Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mens sana in Men's Health

I'm just the perfect example of a healthy man, obviously - the American version of Men's Health magazine are writing an article about memory techniques, and I've just had a quick chat with the writer. Following fast on the heels of the bit about me in the British version of the franchise eight years ago, it's obvious that I'm the number one go-to guy for all men's health issues now.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Families are an expensive business

The excellent website has made 1939 register details available, and even though you have to pay them a staggeringly huge amount of money to see them, it's very tempting to check up on the family. The Pridmores of Sheffield are somewhat reduced from the way they were in 1911 - within ten years of that census my great-grandmother and six of her ten children had died, and great-grandfather William had also passed away by 1939. But on the other hand, they'd all had hordes of children themselves, so there are plenty of relatives to check up on...

The family home of 34 Hunt Street was quite full in 1939, it seems:
Oswald, who'd never moved out of his parents' house, was now joined by his widowed sister Lilian, Lilian's daughter Florence, and James Palmer, the son of Oswald and Lilian's late sister Florence. And one other person who must have been born less than 100 years ago and hasn't yet been identified as deceased - living people aren't shown on the records. Since the 'officially closed' record comes in between the Mays and the oldest Palmer child, I'm guessing it must have been one of Lilian's two younger daughters.

Oswald and James are builders' labourers, Florence has that classic Sheffield occupation of spoon and fork glazer, Lilian has "unpaid domestic duties", which was the strangely fancy phrase for "housewife" used throughout the register. Just down the road at number 28 are a John and Florence Askham - Oswald married Annie Askham in 1944, I assume she was a relative.

See all the fascinating details you can find? I'm doing my best to resist the impulse to pay them £120 for full access to the records...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cold turkey

Actually, I haven't got any cold turkey. I've got some cold pork if you want, it's really nice. I've got in the habit of cooking a Sunday roast and putting the leftovers in sandwiches for a packed lunch the next week - I'm very domesticated now, it must be because I'm getting old.

But the point is, I haven't drunk anything but water for the last two weeks - or maybe three weeks, I've lost count. Cherry-coke-withdrawal does strange things to my brain, but I think I've just about got over it now. I'm sure I'll get hooked again eventually, but it's nice to be able to look down on smoking or other vices without having to admit I'm drinking roughly three litres of the stuff every day.

And hey, have you seen that they're making a new full series of World Of Sport Wrestling? I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Memory World

Competitions continue to happen around the globe - since I last mentioned them, we've had the North German championship beziehungsweise* championships (a regional-format, seven-discipline thing with the other optional three disciplines the day before to make it into a national-standard open championship; there were also junior and kids' competitions, so really it was a whole lot of championships all merged into one). The winner of the one that counts was Simon, in another of those pitched battles between him and Hannes.

There was a fiercely-contested Mongolian championship, won by Lkhagvadulam Enkhtuya ahead of the two Narmandakhs - Germany and Mongolia have entirely dominated the year of memory competitions so far (Shijir-Erdene Bat-Enkh, now living in America, won a typically American non-standard competition as well), with the American, Swedish and British contingent presumably biding their time to burst onto the scene...

Next month, though after the excitement of the Tokyo Friendly Championship, we move away from the national-standard format and into the exciting realms of Memory League! There will (hopefully) be Scandinavian and German ML competitions, along the lines of the UK pilot episode last November, taking place in May, and I can't wait to see what happens!

Then at the end of May, I invite everyone to come and enjoy the twelfth (!) annual Friendly Memory Championship in its new home in Birmingham! It'll be great, I assure you!

We will also (very hopefully) have our own UK Memory League Championship again in November; with any luck, I'll be able to share details of it shortly, but this does rather depend on somebody (anybody) else arranging a venue and talking to people about it. We'll see what happens...

*It's a German word that means something along the lines of 'or as the case may be...'. There isn't really an English equivalent, but Germans say it all the time in sentences like that.