The Doctor's Consultation: by Dr. Iain Corness
The Okinawa Express
It always amazes me just how
much of our living is dedicated to try and avoid dying. Every second
magazine has some advert for something that will extend our lives, be that
taking megavitamins or doing colonic washouts.
I have dealt with the megavitamin myth recently, so I won’t cover that again
today, but colonic washouts have been spared my pen dipped in hemlock -
until now. Just how, pray tell me, does sticking 300 mm of garden hose up
your fundamental orifice assist you to become more healthy? Let me assure
you that the colon was designed to cope with human poo. It was not designed
to cope with garden hose loaded with mystical ingredients that will make you
live longer. Put the garden hose away. It will not work.
However, we still all want to be immortal, so if your ambition is to live to
be 100, the Okinawa Express is now leaving from platform number three.
According to an article I have read, the Japanese Health Ministry claims
that Okinawans have an average life expectancy of 81.2 years - 86 for women
and 75 for men (note for the marriageable - choose an Okinawan woman 11
years older than you are and go for a double cremation).
The other amazing fact was that Okinawan centenarians come in at about 34
per 100,000 of the population, almost three and a half times more than the
figures from America.
So what are the Okinawans doing right? Is it the center of colonic washouts?
Or what is it that we are doing wrong? When you look at this conundrum, it
is interesting to note that if you take the Okinawans out of Japan and
relocate them in another culture, they end up with the same statistics as
the culture in which they are now living. The same has been shown in
comparative statistical examinations of all races, for all diseases. East
Africans do not get tooth decay, but when working for British Rail (“Mind
the gap!”) and living in the UK, end up with a set of typical British
rotting teeth - or a fine set of NHS dentures (mind the gap, again!).
So the true story is probably not lucky genes, but revolves around diet and
lifestyle. Okinawans are doing better because their lifestyle suits them
better, and their diet isn’t poisoning them or blocking their arteries.
The lifestyle on Okinawa is apparently very slow and the stress experienced
by the local populace is not high. Now if this were the be all and end all,
my car washer will live to be 134 years old, but Thais, despite a nice slow
pace don’t do all that well in the longevity stakes either. So there’s more.
The researchers cite diet, and the Okinawans are apparently strong on
fruits, vegetables, fish and ‘moderation’. (Once again, the middle way looks
like being the best, as a simple Buddhist observation.) Looking at one of
their recipes, it ends up being a tofu mish-mash with 59 calories per
serving. It is certainly not the high cholesterol stew that we as farangs
tend to eat.
The other factors associated with longevity - or the lack of it - cigarettes
and booze, were not mentioned in the article - because I think it would be
there that you would find another clue. Despite Uncle Ernie who lived to be
103 and smoked 60 cigarettes a day and drank a bottle of bourbon before
lunch and died when shot by a jealous husband, we do know that smoking
doesn’t help you live longer (when I typed that last phrase, I had
inadvertently put “love” longer - but that’s true too). Like wise, we know
that with alcohol, the middle way is also best.
So, rather than take the train to Okinawa, look at your diet, look at your
stresses in life, stop smoking, drink in moderation and you too may make a
100. Of course, if you die of boredom aged 103, it wasn’t really worth it,
was it! Has anyone seen my garden hose?
Heart to Heart
Has the Mistersingha person died? We haven’t had to put up with his
ramblings for a while. Or have you been screwing his letters up and
dropping them in the round file beside your desk? BTW, sorry to read
that you got held up in Bangkok for the 15th party. Good stoush. Maybe
Chang for ever
Dear Chang for ever,
No, he hasn’t died, my Petal. Look at the letter below yours. And have
you been snooping in my office, you naughty boy and saw my round file?
You should be ashamed. Nothing’s sacred these days. Yes, I was sorry I
missed the bash, but maybe next year?
Pater is having a little difficulty with his high-rise condom! Despite
having his “DUNBONKIN” sign displayed on his door, ladies still go tap,
tap, tap as only ladies can! What can he do, apart from popping out for
an extended whirdle?
What did I do in my last life to deserve you? Please let me know when
you put the “DUNLIVIN” sign above the door. It will probably happen
soon, as whirdling at his age is almost as dangerous as frangulating.
