My preparations for a music quiz I’m facilitating on Thursday evening are almost in the can. The running order a heady brew inclusive of five shortish quiz rounds, where I’ll portray the role of quizmaster, interspersed with performances of acoustic refrains by three of the inquisition’s main protagonists.

Keen my question master role is acted out with suitable emotional expression and believable performance, I’ve spent all week studying method acting online. This range of training and rehearsal techniques advocating, prior to thee big night, I fully inhabit the role of the character in day to day life.

Consequently, I’ve spent three days living my life as I believe TV quiz ‘Pointless’ presenter Alexander Armstrong would spent his day. I picked Xander as my acting role model as we are a similar age, the two of us were educated in the north east of England and both of us are capable of murdering a Sinatra song.

Whether my quiz master portrayal is enhanced by me spending the last few days randomly approaching strangers with the words “We asked 100 people to name a country with an ‘X’ in it name?”, seeking the least popular answer, only time will tell.

Anyhow, the quintet of question rounds I’ve prepared are as follows:-

  • Ten eclectic music general knowledge questions;
  • Participants identifying five football songs whistled in the style of Roger Whittaker;
  • Ten enquiries as to the artist/song gleaned from a line of lyrics;
  • Fifteen musical queries which idiosyncratic former TV presenter, turned ‘son of god’, David Icke might ask; and finally
  • Twenty questions relating to music from the 1980’s decade.

Three of the rounds more mainstream inquisition vehicles, the other two (I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the duo) introduced to impart levity in the notoriously competitive cauldron of quizzing.

A world rife with skullduggery; such as under the desk googling for answers, along with participants changing responses as the question master runs through correct ripostes. When the quiz plays out via video streaming, these deceptions easier to adopt without the deceits exposure….. What do you mean “How do you know that, Gary?!”

I’m unable to play an instrument, thus can’t musically accompany my buddies in a ‘knees up’ around the old Joanna. Instead I’ll play to my creative strengths, endeavouring to impart jocularity through both absurd and mainstream conduits.

As I quill this paragraph, I’ve just returned from a visit to my marital home. My tarry to pick up a few bits I’d left over there, including what’s left of my dignity and a book titled ‘Living With Leprosy’. I’m not afflicted by the illness, but I thought it’d be prudent to have the tome at hand in the event Hansen’s disease come calling.


With West Yorkshire bathed in glorious sunshine, I’m sitting at the patio table within my mum’s back garden. Under parasol shade, a cooling breeze acts as a counteragent to the perspiration resultant from earlier exposure to direct solar rays.

The aforementioned zephyr causing nearby efflorescent digitalis and aquilegia to sway like a punch drunk pugilist. Despite being two to three feet in height and slender of stem, which can expose them to damage from gusts, the shrubs remain firmly rooted. They may appear punch drunk, yet witnessing such stoicism in the face of breezes, I suspect there’s no plans to throw in the towel just yet.

A week or two previous I experienced around four days of lumbar pain, resultant of liberating a peony rose from enveloping and invasive adjacent plants. The trauma consequential of me adopting poor health and safety practises whilst removing the shrubs the root.

Whilst still suffering from this pain, I penned within a fortnight the discomfort would be worth it when the peony rose bloomed. The majesty of its blossoms providing suitable recompense for my self-inflicted trauma….. Ten days on, I was proved right!