The Doctor's Consultation: by Dr. Iain Corness
Put up the umbrellas - it’s raining pigs!
You have to pity the poor old
pig. Considered a dirty animal, but every last bit of it is eaten by many
people all over the world. After all, an English breakfast is nothing
without bacon, is it?
Poor old piglet has come in for so much abuse in the past few weeks that the
Egyptian authorities killed 300,000 of them, just in case they were carrying
the A/H1N1 virus, giving birth to the term “swine flu”. And there had not
been one single identification of the virus causing flu in the whole of
Egypt. Rough justice if you’re a pig.
The wave of hysteria spread throughout the world, with the media doing its
job of bringing the news of calamities to the unsuspecting public. In fact,
doing such a good job that the entire world was on high alert after the
third pig in Mexico coughed twice. The hidden message was “after coughing
Hong Kong quarantined a complete hotel, with all communication being done in
sign language through the locked windows. The only food available to the
guests was pizzas, as these could be slid under the doors. Every day the
reported number of deaths in Mexico from the virus escalated. If you got an
email from Mexico you prayed that your Norton, McAfee or whatever could
quarantine the virus before your computer passed on the virus to you. You
can see the connection already: pig to computer to man transmission. We are
As the panic spread, but the virus didn’t, the world’s media came in for
more abuse for scaremongering. But were they really? The media was simply
doing what it is supposed to do - reporting on the goings on in the world.
So where does the media go to get the information about the said goings on?
For medical data, it turns to the World Health Organization (WHO) which has
the following in its constitution: “Unequal development in different
countries in the promotion of health and control of disease, especially
communicable disease, is a common danger.” And further, “Informed opinion
and active cooperation on the part of the public are of the utmost
importance in the improvement of the health of the people.”
So returning to our porkers, as the data became available to the WHO, it in
turn made this information available to the media. For example, as the
number of countries reporting the A/H1N1 virus (Swine flu) increased, the
WHO increased its call for surveillance, issuing bulletins like: “Current
level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5. Based on
assessment of all available information and following several expert
consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general raised the current
level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5. She stated that all
countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. At
this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened
surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control
in all health facilities.”
The danger in the dissemination of this information was that, if not
correctly handled, this would lead to panic, and fighting in the pharmacies
for the anti-viral drugs. The important information in that bulletin from
the WHO was that it was part of a graduated pandemic “alert”. It did not say
that the world had been doomed by the pigs. It merely said that all
countries should be on alert.
However, there are sections of the media that exist on shock, horror
headlines, so I may as well give you one. “Center for Disease Control in the
US confirms 36,000 Americans died of influenza last year.” Now that happens
to be true, and has been true for the past 10 years. People die from
influenza - that’s “ordinary” influenza, not Swine influenza. That is why
the research people came up with vaccines to counteract the viruses, and
they are now currently working on one to cover A/H1N1.
So the ‘real’ picture is that the WHO is making sure all countries are on
the alert for this new influenza virus strain, not that we are in imminent
danger of extinction. Hopefully it will not be as virulent as it looked
initially, but we remain on alert.
Heart to Heart
I missed you. Where did you go for Songkran? I thought I might have seen
you in one of the sois throwing water, but nobody I asked had seen you.
Are your clothes dry again?
Dear Sam Songkran,
I’m sorry I can’t say I missed you, Sam Songkran, but why are you so
interested in my clothes this week (or any week for that matter)? Of
course I played Songkran, it is part of Thai culture, and I can assure
you that you wouldn’t see me in a floral dress and frizzy hair either (I
am going to have to speak severely to that Dorian). No, I looked out my
oldest jeans and tennis shoes and wearing a Chiang Mai Mail T-shirt, I
blended in with the revelers. I was the one with white powder on my
cheeks - and don’t get any funny ideas, Dorian Farmer!
Thank you for publishing my letter concerning the lady (and I use the
term loosely) who showers so all the world can see her nudity. I am
pleased you noticed my purposely mistaken use of the word “voyeur”, as
it indicates you have at least some rudimentary education.
You take me to task for writing under a nom de plume. I did not use my
correct name and title as it would immediately identify and expose this
74 year old exhibitionist neighbor to public ridicule. May I also
suggest you are a fine person to make such an accusation as, I am sure
we all know, you publish your weekly column under an alias. A little tea
money will ensure your continued anonyminity (sic).
