Snowdonia Evening

Snowdonia Evening

This is another photo from my last time in Wales, this time it is an image I took in Snowdonia. After having spent the day in and around Caernarfon I decided to go the long way around to get back to where I was staying in Porthmadog, this involved driving along the Menai Strait to Bangor and driving down the A5 to Capel Curig before driving down to Beddgelert and then Porthmadog. This route encompasses some fantastic views of Snowdonia passing by many rivers and lakes in the valleys and some great views of the peaks.

When I turned a corner and found this view, I had to stop the car and take a photo. This is looking down the valley of the Afon Glaslyn (River Glaslyn) towards Beddgelert with Llyn Gwynant (Lake Gwynant) in the foreground with the sun setting in the distance out of frame. Mount Snowdown, Wales’ tallest mountain, on the right blocks all of the sun’s light but shafts find their way through dips on the slopes causing the shafts of light to fall into the valley. It was such a beautiful September’s evening I just had to stop and take a moment to enjoy it.

Only afterwards did I find out that this view looking towards Moel Hebog (Bare hill of the Hawk) behind Beddgelert is one of the most photographed views in all of Snowdonia [1] so this is hardly the most original photo. I like it just the same, because it takes me back into the evening I had driving back to Porthmadog from Caernarfon and the views I enjoyed on that drive.

An evening view in Snowdownia where the sun setting behind Mount Snowdon causes shafts of light to illuminate the valley around llyn Gwynant near Beddgelert.
British Comedy Quiz Round 5

British Comedy Quiz Round 5

This is the penultimate round of my British Comedy Quiz, I chose a different and in my opinion underappreciated medium for the focus on this round, radio. This round focuses on the multitude of radio comedy shows which have come from the BBC over the years. The BBC put out a fantastic array of radio comedy shows and I think many are overlooked or only get attention when they are picked up and the format converted for TV. As this was a bit more of a challenging round for some of the clientele of the pub, I went for a slightly easier round. See how you do on this.

Question 1: Which Radio Show is famous for having a round with rules which are made up and change every single week depending on location where the aim is to end up at Mornington Crescent Tube Station.
I’m Sorry I haven’t a clue

Question 2: Everyone knows Dad’s Army as a TV show, but it was also a radio show with the same plots and stories, but which came first? Radio show or TV Show?
TV Show (July 1968 was the first TV Broadcast and January 1974 was the first Radio Broadcast)

Question 3: Which comedian who hosted his own Radio show and podcast is famous for his one liners and puns and is the brother of a Radio 2 DJ?
Tim Vine (Brother of Jeremy Vine)

Question 4: The Radio show “The Unbelievable Truth” Where contestants must write a lecture to smuggle truths past a panel in a lecture without the truths being spotted is hosted by which half of a double act?
David Mitchell (Mitchell and Webb)

Question 5: Question 5. Which Left wing comedian is known for their Radio programme where they travel to small towns in the UK and take the piss out of the locals.
Mark Steel’s in Town

No sources listed I’m afraid, but feel free to take a look at the BBC’s array of radio shows and you might find something you’ll enjoy, I can wholeheartedly recommend The Unbelievable Truth currently broadcasting it’s 25th series!

British Comedy Quiz Round 4

British Comedy Quiz Round 4

This next round of my British Comedy Quiz focused on TV Shows, of course there have been many TV shows from every decade of TV to choose from, but knowing the audience in the pub I went for TV shows I had heard discussed in the pub and which I knew were popular. One of the key things about this round is that there is a trick question in there somewhere, all of the quizzes which the regular quiz master would write would open with the line.

In tonight’s quiz there may be one more or fewer trick questions, you don’t get any extra points for spotting it, but you don’t loose a point if you get it right.

Often there were no trick questions at all and it was just chucked in to put you off your stride and make you second guess everything. So as the regular quiz master was taking part in the quiz this week, I thought I would give him a chance to have a go at my trick question. I can’t remember any more if he fell for it, but many people did!

Question 1: Which BAFTA award winning Comedienne created and wrote the TV Show Dinnerladies? (1998-2000)
Victoria Wood

Question 2: In Blackadder the Third, Blackadder (played by Rowan Atkinson) tries to convince his mad Scottish cousin MacAdder to take his place in a Duel with the Duke of Wellington (played by Stephen Fry) but who played the Mad Scotsman MacAdder?
Rowan Atkinson. Yes, this was the trick question!

Question 3: The cast of which show took part in University Challenge as Scumbag College? In an episode which involved racing to catch a train accompanied by The Ace of Spades by Motorhead.
The Young Ones

Question 4: In the famous Two Ronnies sketch, Ronnie Corbett keeps handing over candles but what was Ronnie Barker trying to buy?
Fork Handles

Question 5: What is the proper name for the piece of music used for Monty Python’s Flying circus as the theme tune?
The Liberty Bell (a March by John Philip Souza)

Sorry, no sources for this round either.

