Sunday, January 4, 2015

Yet another year in the life of a puzzler

I usually end the year with a silly poem or song over on Twisty puzzles, but this has been one heck of a year for me.  It's been full of ups and downs and I simply haven't had the heart to write anything these past few months.  But I have finally come out of my slump and will endeavor to sum up my puzzling year in one nice long post.

January started off with the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair as always.  This year I not only went to the fair, but I was also pleased to host Hendrik Haak when he came for a sourcing trip.  I'm not sure how that happened, but I am pleased that it did.  I got to see my city through his eyes, and managed to cement a friendship.

February saw me traveling for work and little by way of puzzles.  I did go to a HK puzzlers dinner in honor of our friend Otis being in town for the Chinese New Year.  He did me the honor of letting me reprint his post for my blog.

March was brought in with another couple of small puzzle parties held in HK.  But the highlight of the month was my completion of my Berrocal Mini's, the purchase of Alexandre, and Many More Horses.  It was a wonderful month for me.  Expensive too!!

April was a month filled with work getting ready for the next two months of work and puzzle heaven!  I purchased no new puzzles that month, I don't even think I played with any.  I was saddened beyond belief when my best friend and long-time partner passed away.  Puzzling was not a priority.

May was a bitter sweet month.  I was still recovering from the loss of Mr. Brett, but had a series of puzzle parties set up that I was to attend.   I started the month with a few days in Northern Germany with a good friend and then moved on to Helsinki for the Finnish Puzzle party.  I was then pleased to have a few days with Tomas Linden and his family before heading off to see my professor.  Of course I picked up more puzzles than I should have, but then I've never been very smart when it comes to buying toys.  From Finland I headed across the water to Warwick for a conference and very kindly, Allard and Gil Walker put me up and even had a small party for me.

The first of June I flew off to Amsterdam for yet another conference, but first I had to get in a bit of puzzling.  I managed to get in a day with Nanco, a visit to Recent Toys and a rather enjoyable evening with Maarten Bos, all while managing to work!

From Amsterdam I headed south and spent a few days with Oskar and José.   Another set of wonderful hosts.  I was then placed upon a train and made my way back to Amsterdam for yet more meetings before being picked up by Hendrik for yet another trip south.  This time we went to Wil's house and then to visit with Geert.   During the trip, I even saw my first ever football match!  What fun!  

Between the work and the puzzle parties, I really must say a big thank you to all my friends that I saw during May and June.  Without you all, I would have never managed to deal with the grief I felt upon Mr. Brett's passing.  You all helped ease my pain with much laughter, and yes, I'll admit it-a bit too much alcohol.  I'm afraid I drown my sorrows a bit too often that month.  My sincere apologies to one and all if I was out of line.

Surprisingly, July was a real non-event.  Upon returning home from my month long European trip, I had work to do, and of course IPP to get ready for.

August was of course highlighted by my IPP trip.  This year there was an MPP thrown into the mix, and a visit to James Dalgety's.  I also took great pleasure in joining a top secret puzzle hunt set up by Steve Miller.  (Go check out his newest project!)  The end of the month saw Louis and Sue Puzzleman visiting HK and a nice time was had by all.

September was back to the grind and an attempt to video record my IPP puzzles.  I managed 1/2. Bad bad Rox.

In October we had the annual Guangzhou Boys and Toys.  This year though was extra special because DaYan, Smaz, and I all went to Nanjing for my other brothers wedding!  This was followed closely by my first ever Dutch Cube Day!  I hope it won't be my last.  I also had great fun working a different kind of toys fair with Hendrik and meeting fellow Twisty Puzzle moderator Konrad.

Upon my return in November, there was yet another boys and toys in Guangzhou.  After which Ron and Hanneke came to spend a few days in Hong Kong.

December?  Well, it was Christmas and all.  We took a holiday to Thailand, I worked, I moped around.  I did nothing.  Ok, I got my Karakuri Christmas presents, but have yet to play with them.  Ah yes, and my darling bug did buy me a few wire disentanglements for Christmas.....

And now it's January again and in one short week the toys fair will begin.  I sadly have to work insane hours this semester (18 per week!) so I'll only be attending for a few hours each day.  But this year should be fun again as I've got boys coming in!  Three months in 2014 with no puzzle events, no new toys purchased...I'll have to do better in 2015.

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