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DOUBLE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
DOUBLE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

It was certainly a very happy birthday yesterday for Valentina.

Despite her physical handicap, she made it to my party to celebrate her own big day. By her own admission she is a crazy Rumanian lady.

I can certainly go along with that self assessment after partnering her at the club the past two weeks. 

But, with equal certainty, I can say that she is a very good bridge player.

Trevor 1838 on 22/7/21

Your QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Online or Face to Face. Where does bridge go from here?

How can we play competitive F2F bridge NOW?

Will bridge clubs survive?

Will table fees increase when clubs reopen?

When will “clinically vulnerable players” be able to safely return to the bridge table?

In the perceived absence of any sensible and useful guidance from bridge administrators, I endeavour to reassure players via my diagnoses and prescriptiona for resolving common concerns. You can read my analyses on the “Keep Bridge Alive” page.

Trevor 22h40 on 10/1/21

Update 23/2/21.
Update 23/2/21.

The ACES mobile club - and especially the bridge school - is now in full swing. Last week it was the French connection when Irish and English were invited to join Thierry at his home in Santa Cruz. Yesterday it was the turn of our friends in Palmmar. This time it was Gaby and Juergen from Hamburg honouring us with their presence.

Trevor 15h00 23/2/21

DINNER DATES in Tenerife

Life goes on at ACES with the ever popular Bridge (or Rummikub) sessions with dinner. For 4 persons only, they are afternoon games played outdoors starting at 3pm. Dinner is likewise served on the terrace. Charge inclusive of table fee plus 3 course dinner with drinks is E12 p.p.

Here are the home-made menus available:

Menu 1

Cream of spinach soup

Duck in orange sauce

Lemon or Chocolate Cheesecake

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Menu 2

Tuna, mushroom, leek and red pepper tart

Roast chicken with three veg

Mixed fruit crumble

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Menu 3

Cheese tart

Tagliatelli puttanesca

Kiwi tart 

xxxxxx

Menu 4

Leek and potato soup with stilton

Steak and kidney pie with 3 veg

Fruit salad

xxxxxx

Menu 5

Melon and cured Iberian ham

Salmon and potato bake

Lemon tart

Menu 6

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Fish soup

Albondigas in tomato sauce

Apple pie and ice cream

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Dinner dates can be enjoyed as much by beginners as by experienced players in search of competitive bridge. 

You will need to provide evidence to satisfy me beyond reasonable doubt that you are not a carrier of the virus. To protect the existing members of the “ACES bubble” of which several are, like me, categorised as “clinically extremely vulnerable”. That assessment will be subjective and based on my experience over several decades of working with severely ill cystic fibrosis sufferers. They necessarily had to avoid close contact at all costs with anybody suffering from even the most innocuous of viruses (such as the common cold) which could prove fatal to CF sufferers. 

Trevor 00h05 on 20/7/21

Los GIGANTES, Tenerife
Los GIGANTES, Tenerife

An ACES bridge star finds serenity at the foot of the giant cliffs from which this coastal resort gets its name

TMW 12/2/21.

Trevor`s story
Trevor`s WISH LIST

I don`t want to change a winning formula. I have been around a long time and am enjoying my bridge more than ever. That is because I can play when I feel like it. Which is when I knw that the game will make my partners happy.

Lots of updatdes have gone on the site already this morning. Now that I have got all the serious messages on the pages of this website,

I only have one wish left to fulfil 

That bridge lovers worldwide read those updated messages

The next will appear in a week`s time.

Trevor 03h34 on 18/3/19

GUINNESS is GOOD FOR YOU

**Here is the second part of the story which I started telling on the "IG health benefits page" of this site  

This is how my introduction to bridge in a hospital bed in 1956 made me aware for the first time that it might be a good idea to down a daily Guinness.

After amusing me with a few games of cards, my maternal grandmother was allowed to stay until the night nurse had finished going round with the late pills trolley. The nurse and my Grannie would then tie my hands to the bedposts. To stop me scratching during my sleep.

After a few days of this treatment in the dermatitis ward at Banbury, I said to the nurse "Why is that medicine on the trolley?. It`s just like the bottle of Mackeson Nanny drinks at home"..

