Sunday 15th July: Neil Ends His Stay in the Black

Six blokes and two blokes-in-training turned up at the Panorama Beer Garden on the roof of the Fukuya department store opposite Hiroshima station. As beer garden parties go this one has to be the mellowest of them all – a sign of our age perhaps. Apart from Tim who drank stolidly at his usual pace throughout, the rest of the senior body was definitely sipping rather than quaffing. Of the three juniors only one was above the legal limit and he showed more enthusiasm than usual for the knappy ale by drinking with the seniors and appeared to suffer for it at the mahjong table later that evening…As for the food, the consensus was that it would have been worth paying the extra 700yen for the much finer fair offered at Granvia Hotel just over the tracks from Fukuya, even if the space is more constricted and the view not so fine. It must be another sign of age when blokes place more value on the quality of food than on the quantity of beer.I was unable to join the rest at the mahjong game at Jaime’s tonight so I can say little about the session except to note the scores and their consequences:
Neil +81, +9, +13 = +103
Jaime -23, +38, +58 = +73
Kenyon -32, +9, -26 = -49
Ray -26, -56, -45 = -127

Neil managed to register his first victory in over two years and returns to the southern shores of Kyuushu with the satisfaction of having ended his brief return to the mahjong tables of Hiroshima on a grand total of +12 after twelve or thirteen hours of play.It appears that Ray’s run of success was almost as transient as the conquests of Trajan, and Kenyon finds himself deposited back upon the bottom of the table while Jaime advances to second place…
David Hurley