We've just come second in the Thaxted Tennis Club annual quiz. It was a nail-biting climax and we lost by just 3 points, largely because I refused to acknowledge that Hades was the God of the underworld. I'd forgotten that the ancient Greeks view the homes of their Gods as the same thing as the Gods themselves.
It's amazing what one learns and then instantly forgets during the course of a quiz. It's also fairly amusing to see village life on display; the little squabbles, the hierarchies, the women who enter the space with an aura of royalty...
I'm told the quiz master, usually quite a flamboyant individual, was asked to "tone down" his appearance for the good people of the tennis club and the man who thanked us all at the end didn't seem to open his mouth when he spoke. He grinned a lot, however, and managed to make himself look like a ventriloquist! I wanted to ask where Orville was, but I'm slowly learning how to tell the difference between my internal and external voices!
We had cream teas in Poppy's Tearoom in Thaxted this afternoon; a genuinely lovely experience, which never lets you down. Brilliant cakes, friendly staff, wonderful ambience. If you ever find yourself going cross county to Cambridge, you must pop in.
It's suddenly started feeling autumnal. The Virginia creepers are now a deep shade of scarlet, and one of the trees on the outskirts of Thaxted was looking decidedly colourful. Driving home, through the dark North Essex country lanes, I'd periodically pass through a little wisp of mist and as we emerged from the village hall after the quiz, we could see our breath in the air. I like autumn. I find it deeply inspiring, although when I begin to consider everything that needs to be done before Christmas, I start to feel a little panicky!