For the third year running I hosted the annual South Somerset National Trust Pub Quiz at the Royal Oak Pub in Barrington. With teams from Barrington Court, Montacute House, Lytes Carey and all points in this vicinity it was obviously going to be a hard fought contest.
My arrival at about 7.30pm was greeted with ironic cheers by a packed function room. It turned out that though Matthew Applegate had told me to arrive for an 8pm start, he had told everyone else 7pm! No wonder they were somewhat miffed with their long wait. There were six teams who ranged in knowledge and ability from pretty good to plain embarrassing. One team of drunken youngsters didn't exactly cover themselve with glory and if they ever did get a question right, they tended to shout the answer out before they wrote it down, rather giving the game away to the opposition. Mind you, I managed to shout out an answer when I was supposed to be giving a question at one point, much to my huge shame.
The winning team only just scraped home by half a point at the end in a tense finish. But it genuinely seemed like everyone had a nice time and I was warmly thanked for my hard work in putting the whole quiz together and doing the question master routine. Well, it was a pleasure and I would be delighted to do it again. A horrible note to finish with - we had a huge pile of sausages on platters and piles of chips to dig into during the half time interval. It was all very nice until I bit into one of my sausages - and it promptly burst in my face, covering me with warm fat. I must have looked a bit like John Hurt in the Alien movie with the face hugger on him. So THAT'S what happens when you don't prick a sausage before you cook it. Perhaps it was where Ridley Scott got his inspiration from for the original film. One unpricked hot sausage and Sigourney Weaver has a career sorted out. Life hangs by such slender threads.