In a sudden surge of excitement last night, that is when she bent down
to retrieve the soap, I fell off that bloody stool and am currently
ensconced in plaster from the groin to the hip, so what about some sound
compensation advice now? And who will now keep the nightly vigil -
perhaps you will kindly volunteer?
Firstly you wish to expose your voyeurism to the world through this
column a couple of weeks ago, and now you are trying your hand at
extortion notes, euphemistically referring to it as “tea money”. I think
you should spend a little more time, my Petal, at learning the English
language before sending off threatening letters in the lingo.
“Anonyminity”? Just what language is that? Or is it just that you can’t
spell “anonymity”? You also express the opinion that I have “at least
some rudimentary education.” Thank you, Petal, yes I have had a
rudimentary education, whilst yours on the other hand seems to have been
simply a “rude” education. And spelling obviously wasn’t one of the
subjects. Or if it was, you were obviously playing truant that day.
Sorry to hear that you have one of your appendages in plaster from the
groin to the hip. Perhaps this may bring on a little self restraint,
which will be good for you in the long run. Stops you spraining your
A big round of applause for your two replies to the outraged ones a
couple of weeks ago. What a lot of nonsense they bleat! I am one of the
people you mention who has lost everything in a previous life and now
have reincarnated into a loving husband (again) with a lady who has a
heart of gold… literally. To all you frustrated ladies out there who
think the “Thai Hussies” have stolen your man, rethink your own
attitudes and you might end up actually enjoying yourselves.
Thanks Hillary for the excellent column every week.
Perfectly happy Pete.
P.S. You have become a lot less catty over the last year or so, have
you found some romance in your life too or mellowed out on champagne?
Dear Perfectly happy Pete,
I am glad to hear that you have been so happily reincarnated as a loving
husband. People like you do seem to be a rarity round here, but then
again, the happy ones don’t generally write in for advice. They don’t
have to, do they.
Now, “catty”? Me? Moi? Never! And what’s this about “romance” in my
life? The only offers I ever get are from Dorian’s friend Nairod who
seems totally incapacitated by venal desires and other assorted
suggestions from the twisted mind of somebody called Mistersingha (and
that doesn’t mean you can write in again soon). They have about as much
chance of romancing as I have of getting champagne each week, as neither
of them has even come good with a BabyCham (dreadful sugary stuff). And
I notice your missive and its provocative remarks came unattended by
champagne or chocolates.
My boyfriend has grown a bushy mustache but every time he kisses me it
leaves a rash on my face. What can I do about it?
Dear Rosy Rash,
You have only one option, explain to your boyfriend sweetly that you
will have to change boyfriends unless he shaves off his mustache or
wears a ski mask or balaclava every time he kisses you. You could also
just try shaking hands, though it does take a little something out of
by Harry Flashman
One of the newer developments in the digital camera world is
‘bridge’ cameras. These look like a small DSLR, but have a
non-removable zoom lens of extraordinary range, generally 30-400
mm. For this reason, these cameras are also called ‘super
Finepix S 2000 HD
The ability to fit such a wide zoom range in one single small
diameter lens makes lens interchangeability redundant so you
don’t have to lug around an assortment of lenses either.
However, most bridge cameras allow the use of secondary lenses
to improve wide angle, telephoto or macro capabilities. These
secondary lenses typically screw onto the front of the primary
lens either directly or by use of an adapter tube, but image
quality may be sacrificed to some extent.
One area where the super zooms have a problem is in the
viewfinder imaging. In an SLR, with its mirror system and
through the lens viewing, you have a ‘real time’ image. With the
bridge cameras, there is no mirror and you are viewing a totally
digital image. This image suffers from a refresh delay which
means that the image seen on the screen will have a fraction of
a second lag from the real scene being photographed. For most
picture taking this is not a problem, but if you are trying to
capture a moving object means that it is very difficult to end
up with a centrally placed subject. This can be a major problem
for fast moving subjects such as animals, sports and children.
The delay can be quite significant, and is generally around one
third to one half a second. With the speed of a racing car, for
example, you will get many frames with just half a car! For
example, with the Fuji Finepix S 2000 HD, the shutter lag for a
single photo takes 0.42 seconds and five shots takes 12.23
seconds. With the flash on, the times are 0.56 seconds for a
single photo and 12.39 seconds for five. It is even worse with
the Sony DSC S500 Entry Level Digital Camera with a single shot
shutter lag of 1.08 seconds. This makes the Sony unacceptable if
you want to be a sports photographer, for example.
