Last weekend was the NSC semis. The Scottish gang (Allan, Simon, Stu and myself) travelled down to Leeds together. Philips never turned up - nobody knew that he wasn't going...
I started well, winning the first four games and then crashed and burned for the rest of day 1. However, I thought 11 wins should still be enough to get to the final. I was right, but unfortunately it wasn't me but Mark Nyman who swept the board on day 2. We actually played each other in game 9, but the tile gods were definitely smiling on Mark in that game. I ended up 8-6, some damage to my rating but not too much. That is it for the domestic scene for me this year. Next stop JB at the start of December for the Causeway Challenge where I will be playing for the UK team.
The dogs had been put into kennels as Paul was also away that weekend playing bridge in Solihull. I retrieved them on Monday morning much to their delight. I am not sure how much Jen ate whilst away as I had never see her eat her dinner so fast. I then had to retrieve Paul from Berwick station in the afternoon.
On Tuesday evening it was the East District team secretaries meeting to arrange the fixtures for the coming bridge season. I met up with Reg and he drove us on an hour early as there was another meeting he was attending prior to mine. All I can say is that I was not prepared for the chaos. However, all the matches are now in the diary subject to cancellations/rearrangements with only one minor disaster which has now been resolved.
Wednesday and I started working on which of my team members I want to play for which matches. I just needed a couple of confirmations of availability/willingness to play (which I got last night). I now have provisional team line-ups for all the matches, hopefully keeping everyone as happy as possible with the number of 'caps' they will get - both where they want to play almost every match and where they only want to play a couple. Time will tell :)
Wednesday was also the first of the major veggie picking sessions. Given almost a week left to its own purposes with rain and sunshine the veggie patch had gone mad. Luckily I had thought ahead and stocked up on freezer bags and sent away for a blanching basket when Youngman's did not stock such an item.
So, three and a quarter pounds of dwarf purple beans picked. Some donated to Penny and the rest were washed, topped, tailed, chopped, blanched, bagged and put in the freezer.
Reg had given me a bag full of plums, apples and cooking apples on Tuesday evening. So yesterday was baking day. A quick search on the web and I decided on an apple pie (I had a couple of blocks of pastry in the freezer) and a plum cobbler. I had just over two and a half pounds of plums and that seemed perfect for Delia's recipe. I got Paul to help with removing the stones. With the left over pastry from the apple pie I made marmite rolls, which I ate hot from the oven.
In the evening I played bridge with Reg at the club . Our first ever partnership but I will be playing with him in a couple of the league fixtures so we need to get some practice in. No disasters, but none of the system changes that Paul has made for me over the summer (transfers, Michaels, unusual NT) came up. I was pleased to remember that Reg's overcall of 2C over a 1NT opener was for the majors and respond correctly. It must have exhausted me as I slept in this morning until 11.40!!!
This afternoon was the first session of runner bean processing. I had also sent away for a runner bean slicer on the recommendation of both Jean and Penny. I picked four pounds from just one of my wigwams - must have at least as many again ready on wigwam number 2 and still loads more coming. Paul was in charge of the bean slicing and me on the blanching/bagging. Two (prepared) pounds now in the freezer, some put aside for us/Margaret - those that were too fat for the gadget.
Bridge again tonight in the Borders v Edinburgh match. I am playing with Paul...