I went out to the arse end of beyond today to do a quiz. I was up on the Metropolitan line. That's the burgundy coloured line. It's a line I have so little concept of that I didn't even know how to spell it when I wrote it down just now! There are huge geographical leaps between stations, traveling from Finchley Road to Wembley Park, you leapfrog zone three entirely. Then you end up in all these somewhat suburban places which are plainly home to many, but which have names you've never seen before: Northwood Hills, Preston Road...
I was in the area to run a quiz. It was my first job as a fully-fledged, all-singing-all-dancing quiz master. It was the first time I got to press all the buttons, decide which questions got asked and do all the other things I was secretly dreading! Abbie was on hand, of course, and has been a brick throughout the training experience. She actually only needed to step in once, when I inadvertently closed one of the programmes down and froze a bit whilst trying to remember how to open it up again!
Otherwise, it went pretty smoothly. It wasn't anything like as terrifying as I'd expected it to be although I probably didn't sparkle a great deal. My head was simply trying to make sure I didn't mess up any of the technical aspects. Sparkling requires confidence, and isn't helped by coming down with a blinking cold! All things considered, however, I don't think I could have done any better, and feel very proud of myself for overcoming my huge fear.
The quiz was in a girl's school. It astonishes me how different things are in schools these days. Abbie and I needed to be escorted everywhere by a teacher who couldn't even leave us alone in the hall to set things up. She literally had to watch us at all times. I had to provide photo ID just to be able to sign in. Of course it's inevitable and entirely understandable but part of me wonders where it all ends. There's now apparently a great emphasis being placed on the jeopardy of potential radicalisation. I sincerely hope this applies to Christian doctrine as well as anything Islamic. My personal worry is that it will also silence passion. We had some fairly radical left wing teachers at my school who set out to challenge the right-leaning tendencies of the kids. Being challenged not to accept everything you've been told at home by parents is a vital part of early education.