Tuesday, 27 December 2011

In the Christmas Stocking

After 25 years I would be the first to admit that my wife Mary still has the capacity to surprise me. Those of you who are married or in long term relationships might well have your own subtle, or not so subtle ways of letting your partner know what you desire for your Christmas present. Normally Mary will kindly drop heavy handed hints to one of my daughters. Alright, I have to do all the leg work of finding out which one she has confided in – I have four daughters, you see – but then that’s only fair. It means I have had to work for it, which makes the gift special for her. Well, that’s how I choose to look at it, anyway. My method is normally a little less subtle. On rare occasions I have said words to the effect of “I want this .” More often than not, though, Mary will point something out and say “Do you want this for Christmas ?“ and I will say yes.

This year , though, by October I realized, somewhat to my surprise, that I would rather like a Kindle. But I didn’t tell her. I didn’t tell any of the kids. More than that, if we go back 12 months ago I distinctly remember saying words to the effect of ‘I don't like the idea of a kindle, I like books, I like the printed word blah blah blah.’ So unless I talk in my sleep – and she has never actually told me that I do this – unless I talk in my sleep , then I can see no way in which she would have known that a kindle is what I really wanted. At this stage of the story I’m tempted to go for the completely bathetic ending of saying that I was still really disappointed when she didn’t get me one. But this would be a lie. She did ! I have no idea whence she got the idea I wanted one, but I’m very glad that she did. So understand me when I say that the more directly quiz related stuff I found in my metaphorical stocking , while very welcome, was not the best present this Christmas.

Still, let’s have a look at the quiz related stuff I did get. Last year there was the Schott’s Almanac, and the 5th Edition of the A to Z of Almost Everything. I think that last year’s was the last of the Schott’s Almanacs, but never mind, at least there’s the Quintessential Miscellany. haven’t really got to grips with this one yet, but you know what it was like with the original Schott’s. Within a few months of it coming out, questions directly related to what was in it were appearing in quizzes left, right, and centre. Besides. I really like this kind of thing anyway, as you’ll know if you’ve ever visited the pages devoted to quiz books on my website.

There was another specifically quiz thing as well. My eldest daughter brought me a new version of the game Buzz for the PS3. I’ve played Buzz before, but only when she’s brought it over to the house. This one was actually really good. I’ve found the others to be very entertainment-centered, but this one is more of a proper general knowledge thing. With the result that I won the first three games, and then only sulked for half a day after my son beat me on the third. It'll probably be next Christmas before anyone is willing to play against me again.

Here’s hoping that you got everything you wished for.

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