Please pass on my best regards to your carers. They have a very
My Thai girlfriend is perfect in every way, but one. When we go out for
a beer she gets very ‘teary’ after a round or two and rehashes all the
bad things that have happened to her in the past. As far as I am
concerned, what’s in the past is in the past, so let’s not cry over
spilt milk, as they say. She sees it this way too, until she’s had a
skinful and then it’s back to the tears again. This then means no nooky
for me that night. Have you any ideas what I can do to get her over
You men are all the same. Beer and sex, sex and beer. Don’t you think of
anything else? Have you tried not plying her with drink? Beer is neither
a stimulant or a muscle strengthener, but is a depressant and a muscle
relaxer (ever heard of brewer’s droop). Neither of these items are good
for your nocturnal pursuits, you know. Try sticking with soft drinks for
the little lady – and a few for yourself won’t go astray either!
I have an estate in the UK where I live for six months every year. My
children are all grown up and are self supporting, and my wife is well
covered in my will. The problem I am looking at now is the fact that I
have invested in real estate in this country, and have a Thai friend who
looks after my investment for me, collects rents and the like. I would
like to make sure that he is looked after if I should die, and would
want that my Thai real estate holdings go to him, and not my UK family
which will be well off when I go, which I hope will not be too soon. How
do I go about this, Hillary?
Really it is not too difficult at all, but you have to follow Thai law
in this situation. I cannot give you all the details, Petal, but a good
Thai lawyer can. Ask around your ex-pat friends for names of recommended
lawyers, and if needs be get advice from more than one. I would try to
keep your two sets of beneficiaries as separate as possible. There’s
nothing like a death to bring a family together – to fight about who
gets what! Add in another set of beneficiaries and you have a real
You have been asked about tipping before, but I cannot find the edition
it was in. I realize that waiters look to the tip as part of their
wages, but I just need to know how much should I tip them? Is it
compulsory? I do not want to look mean, but I haven’t got thousands of
baht to fritter away each time I go out. I appreciate your advice each
Much depends upon whether the establishment includes the tip, called
Service Charge, in the bill. Many hotels have the signs + + after the
price, and this means plus service charge and plus VAT. Since they have
already factored in (usually 10 percent) for the tip, then there is no
point in tipping twice. Some people say that the establishment pockets
the service charge and does not give it to the waiters and waitresses,
but that is something between the employers and the staff, nothing to do
with the diners. If the restaurant does not include the service charge,
then around 10 percent is fair enough, unless you have had lousy
service, or no service. In those cases, do not tip at all. In fact I
have been known to wait for five baht change just to show them that I
only tip for good service. If the service has been exemplary, with lots
of fawning and scraping to make me feel wonderful (flattery gets them
everywhere) then I will tip more than 10 percent. I’m not stingy.
by Harry Flashman
When all else fails -
read the instruction manual
all else fails - read the instruction manual is always some good
advice, and the answer to many photographic problems can be
found between its pages. I have written before about just how
much information there is available, if you want to look.
Unfortunately, many instruction manuals are close to being
useless as the details are too difficult to understand (or
‘navigate’) these days. Is this you? Be honest now. I have this
problem too. The family happy snapper is a Canon Ixus 40 and
after one or both of the children play with it, the LED screen
ends up with all kinds of confusing icons and histograms. How to
return it to the simple turn on and take pictures mode is beyond
me, and beyond the capabilities of the instruction manual to
impart. Fortunately, the store where we bought it has a bright
young man who races through menus and gives us back a camera we
adults can use. And he does it free of charge. What a bargain.
Now a few weeks ago I published a letter from Darcy in Australia
who had written to me with his problems with a new Nikon D 40 X
he had purchased. His first digital camera, and welcome to the
wonderful world of drop-down menus, while just wanting to snap
Darcy wrote “Bought the D 40 X. Lovely bit of equipment suitable
for my needs. I will ask a little advice now and then as I work
my way through all its tricks if you don’t mind. I have already
picked up a neat infrared remote shutter control and have tested
it out to 30 meters. I also picked up a twin battery pack that
should give me plenty of backup power. I will look for an AFS VR
200 mm zoom in a couple of months. A question though, I know
most of the time it is power economical to leave the LCD off but
occasionally it is needed for viewing. I have trawled through
the book and menus for both turning it on and also extending the
viewing time of the menus but I’m damned if I can find anything
about either items. Any suggestions?”
