I learnt Bridge by accident. I was isolated with a childhood illness and desperately bored. So I phoned Devon County Library – yes, there were public services in those days – and asked them to get me a couple of books, perhaps a very difficult foreign language and another challenging book. Next day, I got my hands on Greek for the Traveller, and Teach Yourself Contract Bridge. I was immediately hooked on both.
A few months later, Terence Reese was to get me into trouble. I had devised a Deceptive Play. I sat at the back, under a high window, reading his Reese on Play concealed inside something by Chaucer about a hencoop. Unfortunately one of our teachers was the tallest man in Devon, affectionately known as Giraffe. He was galloping by on the veldt outside and happened to look in through the window. Ah, I’d missed a Safety Play…
I moved to the Midlands when I entered the world of work. I’ve always managed to fit in some bridge, though not an awful lot during a busy career in High Tech. I’ve played with very many different partners – what does that say about me? – and they’ve helped me win several National titles over the years.
I pioneered the broadcast of English events on BBO VuGraph, having been quick to realise what an immense boon it was to the game. And I still get involved, mainly as Organiser or Commentator.
My greatest hope at present? That we can get back to proper bridge soonest. To quote a Greek saying: you forget your friends if you don’t see them.