The wall and one’s proximity to it

Morning sunlight

Every morning I walk past this wall and at the time I walk with the sun just rising, the light is very beautiful.

A golden yellowish wash to the day.

I say every morning, but I really mean most mornings.

This morning I slept in and dreamt.

Something about my wedding candles and supplying a church.

And so now, at the other end of the day what I really should be doing is putting on my sandshoes and doing my “morning” lap.

But I’m not.

I have tracky daks on.

I have ugg boots on.

I have a glass of sav blanc.

I feel as if I’ve been given a free night, as I had got the idea in my head that I was playing bridge tonight erroneously.

And, to be honest, the thought was a little exhausting.

Last week I played bridge until 11pm and felt as if I had hit the wall the next day… run over.

Tired in the way that only a night out in Fremantle can alleviate.

It makes me think that my days of going out late on a Thursday night could be over.

*worried look*

Far better to slip on the sheepskin and cuddle up in front of the telly.

Loving the new season of Game of Thrones btw.

Rage quit at Seniors bridge today

Perfect autumnal weather

What a gorgeous day.

Not really a day to spend inside playing bridge, but we did, and we won.  Yay us.

Don’t you love it when older people are naughty.

Today at bridge in the seniors competition (all have to be over 59 – and just in case you were wondering, I don’t qualify), one of the players threw a tanty at another player.

I don’t know what about.

But he got quite fired up and the director asked him to leave to cool off.

Well.  He left.

Not just the room but left left.  Went home.

Rage quit.

Leaving his partner at the table with six hands to play.

Not the done thing darling.

We’d finished our session and we having a wine and discussion about the play so a sub was easily found.

Nevertheless, scandalous behaviour.

And these are the Seniors playing for a slot in the Australian National Championships in Darwin in July.

I remain mildly amused.

Easter Saturday sunshine


What a beautiful day.

Sure, a little chilly in the morning… we had two duvets on last night, but the sun was shining on my morning walk and I really can’t complain.

No geocaching today for me… although three people found our geocache.  So exciting.

Groover came up with a very witty clue and hidden hint.

In fact I read the hidden hint, and even knowing EXACTLY what we did, I didn’t get it.


Me that is.  The hint is clever.

And coincidentally, the person that found the hide first was the person who set up the geocache we found yesterday.

We are heading to Duncraig tomorrow so will have to check out a few geocaches up that way.

In other news, I missed out on a sale dress I saw on Thursday (probably just as well) and we TANKED at bridge.

In other news… I have bought A WHOLE HEAP of Easter eggs.

Just sayin’.

Still winners, even though we came second

Our team, still not quite believing we're going to Tweed Heads. Photo: LLB

My long service leave is rapidly coming to a close and while I haven’t been on any extended overseas vacations, retrained, or sorted out my love life, I have played A LOT of bridge.

Four or five times a week will see me pulling cards with the best of them.

The last two weekends have been two full days of competition.

First the Swan River Pairs where we didn’t do that well… 56 out of 88 pairs… sigh.

And then in the last two days the GNOT finals.

This is the first time I’ve played in the GNOT – Grand National Open Teams – and up for grabs for the top three place getters a subsidized trip to the Gold Coast to play in the national play offs.

The GNOT’s start off at club level.

We placed second in the Nedlands Bridge Club heats and so with 19 other teams from around Perth competed in the weekend finals.

The teams final was 8 14-board matches and going into the last round we were sitting fourth, one point behind third.

We figured a win would get us to Queensland.

I was terrified that I would choke at the last hurdle but a wine at lunch-time had mellowed into a slight headache and I think the Panadol steadied my nerves.

The last board ended up as me to make 6NT.


I'm sitting East.

I get the queen of spades lead from South and I start counting tricks.

I can see 11 off the top and I need one more.

Plan A – the diamonds – surely the fifth diamond will come good once I play four rounds.

The bad news is delivered at trick 2 when South shows out – I can’t even finesse for the 10.


So thought is required.

I go into the tank for what feels like forever.

The hearts are my only hope.

I run the J which is covered by the Q and won with my K, now I play the 9 and let it run to North’s 10.

The 8 of hearts is my 12th trick.


The result of the match – we scored a maximum.

As did about four other teams in the last round, including the people lying second playing the team sitting first.