This prompted Don Griffith to write to me with some advice for
young Darcy. And as it was extremely sage advice, I have
reprinted the letter below.
“Darcy’s problem with the Nikon D40X has prompted me to pass on
a tip. I have a D40 and probably the instruction manual for it
is exactly the same as his. Very badly laid out and confusing -
vague language and far too many cross references for someone
making the transition up to a DSLR to make total sense of.
“To this end it is very worthwhile investing in a third party
book on the camera if one wants to get the best out of it.
“I got one from my local ‘Amazon’ - the beauty of using Amazon
being I was able to read parts of it before I bought it to make
sure I was not buying yet another confusing instruction book. I
bought the cheapest available out of a surprisingly large
collection that was on offer - and it has been a complete
revelation and consider it has totally paid for itself in the
first three or four chapters.
“For example, I have had the camera for 12 months and in the
first chapter or so I learnt basic things that I was previously
unaware of - like how to use the exposure compensation/aperture
“No doubt there are owners of other makes of DSLR cameras with
much the same problem - if so it is also worth them looking for
a book for their camera as well.”
Thank you Don, for that advice, and by the way, Don had added
the disclaimer “PS I don’t work for Amazon or have shares in the
With today’s increasingly more technical (electronic) cameras,
you do need a good manual, and if the factory one is too
complex, then I suggest you do as Don Griffith has done. Look
for the easier after-market publications.
Money Matters: Paul Gambles
MBMG International Ltd.
The dangers of trying to time the market
As everyone knows, what goes up must come down. This is
equally applicable to a certain item of clothing as it is to fund prices and
share performances. The biggest and, supposed, best make as many poor calls as
the rest of us mere mortals. For example, Goldman Sachs (GS) had Marks & Spencer
(M&S) as a ‘Buy’ recommendation from when it was priced at 745p. They finally
realized that this was not the brightest option when they recently removed the
aforementioned tag when it was at 235p. So, if someone had taken the advice when
it was given in May last year they would have lost over 68% of the money
invested. However, GS were not the only ones with egg on their faces. Investec
still had M&S as a ‘Buy’ when it was at 230p.
This is from the same people that recommended Sub-prime to us all and look where
that got us. The research done on this was a tad poor to say the least and many
of the investment companies’ managers looked at the potential size of their
bonuses as opposed to their clients’ wallets.
The question is, who are these researchers and how do they come up with their
recommendations? Some recent wag came out with the glorious statement that it
just “keeps the mentally disadvantaged off the streets.” It reminds me of JK
Galbraith who said that “economics is extremely useful as a form of employment
Anyway, I digress. Back to market timing. Another classic is what happened to
the Legg Mason Value Trust. Over the last ten years this has consistently
outperformed the S&P500. However, in the space of six months, it is now lower
than its benchmark and people are now left with the same amount as when they
originally invested in 1998. This just goes to show that nothing keeps on going
up for ever and that those who invested recently will be ruing the day they did.
It also shows that fund managers that rely on growth in assets under management
for a source of income as opposed to value delivered (i.e. the vast majority of
them) are extremely vulnerable to their own success.
Another good example of this is the old Fidelity Magellan Fund which at it’s
height a few years ago had over USD100 billion in it.
Dan Gross of Slate Magazine wrote about the problems that a very large fund has
to face: “When you have to buy as much as they do, it’s difficult to open and
close positions quietly. Hedge funds and other quick-fire traders are constantly
trying to figure out which stocks the big dogs are buying and selling and how
they can profit by jumping in and out ahead of them. And unless you want to buy
hundreds upon hundreds of positions - in which case you’re essentially mimicking
the broader market - a huge mutual-fund manager has to confine himself to huge
stocks. Magellan has 207 positions, and its top 10 holdings are the same giant
stocks that everybody owns.”
Regular readers of this column will know that, with honourable exceptions like
Man Investments, we prefer active funds that are hungry for success. This is
because, as can be seen from above, excessive size is a real problem when trying
to achieve continued investment success. It behooves investors to select a
manager who has no loyalty to anyone but the investor who has elected to put
money into that fund. It will sort out the men from the boys and those that
manage to survive this bear market will emerge leaner, meaner and a lot
Now that the poor times have fallen on us again, it is an opportune moment to
remind us of what the Yale University Endowment CIO David Swensen said three
years ago: “Unfortunately, the track record of individual investors with
plain-vanilla mutual funds fails to inspire confidence… [they] overwhelmingly
fail to beat the market. In a well-structured study published in 2000, an
investment manager, Robert Arnott, showed that over a two-decade period,
excessive management fees ... reduce the chance that a mutual fund investor will
beat the market to less than one in seven.”
