Friday, 9 September 2016


I did another quiz today. This one was meant to be in Bristol, but a last minute change of location found me heading to Hungerford instead. Hungerford is a pretty little town, which ought to be in Wiltshire, but I have a feeling is in Berkshire. For people of my generation it will always be the place where Michael Ryan ran amok shooting people in, I think, 1988. About fifteen people were murdered. It was the first time this country had ever had a mass shooting and the fact that it took place in a peaceful rural town made it all the more shocking and difficult to comprehend. Every time I pass through that town I feel the weight of its history. Then I laugh like an imbecile because there's a car showrooms in the town called "Dick Lovitt."

The quiz was a lot of fun. There were only six tables, so marking the papers was a doddle, although the quiz master rattled through the answers so quickly, I started to wonder how I've managed to mark three times this number of quiz sheets in previous gigs.

The drive to Hungerford was fine. Longer than anticipated. I don't much like driving. As I get older I'm more aware of the dangers of the activity. I think we all become increasingly risk averse the older we get. And the older we get, the slower our reaction times become, so it's hardly surprising really. I've never been much of a driver. I tend to drive at the speed of the music I'm listening to. I always have. Fiona once pointed this particular fact out to me as we were driving along the M1 on our way to (probably) Coventry to busk. I'd managed to slow down to about 40 miles per hour whilst listening to Arvo Pärt and then immediately broken the sound barrier when ABBA's Summer Night City came on. To make matters worse I was tapping the accelerator in time to the music!

I did manage to catch an episode of The Archers as I drove today, which is rare for me because I'm not yet ancient enough to appreciate that show. I've caught bits of it here and there but until today have never heard my mate Annabelle saying anything despite her having been a regular for something like fifteen years. Today she offered to drive someone home from court. I was thrilled. Thrilled I tell you.

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