Wednesday, 30 December 2009


It was a wonder that I ever took up bridge. My mother was a ‘golf widow’ and she seemingly hated the game and resented every minute that she was left alone while my father walked the links. They did however share the pleasure of playing bridge though there were some occasions when a ‘falling out’ meant that they had to partner a guest and play against each other to avoid total acrimony. I remember countless times as a child watching, or more often hearing, my parents playing this card game which seemed to be punctuated with bitter arguments the severity of which depended on how well Mum and Dad knew their opponents.

Thankfully at that time I had not heard of the famous ‘Bennett’ murder which took place in 1931 in America when a furious wife, incensed at her husband’s bidding and play at bridge, pulled out a revolver and shot him dead. If I had I would have no doubt have intervened to preserve the peace. Yet despite this unfortunate introduction to the game, I later took it up and like thousands of others find it hard to get through a week without a bridge ‘fix’.

I have played the game in kitchens, in gardens, in ballrooms, on boats, on my computer and of course in bridge clubs. My partners’ ages must have ranged between 9 and 90 as does the membership of my local bridge club. Despite the best endeavours of my parents, it is a very sociable game which is why I made the change from chess to bridge. I much prefer the bustle of the bridge club with the banter between hands to the library-like silence of the chess club broken only by the ticking of the many chess clocks.

I well remember my first ever visit to the local bridge club and wondering what to expect as I approached. With a few hundred yards left to walk, I suddenly froze. What if everyone wears black tie? But I need not have worried. I soon discovered that the game is very cosmopolitan and not at all stuffy.

Listening to my parents those fifty or so years ago, I learned that the worst bridge player they knew was ‘Gladys’. During one game my Dad’s play apparently went a bridge too far. My mother rounded on him venomously ‘I hope that when you die, you find yourself playing an endless game of bridge with Gladys as your partner!’ My father replied ‘As long as we are playing in the clubhouse at the golf club and I can see you eternally playing the 18th hole I will be content!’


  1. Sarah J (heloise2)31 December 2009 at 09:38

    I came by bridge by accident. In my early 20's a friend and I went to enrol for a car maintenance night class but it was full so we went to Bridge for Beginners instead and there learnt the basics. When my future in-laws knew I played they were keen for us to play, They soon saw through me. I came out in a cold sweat every time I had to partner my Ffather in law (very old school) and prayed for a bad hand so I could be dummy (my fav part!) Haven't played for years as friends where we live now don't play. Hubby really good at all card games so shame -for him anyway!

  2. My wife thinks I have gone a Link to Far LOL
    Just wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks for sharing your world