Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Bath time

Originally uploaded by patfoz.

Once again, I managed to have a great time on the weekend... by getting out of London.

Rach and I travelled to Bath to basically crash a party - it was the birthday party of a girl who's sister we had visited in Leeds because Rach met her when she was living in Australia a few years back... that doesn't sound tenuous at all, does it? These people had no idea who I was, but they welcomed me and threw an awesome party anyway! It was held on the family 'estate' outside of Bath (due to some poor planning, we didn't actually get to Bath, so I'll have to head back there another time to make a nerd pilgrimage to the eponymous ruins).

The party was great, with a bizarre range of people in attendance - from a German South African devoted to internet gambling, through an ex-city worker now training to be a physio, to an engineer with the Royal Marines, who, as he puts it, "blows stuff up." On arrival, we discovered a croquet course (is that the right word?) set up on the lawn and got into a friendly game with the gambler and engineer. The first round went to the Australians, showing that we're naturally great at all sports, no matter how unfamiliar or ridiculous. However, we lost the rematch, which was much less friendly, and a decider had to be played on Sunday. This was an absolute nail biter, and it came down to the wire as shown in the photo above - to save the game, I had to defy all laws of physics and get the pink ball to hit the black one hiding behind the pole. I would have made the shot if they'd let me chalk the mallet.

As you can probably guess, I'm a bit of a croquet convert now - and why wouldn't you be? It's a sport that you can, nay must, play with a drink in hand, and unlike golf or beer cricket there's very little actual movement required. I can't believe it hasn't taken off back home. Oh, that's right, you need to have a lawn... dirt croquet doesn't have the same appeal does it?

I've already had a few nasty comments about my rapid Anglicization (as demonstrated by the constant whining and use of the word 'crisps'), and my new found love of toff lawn sports won't help my defence. I have to admit that it's gotten worse - like all the 'locals' I was running around with my shirt off on Sunday, but only for medical reasons. But unlike all the topless Brits in Hyde Park, my pasty whiteness is at least minimised - I still haven't regained the weight lost from my bout of food poisoning on arrival, and I haven't had a packet of crisps in weeks.


pat said...

When there wasn't enough light to drink and play croquet, we drank and swapped brainteasers. My fave was the following one posed by the marine: There's a light in the attic of a building, and 3 switches on the ground floor. How can you work out which switch controls the light and only have to go up the stairs once?

A shiny new donkey to the person with the first correct answer!

Jono said...

Pat - I want my donkey. Flick the first switch on for 5 minutes, then turn it off. Flick the 2nd switch on and go up stairs. If the light is on, then the 2nd switch is obviously the right one, otherwise the light should be off. If the bulb is hot, then the first switch controls it, otherwise it's switch 3.

Simo said...

Jono, you are an uber nerd.

Simo said...

Besides Mr Uber nerd, what happens if the light was already on before you started playing with the switches?

So really, you need to do what jono said - but you need to do nothing for at least 30 minutes first.

After you go up, then if the globe is on and "very hot", then it's switch 3 and that the light was on to start with.

This is because to get "very hot" the globe will need to have been turned on for at least 30 minutes continuously, and that being on for only 5 minutes wouldn't get it _that_ hot.

If the globe is on, but only "somewhat hot", then we know that it's switch one, and that the light was on to start with.

This is because to get "somewhat hot", the globe will need to have been on for about 25 minutes followed by a cooling off period of 5 minutes.

If the globe is on, but cold, then it's got to be switch 2, and the light was off to start with.

This is because the light must have had at least a 30 minute cooling off period and only just been flicked on to be on, but cold.

What if the globe is off?

If the globe is off, but "very hot", then it must be the second switch that controls it, and the light was on to start with.

This is because to be very hot, but off, the light must have been on for at least 30 minutes and only just been switched off.

If the globe is off, but "somewhat hot", then it was switch one, and the light was off to start with.

This is because to be "somewhat hot", but off, the light must have been on for a few minutes, and then flicked back off.

If it's off and cold, then it's switch 3, and the light was off to start with.

"I want my elephant"

Simo said...

And what if the globe is broken?

Or the wiring is out?

Or its a blackout?

Or its a Friday and you can't be arsed to do any work?

Pat said...

I'd love to give you both the prize, but since new anti-animal cruelty laws have been passed, I don't think I'll get away with giving you half a shiny new donkey each... so you'll just have to settle for the fact that you already have a nice ass (BOOM-TISH)

simo said...

that horrible pun is reward enough