I had a phonecall from George last night, who’d had a phonecall from Trevor. You don’t need to know that, but I suppose it adds a little verisimilitude to what I’m trying to say. Apparently the people who have taken over the running of the annual CIU quiz want to make some changes this year.
Now, this all supposes that I have understood it right from what George said to me, and that George has understood it right from what Trevor said to him. So please don’t take this as gospel, this is just what I think I’ve been told, and as such should be handled with caution. But what George said was : -
* The organisers want to move the CIU quiz competition much earlier in the year. They are looking at holding the Finals in April – which makes it stand to reason that the regionals would have to be even earlier in the year.
* The organisers don’t intend to stage it in Derby again. They are looking at moving it to Blackpool.
Now as I said, this has come to me third – or possibly fourth – hand, so I don’t say that this is set in tablets of stone. However, it does lead me to make a couple of observations:-
I’m not saying that the Wales and West of England Regional heat will still be held on a Monday. I don’t know if it will and I don’t know if it won’t. However it has been on a Monday night for all the time that I’ve been playing in the competition, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that there’s at least a good chance that it will be. OK, now, my quiz calendar would tell you that Monday nights from September to April belong to the Bridgend Quiz League. Searching my soul I ask whether I’d be prepared to potentially miss a league or cup match in order to play the regional heat, and the answer is, sorry, but no, when you get right down to it, I wouldn’t.
Secondly, I have nothing against Blackpool. It’s a great place, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every time I’ve visited. However, it seems to me that a drive to Blackpool from Port Talbot would be a considerably longer proposition than a drive to Derby from Port Talbot. Derby has the huge advantage that it’s pretty central, and while there are probably teams who have to make a longer journey to Derby than we do, I shouldn’t imagine that any of them have to travel a huge amount further. Blackpool, though, is that much further away from us again. With the best will in the world, even going to Derby it can happen that things go wrong, you get held up, or you take a wrong turning, and you suddenly find yourself late – as we proved a couple of years ago. The longer the journey, the more likely that this becomes.
Well, as I say, this is just what I’ve been told, and it doesn’t mean that this is what actually will happen. If it does, though, well it’s sad, but I just can’t see myself taking part in the CIU quiz this year. Which is a real shame, since one of my last, great unfulfilled quiz ambitions is one year to be a part of a winning team in the CIU. Unlikely, I know, but it’s even more unlikely if I don’t play in the first place.
Ach, in the words of Ursula the Sea Witch, life’s full of tough decisions, ain’t it.