Next Tuesday sees the start of the Russell Cup, the summer-long competition held at the Carlton Bridge Centre that is often described as the toughest club game in Scotland. That epithet is probably still true although I feel the overall standard has been dropping in recent times.
I don't intend to play regularly this year but may make some guest appearances. I don't mind, in fact I approve of, the increased table money as it generates a prize fund for the competition but the 100-mile round trip is tiresome and expensive these days. The distance also means that getting home after midnight is the norm, even if the visit to the pub is missed.
Of course many of the people I enjoy partnering will be, or at least should be, practising hard for the Europeans (June) and World Bridge Games (August). But the main reason is that I just did not enjoy it as much last year - not really sure why, but I think it's time for a break.
So I'll restrict my games to a couple of friends and, if they are interested, some of the Scottish juniors. Perhaps next year some enthusiasm will have returned.