Overall we ended up second which means (exciting club) that we get subsidised to travel to Tweed Heads to play in the national finals in November.


How cool is that?!

All that bridge practice finally paid off.

(I’ve been told if we win three matches we’ll have acquitted ourselves well.  I’m just happy to go… now I just need to talk to my boss about a couple of days off… worried look!)

What is a kibitzer?


For the first time EVER in all the years I’ve gone to quiz nights.

There has been a question about bridge.

And I knew the answer.

And we came second overall.

No.  It wasn’t one answer that got us second place but gee it sure felt good.

Thanks for inviting us Feline… 🙂

But here’s a weird thing…

Today looking at my Twitter feed I noticed that hazelblackberry was at the same quiz nite!  (her blog)

It makes me wonder how often that happens…

Can’t be that often I wouldn’t have thought.

When two worlds collide eh?

Perth is a small place.

Lemon Squeezy


I played at WABC with P last Wednesday night.  It’s a good session – 16 tables.  We came third.

3% is ALL mine.

We safely got to a 6S contract and of course I “rescue” my partner into a very unsafe 6NT because we haven’t played together much and I’m not sure he knows my system (of course he did).

I learned my lesson.

This hand is one we discussed after the session til they kicked us out.

At the table our opposition were in 3NT, which they just made.  Partner led the QD.

But Deep Finesse reckons you can make 6C.

Looking at the hand you are going to lose a D and the QC so how do you avoid the Diamond loser?

The answer, we eventually worked out, was to not touch clubs.

Win the AD and ruff a spade in dummy.

Play the AKQ hearts, discarding diamonds in hand and then ruff a heart.

E will probably go up with the 8C, so you win with the King.

Ruff another spade, and another heart.

Then play Ace of spades.

And the ten of spades.


West at this point is sitting with three clubs and a diamond.

If West discards a diamond or trumps low – you are home. Win the spade with a trump in dummy, cash the Ace and exit with the Queen of Spades.

If West trumps high, throw the diamond.

It shouldn’t have taken me so long to work out… luckily I wasn’t playing it at the table!

Avon Adventure

The Toodyay Memorial Hall

One of the things I learned on a trip to Bath in the UK was that “avon” is the Celtic word for “river”.

Thus when the Romans asked the ancient Britons what that river was called – they called it the Avon.

This is why there are so many Avon Rivers in the United Kingdom and why we have one in our ex-British colony of Western Australia.

It amuses me to think of it.

I had cause the other weekend as I travelled to Toodyay for the annual Avon Valley Bridge Congress with Arty.

It was perfect Sunday drive weather and the scenary – dry and brown – flew by as we sipped our take-away coffees and caught up on ten years of gossip.

There is nothing like bridge gossip.  

The bridge world is rather small.

We had a lovely day.

We spent money in the shops, made the final, and enjoyed a delicious Polish meal on return to Perth.

Toodyay Pioneer

The Freemason's Hotel, Toodyay

Toodyay Shops

Early starts and wicket takers


I’m tired.

My eyes are barely open.  They feel sandy.  And I feel quite lethargic, reclining as I am my head at an odd angle to gain the cushion, my body twisted so I can keep the laptop plugged in and lie down at the same time.  This can’t be good for my spine.

I shuffle along the couch to try and find  a more comfortable space.  Luckily my fingers know the keys but still I have to stop and correct now and then.

Despite a rather stressed work environment at the moment I’ve had a surprisingly relaxed weekend.

Friday night I played bridge with Arty.  She’s a great player.  She knows the conventions backwards and understands cards.  Even so we only came fourth.  Club bridge is somewhat unpredictable.  Afterwards we discussed the hands – we’re playing in the Women’s Selection next week.  She told me to study hard!

The next morning I got up latish and went for a coffee which turned into lunch with Jif, another bridge pal who I used to work with.  He is a font of all bridge knowledge and gossip and we had a lovely lunch down at Barista which, although I thought over-priced did a very nice Greek pastry thing. (Don’t you love my technical terms)

In the afternoon I went to Knitwit to see if they hold stretch sewing classes.  I’m sure they do but they weren’t open.  Sigh.  Don’t they know that some sewing types work?!  Saturday morning is such a drag to have to spend shopping.

Hmm speaking of shopping I’ve checked out the new Claremont Shopping Centre and found it a bit boring.  I know all the shops aren’t in yet but there is not enough there for me to make the effort yet.  And anyway big shopping centres are overwhelming.