The specifications of this Finepix are 10 megapixel CCD sensor,
2.7in LCD screen and a 15x optical zoom with true wide angle. It
also has dual image stabilization, face detection and automatic
red-eye removal. The Fuji people claim high speed shooting up to
13.5 fps (ignoring shutter lag), with 14 pre-programmed scene
modes, an SD card expansion slot, and the ability to shoot
movies as well. Sounds good for under 10,000 baht!
The Fuji Finepix S 2000 HD, has dedicated buttons for activating
the face detection (the camera identifying and prioritizing up
to 10 faces in a frame, complete with automatic red eye removal
if required) and a second button for continuous shooting mode.
The continuous shooting mode provides a broad range of quick
shooting options. However, these are not quite as quick as it
first would appear. The ultra high speed, 13.5 fps is with the
three-megapixel mode, not the 10 megapixels the camera is
capable of. With the camera set on this “high speed” option, you
do get a rapid fire initial burst, but then you will find you
are waiting for 15 seconds or so while the images are processed
before you can fire off another shot. The rest of the camera
shows that it has the usual modes and options, with image
stabilization to make it less likely that you get ‘soft’ images.
This is where the final decision must be taken, if you are in
the market for a bridge super zoom. Reading the comments of
users, it would seem that image quality is not perhaps quite as
good as a dedicated SLR.
After my recent article on 12 months with a Panasonic DMC FZ 50,
I received an email from regular reader Don Griffith who wrote,
“Can’t help but think you would have enjoyed the 12 months more
with a Nikon D40 (now really, really, cheap)!” But then I would
have had to lug lenses, Don!
Like most purchases, I suggest try before you buy, and compare
any bridge camera with an SLR, for your sort of photography.
Money Matters: Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.
Where do we go now?
At the time of writing this
people will either be getting wet or hiding over the Songkran. People are
starting to be more optimistic. Woe betide false prophets (this can be used
phonetically as well) is all I can say. That eminently sensible financial
magazine, Barron’s, is slightly more pragmatic - the “End of the Rally is Nigh.”
Another realist, Marc Faber, believes there will be a 10% fall in the market
before the rally gets going again. Personally, I am surprised he is this
optimistic. He said recently, “In terms of fiscal spending, bailouts don’t
usually work.” What we have now is one of the biggest bailouts in history. Time
and time again, emperors, dictators and/or governments have tried to replace
declining private demand with perceived public requirements. With one or two
honourable exceptions, this just does not work. Government debt will rise and
the balance sheet will get bigger.
With what the governments are planning at the moment, there is very little
chance of the present mess we are in bottoming out before the end of next year.
Faber thinks there is a case to be made for saying it could last for ten years.
Whenever the end does come inflationary pressure will be massive and interest
rates will begin to go up.
Another realist, Rick Ackerman, believes that the problem with the present rally
is there is no capitulation. If there is none then there is hope and many people
still remain to be sucked in. However, once there is a full surrender then we
will see the bottom of market.
If you try to postpone a recession the only result you get is prolonging it or
driving the world into a depression. By doing what America, Britain and others
are trying to do now which is basically deficit financing then there will be
enormous debt growth. As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), debt has
grown from 130% in 1980 to 360% as of now. Also, please remember that this does
not include major liabilities such as healthcare, pensions or social welfare.
This is the public forum, the private one is no better, credit card debt is the
worst it has ever been. Balances fell by almost ten percent in February. The
situation with home loans is no better. Foreclosures and auctions will soon
start to flood the market thus driving house prices down. When this happens then
the collateral being held by banks falls as do the assets which hold up other
financial institutions as well. Believe me, the worst is still yet to come.
People are desperate to find good in the bad. Take Fannie Mae for instance, it
recently announced that they were employing 2,000 new people. Wonderful! Look a
bit closer and you will find they are all debt collectors! I need say no more.
Well, I should not but the evidence says I should.
There are folk out there who are arguing that markets should look beyond
economic forecasts. While this is true to a certain extent, realism also has to
be considered. Ackerman again, “In January 2008, when the S&Ps were in the early
stages of what was to become a devastating collapse, domestic equity mutual
funds were worth about $6.5 trillion. Lo, a little more than a year later, in
February 2009, we see that the value of these funds had fallen by about 48%, to
$3.4 trillion. But guess what: Over that time, net redemptions totalled only 2%,
or about $100 billion! What that means, explicitly, is that mutual fund
investors have stuck with this bear market throughout the decline.”
