Saturday, 26 January 2013

Busy Saturdays

I’m not asking for sympathy. It’s been a busy old quiz day today, though. What with my current year group at school being Year 11 ( the fifth form in old money ) and in the last term and a half before their GCSEs and other external exams, I’m working pretty hard in the evenings at the moment, and when I’m not doing schoolwork I’m actually at quizzes. As I said, I’m not asking for sympathy, but it is something in the way of an explanation why I haven’t been able to find the time to post during the week during term time over the last 6 months or so. Hence the plethora of posts on a Saturday.

The way it’s worked out I have actually compiled two separate quizzes today. I’ll endeavor to explain why. A fortnight ago I made my first appearance at the Sunday evening quiz at the Dyffryn Arms, which I’m sure that I’ve mentioned before. It’s a lovely little quiz, nice club, nice people, and a good, and at times great set of questions. Pretty much all you could want really. I hadn’t been able to get down to it since early December, through a combination of my illness, John’s illness, my being away, John’s being away , and so forth. While I was there Keith informed me that Graham, one of the two other regular setters , wasn’t going to be able to do the quizzes any more, and asked if I’d be willing to step in . Now, there were a couple of factors that I needed to take into consideration. Firstly, for reasons I will go into shortly, I’ll probably be doing more quizzes down the rugby club on a Thursday for at least a while. Secondly, I’m pretty sure that when I’m question master in the pub on a Sunday, John won’t want to come down and play on his own. No way do I want to do anything which will stop John coming out on a Sunday when he wants to. So it would have been relatively easy to say no. Only, well, it’s flattering when people trust you enough to ask you to make a quiz. I enjoy being Qm pretty much as much as I do playing. Also, when you’ve got a good little quiz going, which has resisted the temptation to go down the bought in quiz route, you really rather want to help them out to keep it going. So I said that I’ll do it from time to time, but I can’t go on a once every three weeks rota. The upshot being that I said that I’d have one ready for tomorrow night, if they wanted it.

Coming back to the Thursday night quiz in the rugby club, well, if you’re a regular you’ll remember me mentioning Brian before. Brian has been the organizer of the quiz for far longer than the 17 years I have been taking part, and the two of us have been the most regular question masters in that time. Other people are good enough to come in and do a quiz from time to time, but when nobody else does, Brian and I step in and share the setting duties between us, week in, week out. It’s not my place to go spreading Brian’s business all over the internet, but the fact is that he isn’t well at the moment, and it’s quite possible that we might not see him for some time. I’ve stepped in as organizer now, and I’ve been fortunate that Howard and Dai Norwich, two of our semi regular setters, stepped in consecutively for the last two weeks. Thursday night it’s me again, and unless there’s a volunteer after that, then it’ll be me again the week after, and so on.

Here’s a funny thing, though. The fact is that when I started setting quizzes for the club way back in 1995, I loved doing it so much, that I wanted to do it every week, and would have if I’d been allowed. I was even more full on about the quiz then than I was now, and I used to really chafe at the bit whenever any other question master other than Brian ( or Alwyn Rees ) used to set the quizzes, thinking that I should be the one doing it because I could do it better. I’m pretty sure that nobody else in the club would have concurred with my appraisal of my own abilities as a setter, but back in those heady, pre-Mastermind days that was how I used to think. They do sometimes say - be careful what you wish for, since it may come true. – Well, I’ve always said that setting the quiz for the club is a labour of love, and I’ll keep on doing it for as long as I’m able, and for as long as there are at least two teams who want to play it. I think I’ve explained before how special my Thursday nights in the rugby club are, and if it means that I have to set the quiz myself then three , four or even more weeks in a row, then so be it. It’s a price worth paying.

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