I have been busy all day setting the questions for this week's Rock Tavern Pub Quiz. As regular readers will know, setting the questions is normally the prize for winning the previous quiz, and I would love to stand before you today - well actually sit before you because I have a touch of sciatica - and proclaim that I won last Friday. But I didn't. The team that won didn't fancy setting the quiz, so I grovelled around and offered to do it for them. As they agreed, it is the only way I will ever get the opportunity to set the questions. I am, I fear, not one of life's winners.
I managed to get through childhood and youth without winning anything, although I once got a school prize for turning up. I remember when I was lecturing going out and buying an elaborate trophy to be presented to the College Chess Champion, confident in the knowledge that I had never seen anyone else play chess in the building. To be on the safe side I scheduled the competition during the long summer break when there would be neither students nor staff within checking distance of the place. Just as I was about to award the trophy to myself, the Caretaker turned up, sad down, and mated me in less moves than it took him to open the boiler house door. He still has the trophy to this day.
However, this is not one of my normal self-pitying rants, as I am pleased to announce that I have just been awarded a degree of recognition by being listed as one of the Top 50 Over 50s Bloggers in the latest issue of Saga Magazine. I share this honour with the likes of Ricky Gervais, Jon Snow, and Samuel Pepys (Good gracious, are you really over 50 Sam?). Can I just say thank you to the kind people at Saga Magazine for listing me and ask whether it would be possible for them to send me a little trophy for my desk-top. Nothing elaborate. A little plastic thing would do. I will even pay for it myself, get it made and send it to them, so they can send it back to me. But with my luck they will probably send it to Samuel Pepys.