What this means is that even though there has been an enormous drop in the price
of stocks and shares people are still holding them which means there is more
selling coming up soon. Ackerman goes on, “This bear market will end, like every
other bear market in history, with a wholesale dumping of stocks at prices that
will make current values seem exorbitant in comparison.”
What really does beggar belief is that those who have let us down so badly are
still believed. The media still quotes Greenspan as though he has all the
answers. They forget he is the one who got us into this mess in the first place.
He is not the only one, what about all the analysts who said it was a great time
to buy when the Dow had just dropped ten percent from its all time high? Let us
not forget Tim Geithner, a regulator, who completely missed what Madoff was up
to. The best, though, has to go to Hank Paulson who believed sub prime had
topped out at USD100 billion. We now know the present cost of bailing out the
system is nearly USD13 trillion.
So, apart from Greenspan, can we blame anyone else for this lot? Reuters
recently wrote that, “Paulson (is) a Wall Street insider who was looking out for
his own, and Bernanke (is) an academic misguidedly trying to refight the 1930s
Great Depression. Together they formed the wrong team at the wrong time whose ad
hoc approach threw away hundreds of billions of dollars and more than doubled
the Fed’s balance sheet.
“What you’re seeing Bernanke do is he’s trying to create a bailout reflationary
bubble, which he can’t describe as a bubble, just as Greenspan couldn’t describe
the housing mortgage bubble as a bubble. What we’re seeing by Bernanke is a
covert attempt to rebubble.”
Someone who has called just about everything to do with this crisis correctly,
Nouriel Roubini, has called Jim Cramer “a buffoon.”
“He was one of those who called six times in a row for this bear market rally to
be a bull market rally and he got it wrong. And after all this mess and Jon
Stewart he should just shut up because he has no shame... He’s not a credible
analyst. Every time it was a bear market rally he said it was the beginning of a
bull and he got it wrong.”
Roubini warned two years ago that the United States faced its worse recession in
four decades. He points out that the current rally on Wall Street merely follows
the pattern of other major downturns. “Once people get the reality check than
it’s going to get ugly again,” he says.
All agree that what should have been allowed to happen was a short, sharp
recession just after Bush got elected. This would have stopped everything that
has happened since from actually occurring. There would still be a good chance
that the auto industry would not need the massive injections of capital that it
now needs. Also, the banks would be in a much better state. Faber believes we
should let the financial institutions that need help just roll over and die. It
would still be possible to protect those who had deposits and policies with
these companies; however, it would “let the system, through the market
mechanism, deal with the problem.”
They also concur that despite all the bad things which will follow, inflation is
the only way out. People will suffer from this policy but there is no
alternative now that the printing presses are working 24/7.
The only thing to do is pull in your belts and save what you can, when you can.
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
Let's Go To The Movies:
by Mark Gernpy
Now playing in Chiang
Slumdog Millionaire: US/UK, Crime/ Drama/ Romance – A cinema is
the only place to really appreciate the fantastic images, sounds, and music
of this spectacular film. It’s a breathless, exciting, heartbreaking,
exhilarating story about a Mumbai orphan who rises from rags to riches on
the strength of his lively intelligence. You haven’t really seen it until
you’ve seen it on the big screen. This gem of a film won Oscars for best:
picture, director, adapted screenplay, original score, film editing,
original song, sound mixing, and cinematography. Rated R in the US for some
violence, disturbing images, and language. Reviews: Universal acclaim. A
must-see! At Vista only.
Angels & Demons: US, Crime/ Drama/ Mystery/ Thriller – It’s a lot of
fun. The team behind the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code returns
for this tight and taut follow-up, based on the bestselling novel by Dan
Brown. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon,
who once again finds that forces with ancient roots are willing to stop at
nothing, even murder, to advance their goals. Ron Howard again directs.
Early reviews: mixed or average.
Bangkok Adrenaline / Khon-Dued-Zaaad: Thai, Action/ Adventure – A Thai
action-comedy created by and mostly starring Western foreigners, many of
them stunt professionals, in a story about four deadbeat expatriates trying
to survive in Bangkok after getting in debt to local gangsters. In a
desperate bid to save themselves, they kidnap a beautiful heiress for
ransom. It stars the British-born, tricking stunt actor Daniel O’Neill, a
Jackie Chan stunt team veteran with acting credits that include Tony Jaa’s
The Protector. Shot entirely in Thailand and filmed in English,
mostly, but shown here dubbed in Thai, (with no English subtitles).