The nurse replied that it was to make the adults better. I remember them explaining it in such a way that it made me more comfortable with the fact that only the kiddies` hands were tied to the bedposts in that spedial ward shared with adults who also had severe eczema.

In subsequent years I was an in-patient in other hospitals where Guinness was still on the menu before lights out. But it wasn`t until I was old enough to legally drink the stuff that I found out why Guinness had been served in hospital as a medicine for so many years. It is because it is so rich in iron.

Sceptical readers might like to check that out with their doctor. Whilst I go for a medicinal pint with John and Rolf..

Trevor 27/2/19

 

BRIDGE TABLES

in

HOSPITALS

The perfect environment for experienced club players to have an enjoyable game of bridge

 

Explanation:

There are four bridge clubs within a radius of 10 kilometres of the hospital at Gassin in the south of France: Cavalaire, St Tropez, Grimaud and Ste Maxime. In a 2006 survey by the latter club, it was established that the average age of the 200 members was 76. Statistically, it was inevitable that a large number of retired bridge players would be hospitalised. And statistically not difficult to find a trio of members from one of the four clubs who were keen and willing to make up a four in the hospital wards

Bad news about a member`s medical problems travels fast. But good news travels fast too. With the result that cancer patients found themselves guaranteed a partner when they had come out of the operating theatre.

The fact that the patient could have a friendly game of bridge without getting out of bed meant these sessions guaranteed a much speedier recovery for the pampered patient. 

It only took yours truly and another pair of friends to publicize the session, and the hospital found itself taking more from table fees than the local clubs. Naturally the table fees went to good causes! 

Why not try this innovative volunteer scheme at your club

There are never any arguments at the bridge tables in hospitals

 

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Trevor`s story - coming soon

This is what my sister wrote yesterday (22/2) when I mailed a few lines suggesting that I was going to put all the personal details of my medical crises in print for the first time. But only the ones relevant to bridge and chess players. There are many.

She said this:

“There is a lot below that I have not heard before but it explains a lot about how you came to be such a strong and positive and determined person despite a lot of personal hardship over the years with your health”.

After I put the first three SUPERMAN articles on the website a day later, this is what she wrote in relation to the true story about my encounter with Christopher Reeve:

“You said it had been retold many times so I cannot think why I have not heard it before - I know I have a rubbish memory but even so I do not think I would have forgotten that
 

To save me time answering all the friends who are thinking the same, let me point out that the only ones who actually know all about someone is the person himself. Not the sister, not the mother, not the daughter. Because the story is only worth telling in the right context. The thousands of times I have told that to sick kiddies it always was relevant. And always brought a smile to their faces. 

The immediate feedback from those Superman fables, prompts me to reveal some of the many other uplifting stories I can tell. Those that should similarly bring hope to many sufferers of a variety of diseases. But I promise that all the stories that appear on this page will be relevant to the two mindsports played at the Academy.

Every bridge and chess player probably knows an older or younger relative who needs help. Having quickly discovered that this platform gives me the perfect opportunity to share my experiences for the benefit of some of those sufferers, at my time of life there is no point in taking my secrets to the grave.

The problem for me is presenting my journey through life in such a way that it is factually detailed enough  for it to be believed and to therefore have a beneficial effect – but not too distressing for readers to know the truth. To get that balance is going to take a few weeks longer.

 

To give you a flavour of what is in store, my first vivid recollection of hospital life happened in 1956. My wrists were tied to the bed at night to stop me scratching. That was when I was studying at Harriers Ground Primary school in Banbury. Eczema was the main problem then. The good news is that it meant I was introduced** to the games of bridge and chess  - plus canasta and cribbage - at the tender age of SIX. And the card therapy worked, With bridge proving the one that took my mind off the itching most effectively. More on that at a later date.

Fast forward eight years. At the age of 14 I was in a ward at the Royal, a chest hospital in Weston super Mare. The bad news was that, before they transferred me to Frenchay hospital in Bristol with viral pneumonia, I was told that I might not live to reach 18 years of age. The good news on that story is that before I was transferred, a very young JOHN CLEESE came to visit his mum. Now what most people won`t know is that his mother provided the material for a lot of her son`s black humour. Most notably the sketch about the  
 
Dead Parrot

That explains why I had such a whale of a time as an inmate at the Royal hospital. His Mum being having been the occupant of the bed next to mine.  Her unfazed approach to life in that hospital where she taught me how to become a comedian myself, also goes some way to explainong how the lady defied medical science and went on to live to the ripe old age of 101.