Swenson went on, “Most mutual funds do not produce even minimally acceptable
results because of the conflict between the mutual fund company’s profit motive
and the mutual fund manager’s fiduciary responsibility. Mutual fund companies
profit by gathering assets, charging high fees and churning portfolios. Mutual
fund managers produce superior investment returns by limiting assets, assessing
low fees and trading infrequently. In case after case, profits trump returns.
The mutual fund manager abrogates fiduciary responsibility for personal gain.”
Not all fund managers are greedy incompetents but a lot of the managers are
managed by their companies and told that profits for the company are more
important than those of the investor. As stated above, I cannot emphasise
strongly enough that if you do own funds then you will do a damn sight better by
going with a high quality fund manager than just picking a large well-known one.
Many fund managers are also limited in what they can do by the make up of the
fund itself. If the fund insists that it can only invest in equities then that
is it. There is no facility to allow the manager to jump into alternative funds,
commodities, property etc. There is the crux of the matter, as the real
challenge now is actual asset allocation - especially having the ability to move
money away from any particular area where it may be vulnerable.
Just to show how bad the markets have had it this year you only have to look at
the chart on this page. Sector after sector shows massive losses with the only
ones not suffering are those industries linked to commodities. This is just the
FTSE All Share but it is equally applicable to any major market in the world
The world is a different place now than it was recently. What to do?
1. Do not tie money up in something that you cannot get out of relatively
quickly - especially in the equity market.
2. Cash is king.
3. Bonds are not necessarily a good alternative either - not even government
ones. For example, the UK government is going to find it difficult to give any
tax cuts in this recession and inflation looks as though it is rearing its ugly
head at the moment. What with the British Pound looking increasingly vulnerable,
it is not the time to be buying these instruments
4. If you have not already done so then it is a good time to consider getting
into good quality absolute return funds with a multi-asset class approach.
5. If Option 4 is still too aggressive for you then there is always that option
called … Gold.
What all of this basically amounts to is that nobody, not even Warren Buffet,
can time individual markets or stocks. Even if you could then it would not
really help that as much as 90% of returns comes from asset selection, i.e.,
market timing at asset selection level just does not work and can be very
expensive. Asset allocation, however, is a form of market timing and results in
almost all of the growth your portfolio will make.
The above data and research was compiled from
sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd
nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in
the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as
a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading
the above article. For more information please contact Paul Gambles on
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
A delightful evening…
A delightful evening…was certainly enjoyed by all those
who went to the recital room of the Shangri La Hotel last Sunday. The
occasion was the aptly titled La Bonne Chanson, with music by Debussy, Ravel
and Faure played by pianists Jonas Dept and David Wilson (as a fine and
selfless accompanist) and sung by tenor Antoine Garth, who displays a
powerful and ‘actorish’ presence and technique well suited to these
wonderful songs - especially the Five Poems of Baudelaire. Dept reprised two
works from a recent AUA concert, although he seemed marginally less at ease
in the acoustics of the new hall, which is very comfortable if slightly
The audience went on to the hotel buffet restaurant and it made for a
friendly and chatty ending to a pleasant evening, reminding - if we need it
- how lucky we are to live in the civilized environment of Chiang Mai I look
forward to further events at this venue as well as the many concerts and
recitals planned between now and the end of the year, including the second
in the Faure Festival, towards the end of September.
Less delightful…is any attempt at walking in Chiang Mai. Why I wonder are
pedestrians - of any age - relegated to being second class citizens. True, I
drive a car and have access to motor cycle pillions but like most people I
choose to walk in town and to and from shops, to friends, restaurants and so
on. The pavements in general are worse than a disgrace, they are positively
dangerous - not least when used by cyclists, including the motorized ones. I
challenge any member of the Highways Department of the City to walk down
Huay Kaew Road from Amari Rincome to opposite Central and to try to cross
the road in that area or - worse still - around Thapae Gate and tell me that
they did not find it irksome and dangerous. Pedestrian crossings are part of
an obstacle course. Smart surrounds to the Moat are fine as are plans for a
park and other green areas, but the basic infra structure matters too. And
can someone tell me why the elephants and their begging masters are around
town again. I thought they had been banned.
