my eyes are on stalks this evening and it is really time to call it a day and head for the shops as I have friends coming for dinner tonight and promised them a curry ! And I need to marinade the chicken ...
For those of you who follow our ECats Cats, you will, I am sure, be very sad to hear that Emale, Mark's lovely Burmese, developed a throat tumour and is now buried on the bank in the garden with Bear and Taggie. So we only have one cat for the time being ... maybe as we are moving it is just as well and we will wait until we are re-settled before thinking about another.
So ... lots happening, lots of changes in the offing. And I WILL try and remember to write my blog more often... apologies to you for not keeping up !
Monday, 7 March 2011
At last – some sunshine today ! Makes the world look so much happier J
Lots happening on the Bridge Scene at the moment – the EBU’s first Stratified Sims is about to happen (it starts today). As the material is all sent by email, it isn’t too late for clubs to enter during the rest of the week ! details at:
you can just email me for the files (firstname.lastname@example.org as usual) if you want to take part – tell me which club it is and which day you want to play and I will get the information to you.
Forthcoming International events include the Cuba Bridge Festival from 20th – 28th May which combines the CACBF Zonal Championships with an Open Festival which sounds marvellous – have a look at http://www.festivalbridgecuba.com/ which has the details. And if you need help booking flights etc go to www.cubarocks.co.uk – some friends of mine set this up and it really does make me want to go to Cuba !
Then there are the European Open Championships in Poznan, Poland from 17 June – 2 July. The details are in a letter from the EBL President, Yves Aubry, which is published on the front page of the website at www.ecatsbridge.com … you can download it from there and read all about it. Another great event for you to consider.
There is the normal set of Simultaneous Pairs coming up of course – have a look at the calendar for the dates of these : http://www.ecatsbridge.com/sims/info/calendar.asp
And then, come the Autumn we have the World Championships in the Netherlands ! The Transnational Teams is an Open event, so members in good standing of any WBF NBO are very welcome to participate ! Full details are at: http://www.ecatsbridge.com/Events/wbf/2011netherlands/default.asp
Now it’s time to close the door again – the sunshine may be enticing but the wind is still too cold to keep it open for long !
Friday, 18 February 2011
Why are some weeks far more frantic than others – this week has been seriously frenetic, not just on the work front but on the home front as well! But today is Friday and I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend! Well fairly relaxing after I have dealt with the ironing, the general cleaning and getting ready for a dinner party that we are having here on Saturday evening J
I have just sent out the files for the EBU Stratified Simultaneous Pairs – looks like that is going to be an interesting event, the first of its kind, where the participants will be competing in their own “field” as it were – details can be found on the EBU Site and it is not too late to enter ! The material is all sent by email, you see, so entries can be made right up to the last minute (well within reason – you do have to rely on me being at my desk to send the file out …). So – if your club is interested, do email me. It is being played over a week – Monday to Friday 7th – 11th March with different hands each night so clubs can play every night if they want to … or at least players can go from one participating club to another participating club and play on two different days! The entry fee is only £2 per player as well and of course the commentaries will be on the website at the end of the evening for downloading and enjoying. I think the only proviso is that your club must be affiliated to the EBU …
The week after that, on Thursday 17th March, there is the Charity Challenge Simultaneous Pairs – for the second year we are raising money for Epilepsy Action and The Meath, which is where Mark’s much loved sister Janet lived happily in safety until her death a short while ago following an epileptic seizure. We hope to raise a lot of money for these causes, so please please join us if you can.
Then we head for Spring – oh joy. And the April Pairs, but that is a way off yet. Hopefully the daffodils will be out soon – I have some primroses in a sheltered spot in my garden, and a few snowdrops, so there are signs that spring is coming!
Keep well – keep safe. And do join us for some of these events if you can !
all the best
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
First of all, have a look at this link to a U-Tube video about a “bridge village” in India … it’s a news story and I found it interesting … just click here to go to it.
I have been putting information up on the website about various events – the European Open Teams Championships in Poznan .. always a good event, that one. Then the World Youth Bridge Congress is being held in Opatija, Croatia from 21 – 30 August. A great event for Junior players – under 25 and Youngsters, under 20. So please tell your young bridge playing friends about it ! Also on the website are some details of the qualified teams and qualification events for the World Championships in the Netherlands as well, for those of you who are interested. You can get to all of these by going to the website at www.ecatsbridge.com
It’s a busy time for Simultaneous Pairs as well – the BGB Winter Pairs was held last week, and next week is our ECatsBridge/WBF Charity Pairs for UNICEF … that’s just a fun event, with no master points or prizes. 8th February sees the first Bridge England Pairs (it’s not too late to enter if you want to ..) then the beginning of March has the new EBU Stratified pairs followed closely by our own Charity Challenge event. Email me if you want to enter any of these wont’ you ?
On the home front – well the weather hasn’t been conducive to doing much (it’s nice today at last) though we did bestir ourselves to go and see the films The King’s Speech and Black Swan, both of which were absolutely amazing – we really enjoyed them. The cats spend most of their time curled up on radiators (there’s a surprise) and the chickens sulk underneath their coop and complain loudly about cold feet … I gave some thought to knitting them little socks but decided that they probably wouldn’t like the colours I chose! The wild birds are munching their way through vast amounts of wild bird food and everyone envies our fish in their nice warm tropical tanks – one freshwater and the other marine!
So – what else can I tell you. Not a lot for now, so until next time, keep safe and warm and enjoy your bridge.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
So – here we are in 2011 !
If you are interested, we have a sale in our bookshop – click here to have a look – you might find something you would enjoy !
BGB Sims next week – do you remember last year when we had to postpone it because of snow ? I am anxiously watching the weather forecast but, fingers crossed, it looks OK at the moment so do find a club and go along and enjoy the hands. The lists of participating clubs are on the website as normal.
I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year – we had a lovely relaxed time with family … lots of cooking and eating far too much of course, but it was fun and sort of cosy once the snow decided to clear enough to allow people to drive!
I don’t normally “do” new year resolutions but I will try and keep the one that says I should do my blog more often, so watch this space, won’t you J
all the best