The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Theobalds Park

I was away at the weekend at Theobalds Park, Cheshunt for a tourney. 

It was originally billed as the top 32 invitational event but ended up as a 16 player round robin. You just can't please some folk. Last year there was a lot of debate re the UK Master being only the top 16 and could it be expanded or a second division of the next 16 be added. So Amy and John organise a tournament along those lines and they did not support it. Their loss - I think our small but select band thoroughly enjoyed ourselves - good venue, very good food and good company.

I got the train down on Friday as Allan had been dithering over whether or not to go and I decided to book the train before all the cheap tickets went. I also lucked out on the extra nights at the venue - I got a £10 room rate on a special promotion for the Friday and Sunday nights as there was no way I could get home on the Sunday with the event finishing around 5 p.m.

I thought I was the only one staying Friday night but my phone rang - Amy and John were there and were going out to eat and did I want to join them. We had a nice meal in a local pub.

The scrabble was variable. As top seed I played everyone in order, starting at the lowest rated and at the end of day 1 was 7-1, and third overnight I think. Kevin McMahon, who had come over from Ireland was undefeated and Ed Martin was ahead of me on spread. I played two new players to me - Calum Edwards and Howard Wilde who are quickly rising through the ranks. Sunday and the wheels fell off a bit. I needed to win 10 out of 15 to preserve my rating so had given myself extra pressure of needing to win my last two games. Luckily for me Phil Robertshaw missed a 9-x and careful play at the end saw me through. A cagy game against Kevin and I reached my target of 10. My rating even went up a point as I was dropping a poorer result. I have 36 games in hand before I start dropping my UK Open points...

Well done to Ed on winning with an impressive total of 12 wins and to Kevin who came second with 11.

On Sunday evening Amy, John and I went out for a Chinese. This was a real treat for me. Yes, there is a Chinese in Duns that we have been to once but it felt more like a shop window and we were assailed by a schoolgirl doing work experience telling us her (very short and not very interesting) life history...

John dropped me off at the station after our cheapo Tesco breakfast. I waited till 9.30 to get the train into KingsX as I had an off-peak ticket. I had the perfect seat on the train home - just in from the baggage rack, forward-facing window and table. First time ever. And then the 'lady of a certain age' opposite tried to get me to change seats with her. But I don't travel well backwards so I'd rather not thankyou. 'Nor do I ' she responded. And then for good measure added ' you may find out'. I still was not budging and as the train was not full she moved...

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