Archive for February, 2012

The fun of Quizzing

Monday, February 27th, 2012

For a while now I’ve been going along to a monthly quiz at my local pub with a friend, her husband and her daughter. It’s been quite an interesting experience!

I’m quite good at general knowledge, but I haven’t really got any specialist subjects. I don’t know much about sport, films, chemistry and lots of other things. I do enjoy listening to and watching quizzes on radio and television and you pick up interesting facts that way.

My friend and her husband are retired librarians, and so have some specialised knowledge, and their daughter being younger is good at pop music, films and actors.

So altogether I think we make a good team. My friend’s husband especially seems to know a lot about everything and has an amazing memory, so we are usually ahead of the other teams by half time.

Then we have a problem! There’s always some sort of specialist round. A sheet of terrible photos of actors or obscure car emblems to be identified. Last night we had to name each of the properties and other things – in the correct order – on a Monopoly Board!!

We looked at it and felt our 5 1/2 point lead slipping away! It’s years since I’ve played Monopoly. But even if you play it regularly, would you remember the exact order of everything on the board?

We just had to guess, and amazingly we managed to get 5 out of 39!! Our only competitor got 21 out of 39. I don’t know how they managed to do that!

There were a few more rounds where we managed to pull back some points but we ended up losing by six points. I did wonder if it was worth learning what’s on a Monopoly Board, but when is it likely to crop up again!!?

If you’re trying to remember what it looks like, this will jog your memory…..

Hearts on display

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

No, not images of open heart surgery, but Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been amazed at the number of shops that have had Valentine displays in their windows since the middle of January. I’ve never noticed it before. Perhaps it’s as a result of the economic recession that they’re having to work harder to get customers in through their doors.

It used to be just Valentine cards on sale in card shops. Now it seems that every shop is selling something heart shaped and filling their windows with all sorts of red and pink hearts – table confetti, little plaques, cake tins and cases, mugs, tea towels and lots of other things with hearts on them.

I think the displays are pretty and I’ve enjoyed looking at them, and it’s given me some good photo opportunities!

When all the hearts are taken out tomorrow, I wonder if they’ll be replaced by chicks, fluffly bunnies and chocolate eggs?

Valentine collection

Cold weather and hot food

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Thankfully the weather has warmed up a few degrees today. Last week it was really cold.

I spent most of the week in the lounge which was a little bit warmer than the rest of the house. It was so cold in the kitchen that I couldn’t stay in it for long. I had to put on an extra jumper and quickly get some food or make a cup of tea.

It’s a good thing that since I was made redundant last December, I’ve got into cooking. I’ve been making stews and casseroles in the slow cooker, and cakes and baked apples and roast joints in the oven. I like to fill up the oven when it’s on which meant that I had extra portions to put in the freezer.

So when the kitchen was too cold to stay in, I could get some already cooked food out of the freezer, defrost and heat it in the microwave and have a nourishing, hot meal to help fend off the effects of the cold weather.

Private phonecalls

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

When you phone someone, do you expect your phonecall to be private?

I do. When I’m talking to a friend on the phone, I’m talking as though it was just me and that friend on our own in a room. I might want to say personal or private things that I wouldn’t want to say in the middle of a crowded room.

I’ve discovered that this isn’t always the case. There are two people that I regularly talk to on the phone who take my call on speakerphone without warning me that this is what they’re doing. I was horrified when I found out. I wondered what I had previously said that was private, and who had heard it! I couldn’t believe that had happened without the courtesy of a warning.

I only found out because I happened to be with both those people while they were on the phone to someone else.

I was at my friend’s house when another friend phoned her. It was awful! I could hear everything the lady on the phone was saying, and I could tell from the way she was speaking that she thought that her conversation was private. It was excruciatingly embarrassing.

I tried to talk to my friend about the problem and say that she needed to warn people if their conversation isn’t private, but she just said that she can hear better if the phone is on speakerphone and didn’t seem to understand my point of view at all.

I don’t know what to do about it. I’ll never remember that I need to check if anyone’s listening before I talk to her. I could email her instead, but like many married ladies, she doesn’t have an email address of her own but uses her husband’s. So anything I email her, he can read as well.

Am I a bit strange, or would having a private conversation overheard make anyone uncomfortable?