Friday 28 October 2011

Nearly there ... wherever "there" is !!

These have been brilliant championships ! Lots of work, but you expect that, but also lots of socialising which has been really good fun ... we had the Staff Dinner last night where we were all presented with plaques to remember the event by; the night before was the sponsor's dinner, but sadly I couldn't go to that because I had to be here for the Anti Doping tests, but I understand it was - fabulous!!

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

Tiring ...

It has reached the stage where everyone is getting tired ... the quarter finals are coming to an end and even I am watching the results on the screens ...but that is more becuase I am too tired to do much else !! For some reason we didn't sleep last night - not sure why but it was one of those nights when you watch the clock as it ticks the hours away ... and 04.00 wasn't a time I wanted to see!

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

One week in ...

I can't believe we have been here a week already - time has seriously flown by ! Yesterday was a day of meetings for me - WBF Women's Committee first, followed by Systems Committee followed by a Technical Committee Meeting. All interesting and worthwhile ...

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

Finding our way about

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
After the ceremony the Dutch put on a truly splendid buffet, really yummy, with the wine very free flowing ! We had a lovely evening talking to friends ... I took some pictures on my phone, but the light wasn't brilliant so they aren't very good, but hey - they show the spirit of the evening and that's the main thing! They are the ones "decorating" this blog! Just to introduce a few of the people shown : Mark is "my Mark", Mark Newton of ECatsBridge. Bill Schoder, WBF Chief Tournament Director Emeritus and a member of the Laws Committee who is here with his wife. John Wignall is 1st Vice President of the WBF and is here with Adele, his wife. Al Levy is Executive Vice President of the WBF and his wife is Beverley. Richard Grenside is one of the Chief Tournament Directors here and is with his wife, Susie.

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
Now it is all under way, with play starting yesterday morning. The Executive Council Meetings are keeping all the members very occupied of course, though tomorow is a day when the smaller committees are meeting - I start the day with the Women's Committee Meeting, followed by the Systems Committee then the Technical Committee, just in case I don't have enough to do. Mark gets the fun of the Technical Committee then a Master Points Committee Meeting and later in the week I will have an Anti-Doping Committee Meeting! Then all the Chairmen will report back to the Executive for decisions to be ratified and so forth. Actually a very efficient way of dealing with it all and getting the work done!

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

Winding up ...

After a really good journey via the Channel Tunnel (such a great way to travel!) and an excellent motorway all the way from Calais to Veldhoven, we arrived at the Hotel and checked in. Our room is not the biggest we have ever seen, but is more than adequate, although I confess that some drawers would have been nice ! However, our main suitcase is doubling as drawer space, with reasonable effect and I must say that the bed is very comfy :-)

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

New Grandson / World Championships / New Kittens

Well, the excitement of the month has been the birth of my new Grandson ... Samuel Rhys ... who was born (a bit later than expected) on 23 September. And can I resist putting up a picture - don't be daft, of course I can't ! ...  He is gorgeous. A solid little lad, weighing in at 8lb 15 oz which gave his mother a few eye-watering moments, but they are both doing fine. We went down to Bristol to see him (of course) and had lots of lovely cuddles.

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 ...