A fun way to raise money for charity!

On Friday evening 20th February 35 excited extroverts met at the Felinfoel Community Education Centre, not too far from the brewery, to take part in a quiz to raise money for Crohn's and Colitis UK. This had been organised by the Bynea Cycling Club and the reason that I and my knowledgeable team had had a participatory involvement in it is that it is connected to the forthcoming Lands End to John O'Groats cycle ride that our own Maddy Carrol is involved in as driver of the support vehicle.

There was a good supply of drinks, both alcoholic and soft, together with an enticing array of variously filled baps and crisps - all at excellent prices. We tucked in believing that brains function less well on an empty stomach. Some of the team had been swotting up on the current holders of Cabinet posts, the kings and queens of England and generally recalling all the obscure, and in reality, useless, information stored up in the backs of their heads which they believed would one day be of vital importance. Some of us were more relaxed, quite happy to swing on the coat tails of others and bask in the reflected glory.

We had just finished our first baps (and a bag of crisps) when we were presented with the list of the rounds and groaned - there was nothing about the Kings and Queens of England, no mention of politics and it would have been optimistic in the extreme to think that we would be carried through to success and glory on the strength of the obscure but really useless information exhumed from the depths of the minds of the less lazy members of the team. More drinks, more baps and more crisps were sent for - this was our only hope.

But we were not there to win, we were there to raise money and enjoy.

The Question Master appeared and the room hushed, the contestants quaked, "Welcome to our quiz!" he proclaimed "now has anyone explained to you about the donkey and the joker?" Well yes, it had been explained but I hadn't quite grasped the reasoning and the tactics behind them but I made a brave effort to appear confident and intelligent. It would all become clear. The Question Master was Matt Carroll, Maddy’s husband.

Time for round one. Science. Well, we did better than we had expected and came out of it with barely a scratch on our self-confidence. The next round was Food and that had to be a piece of cake didn't it! But could we remember the name of that Turkish delight of a dish which consists of stuffed vine leaves? The answer was on the tip of my tongue but sadly no-one could read it. Our team, as one, did some quiet self-kicking when we were reminded that the dish was dolmas!

A short break then to regain our composure and buy more baps and crisps (for the strengthening of memory rather than gluttony, naturally!) and we were into the next round.

So we squared ourselves for the challenge of Natural Science, and a challenge it certainly was. I mean to say if you were stopped in the street and somebody asked you "Which way does the sperm whale spout?” (as seen from behind) would you know?  Captain Ahab would have straight away but we move in different circles so we strained our memories of the film Moby Dick. As it was a 50/50 chance (left or right) we took a chance and the Law of Murphy shone on us and gave us a point.

We were then allowed more food! Well it was a fundraising event and the organisers knew a trick or two so during the food break we amused ourselves with a pictorial quiz about Mr Men characters. I thought it would be easy but I soon realised that Roger Hargreaves continued with his brilliant children's books long after mine had grown out of them! I knew Mr Bump, Mr Happy and Mr Tickle but as for the others, I was lost. As a team, however we didn’t do so badly.

Then it was Sport and I have to admit I am not very good at such questions although I had a go at “Who became world champion on both two and four wheels?” I was convinced it was Mike Hailwood but as you all know it was John Surtees. So, I was wrong! But I try to make a point of being wrong occasionally so that people don’t run away with the idea that I am superhuman! Our team was lucky to have Peter who although he claimed to know little he turned out to have enough knowledge to ensure we were not shamed. Who on earth would have known what was the maximum weight of a ladies hockey stick!

When the Music part was explained to us I must admit that my first thought was “Oh, my goodness!” because it was not a quiz, it was more an initiative test. Each team was given some ‘musical instruments’ in a tin, these consisted of – a comb, a piece of paper, a maraca, three elastic bands, a cup with a lid and some round bits of clay that you would put on pastry to stop it rising whilst being cooked in the oven,  and a carrot carved into a working whistle. We were given a brief time to come up with musical entertainment using these and anything else on the table or on our person. You cannot, believe me, imagine the cacophony that ensued as we practised but we had an ace up our sleeve – Anne has just retired from being a music teacher so she soon got us into shape. We did an arrangement of ‘Daisy, Daisy’ (on a bicycle made for two) and as a result did not shame ourselves, in fact came joint first on that round – pats on backs!

It was an inspired way to end because it seemed to encapsulate the joy and fun of the evening. An evening which raised a grand total of £420 for a deserving cause and put huge smiles on every face.

Many thanks to all who organised the occasion. It was great!