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It’s always a huge pleasure to visit Nottingham each year, not just because the tournament is really good and the players lovely but also because it’s so good to catch up with Roy and Elissa who put me up so kindly. As before, Elissa very kindly lent me her lovely car.

Road changes that have happened since last year made the journey so much easier so I was really early at the club on a lovely day. I received a great welcome and it was a very happy day even though I lost all three games!

The week passed very pleasantly with much merriment, especially from David who wore different socks every day and on one particular day I had to get him to pose for a photo!

I can’t imagine where he gets them from but they certainly liven things up. Not that the surroundings need any enhancement. The environment is simply stunning.

Unlike my experiences in New Zealand (apart from Wellington club of course), it’s always the blokes who take turns with the catering and they’re very good at it. And they don’t turn up to cook lunch only – they play all day too!

Each evening I’d get back to Roy and Elissa’s to find a beautiful meal waiting and time to chill out and chat. It was, as ever, a wonderful week.

And to cap it off, I woke on my last morning to find an email from Julia in Los Angeles to tell me that she’d attended the Global e-book Awards on my behalf in Santa Barbara the night before and that I’d won! That was a real thrill and I was so pleased that she’d been able to represent me at the glittering occasion and receive the Award. Now that’s something worth hanging on the wall when I get home!

Nottingham, England - 13-19 August 2012

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