Photo of Jen Ardill

Peter and I were at bridge on Tuesday last and were happy to see Jen Ardill (visiting Sydney) this month. So I took the opportunity of catching up with her.

When I asked about her playing history, she thinks it has been 5 years, but I think it is closer to 7 years, as we started at the same time. Peninsula Bridge Club were holding their first night classes, to cater for working people and Cath Whiddon was the teacher! (She didn’t see any potential, but what does a sister know!)

Jennifer said she was born and raised in in the West (Parramatta) but escaped in her early 20’s to Elanora, overlooking the lake where we used to water-ski; all the family followed the sister’s clever move to the northern beaches.

Some of those old memories?  Always in Australia’s western suburbs – cows, horses, walking for hours, unattended by parents, streams and willow trees to swing from and climb. Frozen water pipes in winter and brown lawn and flies in summer.

So, do you have a favourite contract?  Absolutely – I bid my partner’s suit into 6, and they have to play it!!

Before I left Sydney I used to play about 5-6 times a week – I miss that terribly– we had no club in Lorne and I drive 1 ½ hours to Geelong to play twice a week. I have taught a beginner’s course and a ‘mini bid to play’ course at the Community Centre in Lorne and raised enough funds to buy tables, chairs etc., we now have 20 people who can play.

Jennifer commented on the changes she has notice since her absence of one year.  Having played at other clubs, I see nothing but great things at Pen – the Committee seem to be open to change and comments!

Speaking about our children, and wondering if life is going too fast for them; attracting them to the games is not easy. Very difficult – it’s not a game the young consider – but it is definitely changing!

Do you have some special memories of some of your successes at bridge? My biggest success has been to find partners who are forgiving and patient (saints really!)… And I did come 2nd one year when I played in the NSW individual contest after playing for 3 years – that was a huge surprise (to me and everyone else).

Have you won any trophies; is your name on any Honour Board? Maggie Gibbs and I were the first to win the under 100 points.

Do you like to come to training days/nights? Yes I can’t do enough lessons; for teaching and playing, both which are invaluable to an improver!

When do you stop learning? Never. When they turn off my Bridge Base Online (BBO) on my laptop I’ll be dead so that’s when I’ll stop.

How far do you have to travel to come to Peninsula Bridge Club? From Lorne its 1 ½ hours’ drive to Avalon, 1 ½ hours’ flight to Sydney, 1 hour’s drive to Mona Vale and then 10 minutes to the club – worth every minute!

Always happy to help when needed and enjoyed assisting on the bridge education team and doing the Library at the club.

Asked about her hobbies? Reading, sewing, painting and design. She also confesses to being a movies tragic – special effects and costume design, in particular.

Keep up the good work, Jen. Great to catch up!