I'm back from IPP34 and just about ready to give my little account of what happened. Although my mind is a huge whirl of occurrences and people and so this is a very quick and probably totally inaccurate account - do forgive any errors! The photos have mostly been scavenged from Facebook because I knew I would not have time to take lots of photos myself and thus didn't take my camera!
This year the International Puzzle Party was held at the Park Inn Hotel near Heathrow in London. Registration was on Thursday 7th August and after a rather long journey from Sheffield (I loathe the M1 motorway) we (Yes! The elusive, yet not imaginary Mrs S came too!) parked the car and joined the queue to check in to the hotel and then register for the IPP itself. Immediately whilst standing in the queue we were greeted by my very good friend Steve Nichols who exclaimed that he was surprised to see Mrs S as he really thought she was a figment of my imagination! Believe me, my imagination is not that good. In quick succession we met several others from the MPP and introductions were made with more disbelief!
|The Chops were there!|
|Cross and Crown - mine is on the right|
|100 exchange puzzles!|
The evening of the second day we had a great dinner and I discovered that I had committed a heinous crime! I had failed to notice and reply to an email from Laurie Brokenshire (the head organiser) about dietary requirements. Mrs S doesn't eat red meat and I had not requested an alternative. Luckily Laurie and the chef managed to win through for me and a vegetarian option was provided and my life was spared! At the meal, I played with Rox's Berrocal jewellery and maybe convinced Mrs S that a Berrocal might be a required addition to my collection! But with those prices it won't be soon! At that dinner I received more gifts! Yes! The kindness of puzzlers overwhelms me! It is a tradition that a "greenhorn" to the IPP is given a puzzling gift by someone they know who has been before and I received gifts from Nick Baxter (the IPP head honcho) and Neil - aka The Juggler.
|Signed - it will remain prominent in the collection|
|Just half the room and late in the day it had emptied out a bit!|
I blew the budget a little but not by too much - my little haul was very nicely selected:
|Small but select puzzles to take home with me|
|Poor poor Gill!|
|It's enormous!!! She's going to kill me!|
That evening we had the awards dinner at which we learned the outcome of the judges' and jury's decisions about the best puzzles entered into the design competition.
Top Ten Vote Getters:
Tetra Pack by Ton Brouwer
Pirate's Wallet by Robert Yarger
Infinity by Kirill Grebnev
Perplexing Pyramid by Simon Bexfield
Caramel Box by Yasuhiro Hashimoto
Conjuring Conundrum by Louis Coolen/Allard Walker
Golden Ratio Box by Peter Wiltshire
Claws of Satan by MINE
Cassette by Jinhoo Ahn
Grand Prize: (from the jury - joint winners)
Cast U&U by Kyoo Wong
Six Locks Two Keys by Simon Nightingale
The Fairy's Door Puzzle Box by Michail Toulouzas - probably the most beautiful box I have ever seen!
Congratulations to all the competitors as well as the winners. I was very honoured to meet several of you.
The following day, it was time to leave and finish the weekend with a visit to my mother who lives in London. My overwhelming memory of the event (apart from the huge number of puzzles) will always be the people I met. There are so many with whom I have corresponded and now I can finally put a face to a name. I am very proud to have been let into the illustrious group and be considered one of you.
Thank you Laurie, Frank Potts, Duncan Ramsay & Jo Traynor and the rest of the team for a wonderful time.