Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Aberystwyth Bridge Congress: 15-17 August

When I told Ben I was Secretary to the Aberystwyth Bridge Congress, he formed a mental image of a happy group of Civil Engineers on their summer seaside holidays, discussing load bearing and suspension mechanisms. Maybe next year.

Things to know if you are organising a Bridge Congress:

  • The iniquitous PFI scam means that in order to book space in Ysgol Penweddig (yes, a Welsh medium school), you have to talk to a lady called Laura based in Mansfield. I've had to stay twice in Mansfield and I don't recommend it.
  • Otherwise intelligent people find the clearest of forms simply impossible to complete.
  • Otherwise punctual people find the word deadline simply impossible to understand.
  • 450 packs of cards with attendant boards and packing cases weigh a lot.
  • Bridge trophies are very ugly, although I thought Ciocia Magda's augmentation of the Aber silverware was a masterpiece (mistresspiece?).
  • Suitably courteous letters to the local newspaper can extract sponsorship monies.
  • Machines that will randomly [sic] deal umpteen hands of cards are devious torture instruments beyond Dante's imagination.
  • An understanding of the WBF continuous VP scale will help.
  • The WBU precept is 12.5%.
  • Pinning the regalia on the WBU President is a bit like pinning the tail on the donkey, but it's perhaps best not to tell him that.
  • The services of a mild-mannered Wizard are essential.
  • The Swiss Teams algorithm is a joy to watch in action.
Anyway, in the 1860s there were plans to build a viaduct from Ynyslas to Penhelyg, shortening the journey north from Aber by an hour or more. This crossing has been fictionally actualised in the celebrated works of Malcolm Pryce, but I am thinking the 2015 Aberystwyth Bridge Congress could do the job for real. It'd be more straightforward than this year's.

(There are some indifferent photographs to be seen).

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