Even less lucky…are the Burmese people, ‘celebrating’ the twentieth
anniversary of their 1988 uprising in the shadow of the brazen political
posturing of the Chinese as they mount their preposterous and inflated
Olympics. Rightly, President Bush and especially the First Lady mounted a
verbal assault on the generals in Burma and laid much of the blame with
China for their support of that vile regime as well as those in Zimbabwe and
the Darfur region. Of course they are hardly exempt themselves and it is a
good moment to reflect that - according to Amnesty International - China
executes more people than in all the other countries of the world combined.
Months ago, there was much talk of a boycott of the so-called ‘games’ and
now that’s forgotten. Fortunately not by everyone and for myself and many
others the sooner it is all over the better. Who cares given that it is an
artificial contest engineered by excessive training, brainwashing and - no
doubt - drugs and stimulants.
And finally…a couple of weeks a go I wrote about music in Chiang Mai and
elsewhere and mentioned that I had passing sympathy with Noel Coward’s view
of Mozart’s music. It was remarked to me by a musician that not everyone
would know what he said in his rather blatant generalization. Forgivable I
suppose because Sir Noel was a man of enormous talent (if not genius) with a
nice turn of phrase. So here it is, as far as I know, accurately rendered:
‘Mozart’s music is like a poodle piddling on flannel’.
Mentioning generalizations, I’ve been criticized for those and for being
unkind to various nationalities (including my own I add in defense). Ghastly
to Germany, horrid to Holland, frightful to the French, insulting to
Italians, even worse patronizing to Americans. So in future no words of
sarcasm or criticism for anyone excepting those dour Scots and the class
conscious English. Naturally, that does not exempt those ‘in charge’ of the
Let's Go To The Movies:
Now playing in Chiang Mai
WALL•E: US Animation/ Comedy/ Family/ Romance/ Sci-Fi - WALL•E is
a work of genius from the first frame to the last. Robot love in a dead
world, and the cutest love story in years. There’s virtually no dialogue for
the first 40 minutes; you’ll be enthralled. And the brilliant animation
continues throughout the closing credits, as we’re treated to a continuation
of the story in a series of historical art styles, from cave painting to Van
Gogh. Reviews: Universal acclaim.
And, as a bonus, there’s a terrific Pixar cartoon before the feature.
Where the Miracle Happens: Thai Drama - Make no mistake, this is a
powerful plea for compassion towards neglected segments of Thai society -
the uneducated and exploited people, many hill-tribe, that are not really
citizens of Thai society. It’s a plea for giving everyone living in Thailand
at least the opportunity for education and health care, and freedom from
Produced by HRH Princess Ubolratana, this film is a drama adapted from a
story in her book, “Short Stories from My Thoughts.” The Princess also stars
in the film as a successful businesswoman who loses her daughter in a car
accident. To fulfill the philanthropic wish of her child, she travels to a
remote school in Chiang Rai (the film was shot in Chiang Mai) and tries to
help the rural teachers rebuild their local school.
The message is clear: those who have the means - the riches from the
Thai economy - need to take a paternal interest in the country as a whole.
It’s one’s responsibility, and is simply the decent thing to do for a
country that has been good to you. This film is a part of Princess
Ubolratana’s “Miracle of Life” project, which aims to provide education to
underprivileged children in Thailand.
It’s a heart-felt plea, told in basic and simple dramatic terms, with the
standard ingredients of Thai drama and comedy fused into a quite moving
film. The Princess acquits herself beautifully as the prime actor of the
film. The production values are top rate - the photography is luscious.
If you relax and let yourself be drawn into the story, there’s no way you
won’t be very affected at story’s end - I admit it, I was in tears
Rogue: Australia/US Thriller - An American journalist on assignment
on a tourist river boat in the Australian outback which encounters a
man-eating “rogue” crocodile. A modest and effective thriller, with some
extraordinary shots of the breathtakingly-forbidding Australia harshness,
accompanied by some quite excellent music throughout by François Tétaz which
captured for me the beauty and danger of the location, and which includes in
its mix aboriginal vocals and didgeridoo droning. The whole is a sort of
study of crocodiles and crocodile lore by the director/writer Greg Mclean,
who seems to really love the subject, and who seems very fond of the
Northern Territory landscape. Rated R in the US for language and some
creature violence (some of which has been clipped by the paternalistic Thai
censors). Early reviews: Mixed or average.
