Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lille Women 7

The QF ended with a comfortable win for England over Sweden. For the 2nd match running we were good in the last set and gave little away. We went in 20 up and won the set easily. Our opponents for the semi final are France. They triumphed when they beat a strong Dutch squad on the very last board. This is not the same French team as the one who were the runners up in Dublin a few weeks ago. This team finished 2nd in their trials. The winners got the European championship and the runners up this event. Interestingly three of the four semi finalists are from our Round Robin Group.

It's warming up here and not just in the bridge sense. The temperature gauge above the local pharmacy said 43 Celsius yesterday and whilst that may have been subject to a little Gallic exaggeration it was certainly hot and the aircon in the players area was not functioning making it a very hot and unpleasant experience.

One surprising thing about Lille, certainly compared to my last visit in 1998, is the very significant number of beggars on the street. They all have children or dogs in tow but are not particularly aggressive. They are most at risk from the Renault Clio's driven by young Frenchmen with a hazy idea of the difference between road and pavement. Each restaurant is favoured by a set of rose sellers coupled with accordion players and their hangers on with yogurt pots for money collection. The ones playing tunelessly outside our restaurant had a small episode with a motor bike. The bike, with a scratch was the only thing to suffer damage but the resultant shouting and threat to summon the police scared the accordionist off. I wanted to give the motor cyclist 2 Euros for saving us.

If you get or see the Sunday Telegraph there is a full page article on the mind sport games featuring our women's team.

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