Arena Travel Blog

  • Sad passing of Wendy Brown

    Many of you will know that Wendy Brown recently died. She was a Life Master and died just as she played the best hand of her life!  She has a special place in the history of First for Bridge, as it was she who started the first bridge holidays in Menorca.  Our commiserations go to her family and the many who knew her. We knew Wendy and her husband Arthur very well. We first met them when we went on our first Menorcan Bridge holiday in 1989. They had been organising this holiday very successfully for many years and we later worked with them before they handed the holiday to David Boston, their director at that time. Following David’s untimely death in 1986 we took over the holiday and gradually expanded the company during the next 18 years. Wendy continued to come to S’Algar for many years. She was a true friend during that time and was always generous in her support and appreciation. We are pleased that she felt the holiday which meant so much to her was in her words “A safe pair of hands” We shall miss her. Martin & Judy Holcombe
  • Norwegian Adventure with Jane Crowfoot

    seaRead all about Jane's Norwegian Adventure as she combines knitting with a cruise of the Northern Lights! Click here to read Jane's blog Click here to see all the stunning photo's on our Pinterest page
  • Knitting in Carcassonne with Debbie Abrahams

    carcasonneRead the blog and see photographs from our knitting in Carcassonne holiday on Debbie Abraham's  website.   Click here to read Debbie's blog
  • Quilting in Assisi

    Back in September Karin Hellaby led a group of keen quilters on a holiday to beautiful Assisi. The group stayed in a superb 4* hotel and sewed on Bernina machines. They also enjoyed an afternoon at the Assisi school loft embroidery and a trip to Perugia and Basilica. Here is a selection of photograph's taken on the trip.


     To see more, please follow Stitchtopia on Pinterest!

  • News from the Turkey Bridge Room

    Bob and Jacky Our first visit to the Hotel Villa Side Residence saw a group of nearly one hundred players enjoying a superb bridge room that would have housed many more. The staff, and especially the local representative Natalie, deserve a special mention. They were extremely helpful and looked after us all very well. It was a five minute walk down to the beach, where there was a pleasant cafe which belonged to the hotel and was part of the all-inclusive package. There were, in addition to a wide range of drinks, light lunches available, and on several occasions an open air barbecue tempted us with with an aroma of cooking meat and chicken. A similar gentle stroll in the other direction brought you to the local town of Kumkoy with many opportunities for a bargain. For those wishing to venture just a little further away there were many trips organised to Side, plus several nearby sites of historical interest and a large market near to a waterfalls. The lounge areas in the hotel were very popular after the evening bridge sessions and nearly all of the players gathered to discuss the hands and enjoy one of the wide selection of (free) drinks. The facilities in general were excellent, with a lovely indoor spa and heated pool, and many guests enjoyed the massage service and Turkish baths. Much appreciated was the weekly laundry service which was free of charge. Finally, our thanks go to Ro and Chris who were always willing to help both before and during the bridge sessions and who were cheerful and friendly throughout. We look forward to working with them again on a future holiday. Director's report With nearly a hundred players at the recent holiday in Turkey there was often a good crowd for the afternoon sessions. To show that not all of the interesting hands occurred in the evenings, the following was hand dealt one afternoon: untitled At one table East-West, despite vigorous opposition bidding in hearts, found the excellent contract of 6♣ played by West. Declarer won the heart lead, discarding 2 from dummy, and, with eleven trumps between the two hands, laid down the ace of trumps. The 1-1 trump split failed to materialise and declarer crossed to dummy and took the diamond finesse. This lost to K and the slam was one down. Rubbing salt into the wound, North then revealed that theK had been singleton. Admittedly declarer was unlucky, both with trumps (a 1-1 split is slightly more likely than a 2-0 split, although the bidding may have suggested otherwise) and then with the diamond king being offside. However, declarer could still have brought the slam home. After cashing the trump ace, he should have played king, ace and queen of spades before ruffing the fourth round. Having eliminated the major suits he then throws North in with his ♣K. North must either lead a diamond (when the position of the king in the suit becomes irrelevant) or give a ruff and discard, when declarer can discard the remaining low diamond from dummy. In either case the slam is made. It would have made no difference if North were able to ruff one of the rounds of spades, as he would have found himself facing the same dilemma of having to lead a diamond or concede a ruff and discard. This was a classic example of an elimination and throw-in endplay. Meanwhile, at one of the evening bridge sessions, on one occasion I received the usual call of "Director, please!" and I approached with the standard "How can I help?" The response was "Director, I have made a rotten bid!" to which I replied "Strictly speaking, that is not against the Laws" and let the bidding continue! Congratulations to the following winners of the principal events: Random teams Paula Ollive, Margaret Sawyer, Jeff & Lydia Stanford Random Teams winners-1             Men's Pairs Michael Whittaker and Jack Clarke Men's Pairs winners - Michael Whittaker & Jack Clarke             Ladies' Pairs Jennifer Kinloch and Brenda Miller Ladies' Pairs winners - Jennifer Kinloch & Brenda Miller           Consolation Pairs Winners Linda Lazarus and Alex Davoud 103_2836        

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