Shaolin Girl: Japan Action /Comedy - A sequel to the popular Hong
Kong film Shaolin Soccer, about a girl who returns to Japan after spending 9
years in training to beat a master of Shaolin Kung Fu in a lot of fake
fighting. All reports indicate it’s a pretty mediocre film, but it’s shown
only in a Thai-dubbed version, so you won’t likely be seeing it anyway.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: US/Germany/Canada Action
/Fantasy - What a shame! All the talent, all the fantastic attention to
detail, wasted on a mess of a movie that is nothing but one bang after
another, one explosion after another, one bloody fight after another, all to
no purpose. Ignore this one, unless of course you like mindless action, and
It’s a ludicrous tale in which Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello play British
aristocrat-adventurers who head East and meet up with their son (Luke Ford).
The three bring to life the mummy of China’s ruthless Dragon Emperor and his
vast terra cotta army.
Hanuman: The White Monkey Warrior: Thai Action - Utter trash, and the
biggest argument yet for imposition of censorship, let alone a rating
system. Not only not fit for kids; not fit for adults either. Detailed
beheadings with close-ups of the surprised looks on the faces of the
decapitated heads, loving depictions of skin being slowly ripped off of
humans, and worse. All involved should be heavily fined, and jailed.
Scheduled for Aug 21
Death Race: US Action/Thriller - The most twisted spectator sport
on earth as violent criminals vie for freedom by winning a race driving
monster cars outfitted with machine guns, flamethrowers, and grenade
launchers. The previews are the most repulsive imaginable.
The Coffin: Thai Horror - Ananda Everingham as a claustrophobic
architect who nevertheless participates in obscure coffin rituals.
Bridge in Paradise :
by Neil Robinson
Last Saturday, I played in the annual individual tournament at the historic
old club in Muang Som-mut. There were 24 entrants and everyone played two
hands with each of the other players, for a total of 46 hands, leisurely
spread over the day. Coming into the final two hands, the bridge gods had
been kind to me, and I had hopes of winning the tournament. My partner for
the last two hands was my old friend Robert the Rules. His nickname comes
from his love of rules, at the bridge table and in life. He never fails to
cover an honour with an honour. Last week I described how I finally got him
to stop always playing third hand high. When there is an honour in dummy, he
adopted the new rule that I taught him - keep an honour to beat an honour in
This was the first hand with Robert:
NS vulnerable, East deals
This was the bidding:
Robert dealt and passed. South also passed. I preempted with a 2 spade call.
Purists might object to a weak two with such a poor hand and bad suit, but
with my partner having passed, I wanted to get in the way of the opponents’
bidding to the maximum extent possible. North doubled for takeout,
presumably intending to bid a red suit or no trump if partner bid clubs.
Robert correctly raised the barrier by going to three. But North, with his
19 points, was undeterred and doubled again. South bid 4 hearts.
Non-vulnerable, I pushed to 4 spades, which has a play for only one down.
North, hoping South was void in spades, went to 5 hearts. I passed, hoping
we had pushed them too high to make.
I led the jack of spades. Dummy ducked. Just looking at dummy and East’s
cards only, what card would you play from the East hand? Robert, seeing the
king in dummy, ducked. South, a fine Thai player, took the first trick with
the queen and led a club, won by Robert. He returned a trump, ducked to my
king. I led another spade, trumped in hand. South then led a trump to dummy,
and ruffed the last spade in hand. By now, dummy was all winners and he
claimed 11 tricks, losing only the ace of clubs and the king of trumps.
I pointed out to Robert that he can count spades. He can see six in his own
hand and dummy and he knows that I have six from the bidding. Therefore, he
knows declarer’s queen is singleton. All he has to do is take the ace on the
first round and we will defeat the contract. He had been so pleased with
himself for remembering to keep an honour to beat the one in dummy, and was
so crestfallen when I criticised his play, that I did not have the heart to
say more. Getting Robert to think about the play, instead of following a
rule blindly, was a hopeless task anyway!
I knew I needed a good last hand to still have a chance of winning. I’ll
tell you about that hand next week. Please e-mail me your favourite hands to