Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Advice To The Luxor

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Well, I’m back in the UK - and what lovely welcoming rain seems to be lashing constantly down. So why am I up at this ridiculous early hour? Riddled with jet lag, of course. Why is it always so much worse on the return journey? Is it really to do with jet lag being worse if you go “forward in time” rather than back? Is it to do with the direction of flight? Or is it, as I suspect, simply that Las Vegas has magic potion in the air to wake you up immediately and get you gambling, while the grey streets of London have a more soporific power?

Anyway, I want to send back one last piece of advice to the Luxor (following my last blog).

THIS machine, this is what you should have in your foyer! Not branches of Starbucks! You need this!

  Unfortunately, I found it at the Wynn. Which is a totally un-themed hotel. What a waste.

  I had a spin on it, obviously. Made me feel homesick for Only Connect.

  Speaking of which: there’ll be Connect news next month! Check back to the “news” page from August 1st.

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PP at 10:50 am on July 19th, 2011

I heard jet lag is definitely worse going from west to east than the other way round. Something to do with daylight.

George at 1:13 pm on July 19th, 2011

According to the internet, source of all things unarguably factual, the body copes better with extended days (“going backwards in time”) than shortened ones.

AndytheDealer at 2:34 pm on July 19th, 2011

Welcome home Vicky!

The Tim at 5:01 pm on July 19th, 2011

You should definitely use some of those symbols for the next OC…

Apparently the body has a natural 25 hour clock which loses an hour somewhere in the day - that’s why it takes about one day for every zone going westwards and is easier than t’other way round. Seven or eight hours east is the worst possible to get over since any more you can go then the other way – e.g. if you travel to a time zone ten hours east of you it’s easier stay up later and see it as 14 hours west. The other factor is that eastbound flights are usually overnight and so you don’t get any sleep anyway.

  Apparently the best way to avoid jetlag is to successively eat lots then fast on alternate days before. You then have a special diet on the day you fly depending on whether you’re going east or west.

David Young at 9:51 pm on July 19th, 2011

I’ve seen that machine in the Vic and pondered many times the ethics of lusting after the Pharoah’s Fortune, given that it was based on slavery.

I’ve always wanted to catch one of the Frummers playing it.

psychofant at 10:31 am on July 20th, 2011

jet-lag is mostly poppycock. people are knackered when they return from holiday because they have spent 2 weeks partying. staying up all night playing poker might just be a contributor.

Victoria Coren at 11:40 am on July 20th, 2011

Don’t think that’s it, P. I stay up all night playing poker wherever I am, it’s not restricted to Vegas! And I’m not a “partier” - no clubbing, no getting drunk and certainly nothing more exotic. In fact, over there I have a much more regular schedule than I do at home, with eight hours’ sleep at pretty much the same time every night. There was no staying up all night because I wasn’t playing cash or online, just tournaments which happen in pre-limited and fairly normal hours.

It’s not the same as “being tired” anyway. It’s randomly passing out for ten minutes in the middle of the day, in the middle of a meeting or a piece of work - or waking up in the middle of the night, incredibly alert and incapable of sleeping again. Based on my experience, I’d say jet lag is a pretty genuine phenomenon.

The Tim at 2:44 pm on July 20th, 2011

It’s a genuine phenomemon all right - you’ll also find that it gets much worse once you’re past 30.

PhilbyGood at 4:10 pm on July 20th, 2011

Is that Ray Charles modelling as the Pharaoh on the machine?

psychofant at 6:15 pm on July 20th, 2011

Ok victoria, i accept that your jet-lag is genuine. Your description of your time in Las Vegas leads me to think you could play the lead part, the next time the Cricklewood Players stage “The Sound of Music”!  xx

from Canada at 8:23 pm on July 20th, 2011

Yeah, it’s definitely not just tiredness, and it’s definitely worse when you go east… If you are from my part of the world it’s that first day of your vacation to Europe that’s the hardest.  Coming home is easier.

JazBenz at 3:48 pm on July 21st, 2011

I think it’s because when you fly to Vegas, you can sleep late and it’ll be 8am in the morning and you feel great. When you fly back home, it’ll be 8am and youll feel like shit cuz it’s evening in your inner clock planning on going to sleep.

Like the new japanese women’s soccer world champions (who i supported and went to the stadium for), you returned home on my birthday. #interestingcoincidence

The Tim at 3:21 pm on July 22nd, 2011

I envy you Jazbenz - I couldn’t get tickets for the final and had to settle for England v France in Leverkusen.

JazBenz at 5:12 pm on July 24th, 2011

@The Tim - it was a spontanious decision. Went on ebay on the night of Thursday the 14th, and got myself a single ticket by asking the seller what hed want for it if i bought it directly, 75 EUR (original price 95) got really lucky, but it was fate anyway, made new japanese friends who also got their tickets while in Frankfurt right before the game lol - fell in love with Homare Sawa after the game against Sweden, so I HAD to go ;) - other people got even luckier, actually meeting her in person, I envy THEM! lol

The Tim at 10:46 am on July 25th, 2011

Actually JazBenz, I was very lucky as I booked my tickets 2 months in advance, not knowing if England would be playing. I fell in love with the whole team.

(Sorry for going off-topic and not mentioning poker or Victoria Coren or Only Connect.)

JL at 6:49 pm on July 31st, 2011

Sorry for using this to comment on today’s article in Observer. Will never get round to writing.
‘Twas good. Genuine comment hidden in the style and wit. Just had to write…

Jason Twigg at 11:50 pm on August 7th, 2011

Pharaoh’s Fortune does have lots of your beloved hieroglyphs just like only connect, but in groups of five.  Accordingly, I have devised a five clue question to post in the next thread.  Perhaps, anyone with a possible answer could post it below in this thread so others can try it for themselves.

BenButton at 5:10 pm on September 13th, 2011

The answer to Twiggy’s puzzle is: being spoken to by God.

Jane at 8:55 am on September 14th, 2011

Also these are both American TV series, is that part of the puzzle?

Jason Twigg at 12:49 am on September 15th, 2011

BenButton:  Unless God is working in rather mysterious ways, I’m not sure your answer will still work when I supply the next clue, but, in my mind’s ear I can hear Victoria saying “I like your thinking”, and I would have to agree.

Jane:  You are one step in approximately the right direction.  Of the multitudes of TV series, what links these two with each other, and with the three other clues? (I have only found four candidates from which to select the other three clues, although there may be more)

I will post the third clue next week.

Victoria Coren

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