Win with a Butter Knife!

I love this time of year, when Wimbledon is on and I arrange my working day to allow for maximum viewing time. I have just realised that two of my new card colours are actually Wimbledon colours – and I rather like them as a playing card combo.

I have come across the most amazing man:

Max Woosnam, a truly outstanding all round sportsman.

Born in 1892, he captained the golf and cricket teams at Winchester College and also represented them for football and squash. Then at Cambridge he established himself as a genuine outstanding sporting all-rounder; representing the university at cricket, lawn tennis, real tennis, captaining the football team plus being a scratch golfer.

After the war, where he fought with distinction, enduring the horrors of both the Western front and the Gallipoli campagin, he resumed his sporting career.

Max didn’t want to play as a professional so signed to play for Manchester City as an amateur and ended up as captain at the request of his fellow team mates.

He won an England cap when captaining the English team against Wales and was then asked to be captain of the British team in the forthcoming Olympics but he refused the honour as he was already committed to the tennis team.

Max won a gold medal at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp for the men’s tennis doubles and in 1921 won the men’s doubles at Wimbledon. In the same year he also captained the Davis Cup Team.

It was whilst he was in California that the captain of the British Davis Cup team was invited round for tea by Charlie Chaplin.

Max and Charlie appear to have taken an instant dislike to one other.

The Hollywood star’s ego is said to have been severely dented after first being soundly beaten on the tennis court and then, as if to rub salt into the wound, Max proceeded to thrash him at table tennis playing with a butter knife, his great party piece apparently!

In the years that followed the memory of film legend Charlie Chaplin has endured through his films, whilst the sporting legend Max Woosnam has been all but forgotten by the public.

I think someone should make a film about his life – I would love to see the butter knife scene!!

Bridge Question

You opened 1Heart

Partner responded 1Spade

What do you re-bid?

The Pick Up - a short story by Nina Martin

The magician was lost in thought as he shuffled his cards, his hands machines, natural to the motions and the flow.
It was a habit, I realised, one that revealed something more complex whirring beneath the grin and the wink.
He fascinated me, had done for weeks.
Quick glimpses, hurried catching of the eye, never stare directly, never commit; today was the day, today I would ask, today.
Today I stopped and watched him perform.
He was young, hid it well.
He winked again and drew me in.
He held out the deck, never saying a word, but – the dust, the germs, the strangers, the bustle. London.
I turned, I walked, I ran.
Scared of new, unknown.
I would forever be the man-the boy that ran, who pressed escape.
My tie was tight, I loosened it. Something fell out – a card, a Jack, a number and a name.

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Bridge Answer

Answer: 2 No Trumps

(to show a moderately balanced hand with 17-18 points)

Q&A from Christine Tomkin; EBU teacher

Everyday Kings & Queens

Spotted along The Strand – playing cards to honour ‘Every day Kings and Queens’ – “local heroes who continually support our community but went above and beyond during the pandemic through their acts of kindness”.

View from my desk this week