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Canterbury Tales

While visiting family near Canterbury, UK, this week, I ventured to the Canterbury Duplicate Bridge Club yesterday evening. They were most welcoming, they provided a partner who was a great pleasure to play with and I enjoyed my evening very much (this is typical of my experience of playing bridge in England, I should point out).

Towards the end of the evening, someone asked me if it was similar to an evening club game back home in Boston. I said it was.

But I got to thinking about that afterwards.

Of course, it's always a bit different when you're an out-of-town guest but I felt a great warmth of welcome here that was a little above and beyond the reception I've enjoyed when visiting clubs in North America. The players seem to be more genuinely out to enjoy themselves and seem to appreciate the social aspects of face-to-face bridge more. In short, there are fewer grouches!

But the biggest difference was, I realized later, in the schedule. We started at 7pm (pretty much on the dot) and we were finished a few minutes before 10pm. Yet we played 27 boards (9 rounds of 3)! it's a long time since I played 27 boards at a club in Boston. Indeed, on one recent occasion at a club evening game, I played only 16 boards (there was a two-board sitout).

Yesterday evening, I never felt hurried. In fact, I think we finished most rounds ahead of time. We didn't even have Bridgemates to speed up (or slow down) scoring. We seemed to have plenty of time for the social niceties. People seemed to just play quicker. And perhaps there was less discussion of the result than I'm used to. And of course there was plenty time to get tea and biscuits (cookies to some of you).

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