Last night we went to see Shane Warne the Musical at the Regal Theatre.  It was opening night and a carpet of fake grass and a white picket fence led the way in. 

All the regular freeloaders were there and it was a good fun night.

I loved the different musical styles – from rap to gospel.  In that way it was similar to Keating! which you know I loved.

The story of Shane Warne – the bad boy cricket genius – has a bit to work with.  I’m not sure the straight autobiographical chronology worked for me so much – the AIS stuff was a bit creepy – but overall it was a blast.

The classic moments for me include the cigarette scene – worth the price of admission just for that.  I also liked the Simone meeting section and the wedding dance, the sledging song (wouldn’t mind reading the lyrics of that one) and the last song by Simone is also poignant.

Eddie Perfect is indeed perfect as Warney – and as he also wrote all the lyrics, quite impressive.

I would like to see the libretto though as I fear I missed a lot of the humour because I missed some of the lyrics.

While you don’t need to know a lot about cricket to enjoy this musical I recommend familarising yourself with The Ball.  You can see a video here and the wiki explanation is very good too.

A second opinion?

This morning we got up early – 6.30 AM to trek out to Melville for the carpark markets.

It was dark when we arrived, just getting light and already the place was busy with people.  A great place to buy plants I think and there were a few other bits and pieces of interest – a nice sewing machine I was tempted by  – a few clothing items – but I managed not to buy anything – quite easy with Groover walking near me – he is quite the handbrake on spending that one!

I went back to bed when we got home – it is Sunday right?

Although I did manage to get out my convention book to read through some of the bits and pieces I’m playing with Arty on Thursday.

Big bridge week coming up… Monday night with Gij, then I fly to Kalgoorlie for three days, back for Thursday night with Arty, Friday night at home (I think we’re cleaning the house… sigh) and then ALL weekend playing with Arty, and then Monday night again with Gij.

Insane.  It’s feast or famine.  And online I’ve found some bridge tweeters.  Happy day.

Just saying yes at the moment


This is a photo of Groover at the top of the overbridge that we walk on during our weekend’s walk.  He nearly always beats me to the top.

These days I find it hard to find the time to exercise.

Yes I know it’s an excuse.

Yes I know that if I really prioritised properly I would find the time.

The fact is my life is full and exercise comes a long way below family time, work, sewing, bridge, twittering, blogging, reading… just about anything in fact you care to mention.

I’m playing in two competitions at the moment – State Swiss Pairs – first night last night = epic FAIL, and the Interstate Women’s Selection.

Well I’m practicing for the latter.

I’m playing with two different partners with two quite different styles so it is quite interesting.  One seems as steady as a rock, but can be quite intuitive with her bidding – in a good way, the other follows the rules strictly.

As I’ve also been described as intuitive (but not in a good way), it makes for erratic scoring. 🙂

If only work didn’t get quite so in the way…

As far as sewing goes, I’ve made Dippity an outrageously short bubble skirt, which she of course wears ALL the time because it is so revealing – and not with leggings as I suggested.

And I ran up a pair of black pants to wear with the black and white overskirt Mum picked up at Freo Markets.  They were surprisingly simple to make.

Reading – well I’m taking an age to read the library books I’ve got out and have already had to go back and renew them.

Work is insane at the moment – I seem to be filling in for several people all at the same time – and I am so over fire season!

Family – yes they still seem to be occupying the same house… Hugamuga gets his lower braces tomorrow…

And so to exercise. LOL.

At least giving up alcohol seems to be helping control the weight.  17 days and going strong.  You never know I might even make it to the end of the month.

The other thing I’m trying this month – in the spirit of open-mindedness – is Bettina Arndt’s just say yes policy in the bedroom.

It raised my hackles when I first heard her talk about it.  It struck me as a blow for feminism and the rights of a woman to say no.



Okay perhaps I’m not entirely living without exercise at the moment.

How to Riffle Shuffle

Babtamore (Trish) asks “What is rifle shuffle?” Well I don’t like to take a shot-gun approach to my answers (hehe) so I’ve made you all a little video on how to riffle shuffle.

In fact this is a riffle shuffle with a Cascade Bridge Flourish. Sounds fancy eh?

Here’s some more tutorials

And yes… that’s Groover at the end. 🙂