British Comedy Quiz Round 3

British Comedy Quiz Round 3

For this round I decided to go for a slightly different round to see how it went. I plumped for a fill in the blanks round to let people’s imagination run wild. In my experience whenever a team has no idea what the answer is, not even a vague one, they will put the most ridiculous answer down just to entertain themselves. So I decided to use this to see what the most ridiculous answers were I could get out of the teams, I was pleasantly surprised with the varieties in the answers! As I said this round was fill in the blanks, but I went for a particular theme. Prince Philip. I thought that his quotes would fit very well in a British Comedy quiz, and I was validated when it got a lot of laughs!

Question 1: On finding out that Cate Blanchett was in the film Industry, what did Prince Philip ask her to fix in 2008?
His DVD Player

Question 2: At A Dinner Party in 2004 he opened the meal with this phrase; “Bugger the table plan, give me *Blank*!”
*My Dinner*

Question 3: In 2000 he said “People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married *Blank*!”
*Americans*, It was only when I was reading out the answers when I realised that one of our Locals had brought his American wife along to the quiz that night. Fortunately she saw the funny side!

Question 4: At a visit to Salford in 2001, 13 year old Andrew Adams told Prince Philip he wanted to go to space. Prince Philip’s reply was “You’re too *Blank* to be an Astronaut.”

Question 5: In 1998 he met a British Backpacker who had trekked through Papua New Guinea and said “You managed not to get *Blank* then?”

Sorry, I didn’t make a note of my sources for this. A quick search shows that lots, and lots of newspapers reported on these quotes though!

Rustington Sunset

Rustington Sunset

The Sun sets into the sea off of Rustington Beach in West Sussex. The Sun is reflected in the wet sand of the beach leaving a path leading the eye up to the sun..

This is a shot from last year of a sunset which caught my eye while I was walking along the sea front at Rustington in West Sussex. I was hoping for the birds on the beach to fly away and leave a lovely clean beach, unfortunately they didn’t so I think the beach looks a little cluttered. There are a few things I do love about this photo, like the ripple effect in the sand which mimics the sea, and the way the colours of the sky are reflected in the wet sand showing the path of the sun leading the eye through the photo.

British Comedy Quiz Round 2

British Comedy Quiz Round 2

This is the second round of my British Comedy quiz focusing on Panel Shows. British comedy has a multitude of panel shows to choose from, but for simplicity I kept it relatively simple and stuck to the most popular ones. (Or at least the most popular ones from the clientele of the pub) See how well you do. Just like last time, hover over the blanked out bits for the answers.

Question 1: QI was originally hosted by Stephen Fry, before being replaced by Sandi Toksvig in 2016, but what does QI stand for
Quite Interesting

Question 2: Which Panel Show first broadcast in 2005 has a name taken from a well known advertising tagline?
8 Out of 10 Cats (Whiskas cat food claim that 8 of out 10 cats prefer Whiskas)

Question 3: Which Panel Show is hosted by Jimmy Carr and is usualy broadcast in the last week of the year or the first week of the new year?
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year

Question 4: Who was the original host of the radio comedy show where contestants must speak on a given subject for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition, or deviation?
Nicholas Parsons (Just a Minute)

Question 5: Frank Skinner hosts a show where guests can banish their top peeve, annoyance, irritation or worst nightmare, but who wrote the novel the show took its name from?
George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four is the book referenced by the show) (Room 101 is the name of the show)

Sorry, again no sources for this round. But I’m sure Google can help you out!

British Comedy Quiz Round 1

British Comedy Quiz Round 1

This is one of first quizzes I wrote for my old local many moons ago. While they were uncommon back then, themed quizzes have definitely become more popular since then, back then I decided to go for a themed quiz just because I could. The theme I chose was British Comedy, I included rounds on Stand Up comedy, Panel shows, Price Phillip, TV and Radio shows, and a picture round where you had to guess the characters name. Thankfully it was a big hit and I’ve not looked back since. Without further ado, here is the first round, to see the answers just hover over the hidden answer and it should appear.

Question 1: Question 1. Which British Stand up Comedian got into hot water in 2008 by describing British Olympic Swimmer Rebecca Adlington as “someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon”?
Frankie Boyle

Question 2: Question 2. Which two comedians caused a massive row also in 2008 after leaving messages on Andrew Sach’s voicemail live on air during a radio show?
Russell Brand, Jonathon Ross

Question 3: Question 3. Who turned to comedy after a divorce in 2004, using material from their failed marriage as part of their act. They went on to win the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Best Newcomer award in 2008?
Sarah Millican

Question 4: Question 4. Which popular stand up comedian has gone on to become an established actor with roles in Hollywood films such as “The Fifth Element” (1997), “Mouse Hunt” (1997) and “There’s something about Mary” (1998) among others?
Lee Evans

Question 5: Question 5. Which comedian is best known for creating Channel 4’s “Bo’ Selecta!” and for his character Keith Lemon?
Leigh Francis

Unfortunately on this quiz I didn’t include any sources, but I’m sure if you do a bit of searching you will find the same ones.

