There was an exciting Mah Jongg tournament in Oxford – here are some photos from that event courtesy of David K (posted on Twitter!) – – The tournament was the Great Scholars Riichi Mahjong Tournament held at the University of Oxford over this past weekend. The tournament was limited to 32 participants playing what is known as 5 hanchan according to EMA RCR rules. The directors of the event had applied to the European Mahjong Association (EMA) for the tournament to count towards the MERS (Mahjong Europe Ranking System).
Here’s a funny story showing how small the Mah Jongg world really is: this past week I got together with Meredith, a dear friend and one of my best success stories in terms of my Mah Jongg classes. She told me about these gorgeous new racks she had bought for Siamese Mah Jongg. Meredith has become quite the Mah Jongg collector and I was so happy to know that she had branched out to rack collecting as well. End of story…or so I thought.
The next day Lisa – another dear friend and another star from my Mah Jongg classes – came over for an afternoon of Mah Jongg; she brought with her a flyer about the Siamese racks that she and Meredith had bought. I asked her to contact the woman who was making these racks to ask if I could blog about them. She said she would do so. Again, end of story…?
The next day I emailed Lisa and reminded her to contact the maker of the racks for permission to blog about her. Lisa forwarded my name and contact information to this woman and told her I wanted to know about the racks. Shortly after, an email from a “Donna” arrived in my inbox. She said she was happy to send any information I needed. The email was very informal and friendly and I thought to myself, “it is almost as if she knows me and she seems to think I know her husband.”
So, I emailed her back asking for permission to blog about her racks and requesting the pertinent information and photos. The email address showed up simply as “Donna.”
Then suddenly it hit me! I took another look at the details of her email address and saw that it was my dear friend Donna E in Central CA – you know, the Donna I blog about all the time, the Donna who sends me wonderful poems that I share with you, the Donna who is always sending me fabulous Mah Jongg-related gifts that I immediately photograph and put up on the blog, the Donna who selflessly does wonderful Mah Jongg events at the senior center, the Donna who loves Puffins, and on and on!
Donna and I had a good and long laugh at this…Lisa and Meredith had simply responded to a posting on Facebook to buy her racks, not knowing that the woman they were buying from was someone who was one of the most special, thoughtful, and generous people out there in the Mah Jongg community…and a very important and dear friend of mine. So, as I always say, Mah Jongg people are the best people and Donna is one of the prime examples of this. And, look at what a small world our Mah Jongg community can be!
And now, the information on Donna’s beautiful Siamese Mah Jongg racks, lovingly hand-made by her dear husband, Greg: