I have played bridge four times so far this week. But what's your view of the last one?
I played at home on Monday with friends. Jolly nice - highly sociable, bottle of wine, nibbles (actually we tried the Branston-flavoured peanuts and they were foul!).
Then on Tuesday I took part in a charity bridge event. As most of these affairs, it was in a delightful country house setting. This is in fact Buriton Manor.
The bridge took place in their medieval barn.
What amazed me was that there were 100 people playing, but I had only met 6 of them before! Where do they all come from? Actually I think I know - these are the ladies who wear pearls and like to play bridge in manor houses. Anyway, a great lunch, a bottle of plonk on each table and, although I hardly like to mention it, She From Whom I Will Never Hear the End of It actually won!
Then today I played at the local Methodist Church, where we have a teacher (who, you might be fascinated to hear, was teaching us Benji Twos and Splinters). One of the ladies there invited me to a game this afternoon and I was so flattered that I said 'yes'.
Now, tell me whether I am making too much of this. She didn't tell me in advance that we were playing for money. She did remember to tell me that we get fed late afternoon, although that was only at the last minute, but maybe that was OK. But when I arrived, I discovered that there were only 4 of us and that 2 of them smoked. I don't know how you feel about that. I felt obligated to play (it's a bit tricky playing with only 3 people), but I did feel a bit sick and headachey by the end of the afternoon. My nose is congested and I now stink! Should they have told me before I agreed to play?
Still, I won 20p.