Pub Quizzes

Pub Quizzes

I have to admit that there are few things I enjoy more than a good pub quiz. It is a great opportunity to socialise and have a few drinks with friends, enter into a friendly competition and with any luck learn something along the way. I believe a good quiz master should know their audience and should pitch their quiz so that there will be a good mix of questions which your group should know, those that make you think just that bit harder to debate amongst your team as to who is right, and those which frustrate you for that name just on the tip of your tongue!

I feel there are a few ways to judge how good a pub quiz is, one of the most important things is for the quiz master to have a good sense of humour. There will always be a bit of banter in a quiz and you have to be able to handle it, and of course throw in some humorous questions without going too far. A good quiz will also have a variety of rounds and topics. Everyone has their specialist subject, but nobody wants to do an entire quiz about Everton football club’s 1973 season. A good mix of rounds helps as well by introducing a variety of things to do or think about, but crucially not making it too complex. Don’t forget you are trying to lure well lubricated punters to the edge of their knowledge and entice them back next week for more. Not forgetting after the whole thing is over is to look at the spread of the scores, the closer the scores are the better the quiz is for the audience and the more competition and fun the teams will have had.

Over the years I have learned many absolutely useless facts at pub quizzes; for example did you know that Richard Gere’s middle name is Tiffany [1], that the well known seller of frozen fish Captain Birdseye also goes by the pseudonym Captain Iglo [2], or even that Jason Statham was once covered in oil as a Go-Go dancer in a 90s music video? [3] All of those facts are useless in real life, but in the world of the pub quiz they can be little golden nuggets of information which could see you winning. That is not to say that I have never learned anything useful, but these are the facts which come to mind after a few drinks. Maybe that’s State-dependent memory for you?

As well as taking part in a quiz, I love setting a pub quiz as well. I enjoy doing some research and going down rabbit holes to find a group of questions which can provide some entertainment, debate and maybe even some arguments. With any luck at the end of the day maybe someone might even learn something. Of course there’s always at least smart arse in a team as well, unlike some quiz masters who will take points away for being a smart arse, I’m always happy to have a debate about answers as I have been known to be wrong in the past. If you do like to have a debate about things, never forget that the quiz master is always right at the end of the day. (Even if they are wrong!)

Thanks to the lockdown we are now in, I have been building up rather a surplus of quiz rounds, so I thought I would post some on my blog here. With any luck they will be entertaining for anyone reading them and who knows, you may even learn something. So I will aim to post a new quiz or quiz round a couple of times a week to try and alleviate the fun of lockdown. I have tried to keep things simple with formatting and viewing the quiz on my blog should hide the answer until you hover over it, please let me know if you have any troubles. When I write my quizzes, I always like to make a note of my sources just in case someone wants to know more, so I will include some sources at the bottom of every post so like me, you can end up going down a rabbit hole if you have nothing better to do with your time!

Caernarfon Reflections

Caernarfon Reflections

These are a couple of photos from 2019 from a trip I took up to North Wales with my family, for which we had perfect weather for the whole week. It was an incredible week with so much September sunshine, the complete opposite to the last time I visited the area where it rained for a whole week. Going back through my photos now while we are in lockdown these photos bring back great memories, not least of when we were able to go outside!

Caernarfon Castle and the waterfront is reflected in the Menai Strait
Caernarfon Castle and the waterfront is reflected in the Menai Strait

North Wales is beautiful and has so many places to visit and I love being able to go and visit, and for my last trip to be combined with such fantastic weather gave many opportunities to get some fantastic images. I love the reflections captured in these images and the richness of the blues captured in the water.

Caernarfon Castle reflected in the water of Afon Seiont at high tide, with local boats floating in the waters.
Caernarfon Castle reflected in the water of Afon Seiont at high tide, with local boats floating in the waters.

I spent a long time trying to get these images right, the main thing I kept hoping for was for more wind to blow the flags on the towers, unfortunately it was a very calm day and so the flags just didn’t move. On the plus side, at least I managed to get a 99 from the ice cream van.

This is just a quick post, mainly testing that some changes I’ve made here all work properly, so far they seem to be working, so hopefully I can post more on here soon. Hopefully I can post more photos here with more detail in the coming weeks.

Back in Business…

Back in Business…

I have shamefully neglected this blog over the last almost decade. Unfortunately real life gets in the way sometimes. Although, now we are in a lockdown I’ve had the time to go back through and sort out things I never had time for before. With any luck I can actually post some content on here and not waste the money I pay for hosting this website any longer. I will start to post some more content on here very soon. Until then, cheers!

Drinking a glass of Leffe in Dinant on the banks of the River Meuse back in 2016