The even better news regarding Basil and his mum is that he remembered all this. When I contacted him just after his mother died in 2000, he immediately sent me some signed photos. They brought enormous pleasure to sufferers of cystic fibrosis. That is another disease that is technically in my genes and which sadly claimed the life of my nephew at the age of seventeen.

 

I am the lucky one. Not because I live to tell the tales with a touch of black humour, but because I was never distressed.

Paradoxically, it is the son - and the other relatives and close friends of

Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis & Eczema Sufferers

who invariably get far more distressed than we sufferers ourselves 

 Trevor 22/2/19

 

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Back to the bridge table. Plenty more black comedy in this little anecdote on a very serious subject:

 

The last rites

Lest anyone thinks I might be wanting to tell these stories for the sympathy vote, this time you are right   But please banish all thoughts that the sympathy vote I am seeking is for me. It is certainly not. And never will be.  It is instead to help, amongst others, the terminally ill. Let me relate an uplifting story about my ten day stay in the biggest chest hospital in the north west of England.

Even though I was in and out of intensive care twice on my day of arrival at Wythenshawe hospital, I was the fittest person in the ward. Without any doubt. All the others seemed to be suffering from lung cancer.

By day three I was able to walk. So I went for a little stroll with the nurse who came to take the chap in the next bed for a ride in a wheelchair. I wanted to check out the tale he had told me.

Although breathlessness meant it had taken him a long time to get the words out, he was chatty and witty. Even though he knew he only had a couple of weeks to live. Witty to the extent that, when I asked him why he always sat bare chested in bed, he said he liked to show off his muscles to the nurses. In reality, he weighed only six and a half stone and, with a smile, readily confessed to having no muscle to show off  

Yet this man was as happy as one could be at that stage in his life. That was because the nurses at Wythenshawe did not deny this patient his one remaining pleasure in life. Three times a day they helped him go to a special room for smokers.

He was rarely the only patient in there. Sometimes enough to make up a four at the card table. That thought was on my mind because I had been playing in the Home Office annual bridge tournament the day before I was rushed to hospital. It was the smoke that I inhaled in the bridge room that caused me to be taken by ambulance from the passport control at Manchester airport within 24 hours of playing the last hand..

Chatting to the nurse as she waited outside for her patient, she confirmed there were always enough packs of cards and chess boards in the room for multiple families to play both games simultaneously at peak visiting hours. "Brilliant", I said.

As it happened, this particular nurse was pretty witty as well. Witty and pretty might be a better description. Which is why I wanted to keep the conversation going as long as possible.

When I asked if there just might be a slight conflict of interest in encouraging lung cancer patients to smoke, her reply was. "Not at all. It is the highlight of our day seeing these people happy. I usually go in with them. Working in a hospital which is falling down, I need to have a fag.myself "  

My response was the inevitable one from a young man to a very pretty and witty nurse, viz:

"Looking around, I have to agree with you. So what I might do is go in the smokers room just long enough for me to get back into intensive care. Then (using Home Office immigration jargon) I can get an extension of my stay to allow me to teach you a few games". 

"Don`t bother" she quipped. "I know all the card games and I can play chess as well. Probably better than you"

"In that case I have another idea. You can give me the lessons" 

Thankfully, for her sake, Wythenshawe hospital was demolished and rebuilt a few years after I was discharged.

 

The moral of this story: 

Unless you believe in immortality, most mortals would have to agree that we are all given a death sentence the moment we are born. We all know we are going to die and should make the most of every day.

Can I therefore suggest to all bridge players with a tendency to argue with their partner at the bridge table, that they ask themselves this.

“Why am I not enjoying my games in the bridge club 100% when those playing in hospices obviously are”

If you will excuse the pun, my logical bridge brain dictates that I am dead right to pose this rhetorical question.

 

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

If only I could sing...

 

Time to cheer you up with my favourite song

As I can`t sing

I will have to let Sir sing it on my behalf for the pupils.

Young and old alike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjxL3U2mCyg