Horsemen: Canada/ USA, Drama/ Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – A strange
film, with an intriguing premise and a fairly interesting relationship
between father and sons. There are some nice things in it. Dennis Quaid
plays a bitter detective emotionally distanced from his two young sons
following the death of his wife. While investigating a series of murders of
rare violence, he discovers a terrifying link between himself and the
suspects in a chain of murders that seem to be based on the Biblical
prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine,
Pestilence, and Death. That’s a fascinating idea to me. Rated R in the US
for grisly and disturbing content, some sexual images, and language.
Star Trek (2009): US/ Germany, Sci-Fi/ Adventure/ Action – All new!
And I think it’s a great deal of fun, for fans of the series, and also for
those who are not. This much-anticipated film is a reboot of the series,
going back to the series’ ’60s roots by depicting the formative experiences
of the legendary heroes Kirk and Spock, and their young, new crew. It’s
very well done, and I found it engrossing. Reviews: Universal acclaim.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: US/ New Zealand/ Australia, Action/ Fantasy/
Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Though most reviews are lukewarm, I think it’s simply
brilliant, and a superb action film for anyone who likes the genre. Stay
for two very short additional scenes during the closing credits, one of
which, in a bar in Japan, is a lead-in to the sequel. Mixed or average
Mor 3 Pee 4: Thai, Romance/ Comedy – A nice little advertisement for
MSN: Four teenagers make friends and chat online on MSN. Thee and Nut are
brothers living in Bangkok, June and Jane are sisters who live in Phuket.
Do the two pairs finally meet? Well it’s called a “romance” after all!
Saranae Howpeng: Thai, Comedy – Movie version of “Saranae Show” – a
popular Thai comedy TV show that has been on the air for 11 years. Stars
many well-known Thai comedians, including Mum Jokmok (Petchthai Wongkamlao),
Kietisak “Hoi” Udomnak, Ple Nakorn, and Willy McIntosh.
Scheduled for May 21
Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian: USA/ Canada,
Action/ Comedy – After a wacky night at the Museum of Natural History, the
perpetually hapless Larry (Ben Stiller) must infiltrate the Smithsonian
after shipping two of his resurrected friends to Washington by mistake. As
a result, he finds himself in the middle of a vast conflict between many of
the museum’s most noteworthy historical figures.
Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and Steve Coogan are back, and this time
they’re joined by Amy Adams, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Guest. The central
thrust of the film will be bringing to life the Smithsonian Institution,
which houses the world’s largest museum complex with more than 136 million
items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart flew on her
nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic and Al Capone’s rap sheet and mug
shot to Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and Archie Bunker’s lounge chair. This
is the first major film to be shot inside the Smithsonian in Washington, and
the building may never be the same.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?: Stuart Rodger
The most famous garden in the world
The National Trust in England has one of its most treasured possessions
donated after Vita Sackville-West died in 1963. Sissinghurst Castle
comprises the remaining fragments of a red-brick Tudor period castle - the
entrance block, the twin towers, and two surviving houses which were once
part pf a rectangular court surrounded by a moat. Nothing remarkable in
itself - the almost derelict site was allowed to run down after it was used
to house military prisoners during the Napoleonic War and ended up being
used as a shelter for livestock!
When Vita and her husband, Harold Nicholson, a diplomat, discovered the
ruined castle, they immediately recognised its potential as a home for
themselves and their two young sons. So began a mammoth, lifetime
restoration project and obsession, which transformed the wreck into perhaps
the most enchanting secret paradise ever created.
How did they do this? First, they cleared the accumulated debris of hundreds
of years. The next task was to demolish a shanty town of bodged outbuildings
and systematically create a series of magical ‘colour gardens’, now one of
the National Trust’s closely guarded secrets.
Sissinghurst Castle, England. (Photo/Public Domain)
Although not extensively
publicised, the word got out, and despite the Trust’s efforts to maintain
their privacy, these gardens are now the most visited in England, to the
extent that entry is staggered to maintain the right number of visitors in
order not to disturb the magic!
A visit is a must to anyone who is in the area of Sevenoaks in Kent, or in
London, and is seeking inspiration for their own gardens. It’s a pilgrimage
which should be taken by every serious gardener at least once in their
On arrival, after receiving your entry ticket, you will be greeted by a
friendly volunteer at the gate kiosk. Then - the magic begins. You proceed
through a low Tudor gateway into an enchanting courtyard surrounded by Tudor
brick and dominated by a tall double-turreted tower. In the tower, Vita had
her study, and wrote her famous poems and diaries, recording her most
intimate personal life. Her works fascinate readers to this day.
Vita belonged to one of the great noble families of England, who rose to
eminence as trusted advisors to Queen Elizabeth the First. She was born at
Knowle, the largest stately home in England, with buildings covering 25
square miles. Sadly, because of the ancient prescience laws, women in that
position cannot inherit – as a result, when her father died, she lost her
beloved home to her brother, and never recovered from an intense sense of
loss. Finding out that Sissinghurst had once actually belonged to her
family, her love affair with the crumbling ruin began, and never ended.
Against the sheltering walls, warmed by the sun, cosseted rare bulbs and
plants snuggle up to the climbing roses, clematis and other rare and
exquisite climbers, most of which have hardly been seen. Every plant at
Sissinghurst is the rarest or best variety of its type. A notebook is an
essential tool on a visit to this gardeners’ paradise; every plant is
meticulously labelled, the labels discretely placed so that they do not
spoil the beauty of the plant.
Special reference to the combination of plants used should be noted, as one
cannot imagine a better choice of combinations. On your left is a glorious
purple border, a perfect contrast to the orange brick tones of the wall
behind, and located right in front of Vita’s sitting room, part of the
gate-house entrance to the estate.
The building also contains a library of rare books and memorabilia of Vita’s
heritage and privileged life. Purple was her favourite colour; perhaps
because it is so rich and royal, and goes so well with black. It is, also,
the most expensive dye in the world, used since Roman times by royalty and
heads of state, and produced from millions of carefully selected seashells.
Only as late as the Victorian era was a chemical dye invented to bring the
glorious colour within the each of ordinary people’s pockets.
After the death of Queen Victoria’s beloved consort, Price Albert, at the
early age of 43, purple was widely used by women to subtly decorate the
black mourning clothes they were obliged to wear in support of their queen’s
grief. Vita herself wanted the colour purple to be the first thing she saw
when stepping into her garden.
Everything in the gardens is as it was in her lifetime; updated, however, by
the planting of any startling new plant discovery, as she would have done
were she still alive. This authenticity was possible for 40 years after her
death because of the devoted gardening of two lesbian lovers who were
employed by Vita during her lifetime to maintain her horticultural
treasures, and who knew her innermost thoughts, loves and desires.
In next week’s article, we will progress further on this journey of
discovery as we explore each garden.
Tip of the week
Always carry a notebook to jot down clever and
pleasing colour combinations, or the botanical or Thai manes of
plants which catch your eye.
Bridge in Paradise :
by Neil Robinson
This column was in the May 5 edition of the Chiang Mai Mail. Unfortunately,
a printing problem resulted in the hand diagrams being mixed up so that it
was difficult to make sense of it. It is reprinted below (correctly I
hope!). The hand was played in Chiang Mai recently. It is a challenge for
your declarer play. No one was vulnerable and South dealt. This was the
South West North East
P P 2C 3C
3H P 4H All
Imagine you are sitting
South, with the dummy and hand below. The opening lead was the queen of
clubs. You have a great dummy and 30 HCP between the two hands. How do you
make the contract?
At the table the ace of
clubs won the first trick. A low spade was led from dummy to the queen in
hand. Declarer finessed in hearts, with the queen losing to East’s king.
East then led the king of clubs and another club. West ruffed with the
jack, forcing the ace of hearts from dummy. The six of hearts was led and
the trick was won by East’s ten, with West discarding. East now led a low
spade, which dummy was forced to win with the king.
You have already lost three tricks (the king and ten of hearts and the king
of clubs) and cannot afford to lose any more. The situation now is shown
below. What do you lead from dummy?
At the table, declarer tried
to get to hand by leading a low diamond to his king. East ruffed and the
contract was down. The correct lead is the ace of spades, which you trump
in hand. It is critically important to get to hand to pull the last trump.
You have plenty of winners in diamonds and do not need the ace of spades, so
the correct play is to trump your winning ace! (If East trumps the spade
first, you simply over ruff.) Now you can pull the last trump with your
nine and claim the rest. Congratulations if you found the right play. The
full deal is shown below:
S: J943 S: 8762
H: J5 H: K104
D: 108632 D: -
C: Q5 C: K96432
Chiang Mai now has an
official bridge club - the Bridge Club of Chiang Mai. We welcome new
players. For information on the Club please contact Chris Hedges at:
email@example.com. If you have bridge questions, or to send me
your interesting hands, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.