For me, perseverance and humility are important virtues. Unfortunately, I do not always live up to these ideals.
I have always enjoyed quiz books and TV quizzes. I started organising quiz nights back in the 1970s at the now-defunct Beeches Old Boys Clubroom. My wife, Karene, and I, along with our son-in-law Simon and friends Marta and Sharon, developed into more of a regular outfit when I retired. We call ourselves More Than A Quiz because we hope that is what we deliver. That is why we include our ‘Performance Bonuses’. If you want to know more, come to one of our quizzes.
The most fun aspect of being a quizmaster is having a rapport with the teams and watching reactions to the questions.
I sometimes come up with a theme for a quiz round when I’m walking, swimming or gardening. For example, a row of trees made me think of the song What a Wonderful World so I made up a round of questions based on those lyrics. Karene advises on science and cookery, which are definitely not my specialist subjects.
I really enjoyed my time as Dame in the De La Salle/Beaulieu pantomimes and my seven shows as chairman calling the turns for the St Martin’s Olde Tyme Musical Halls. I was honoured to get a minor principal role in the Fiftieth Anniversary Liberation Pageant, which was a terrific show to be involved in. And it was great fun to play Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, especially as my Baroness was my Connetable, Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard. A real trooper.
I’d love to play a major role in a Gilbert and Sullivan Opera, something like the Mikado or the Sergeant in Pirates of Penzance. However, I fear my voice would not pass the audition.
The thing I miss the most about being a teacher are the big whole-school events: the school play, sports day, special assemblies, etc. I certainly do not miss the marking, the often-pointless meetings and the courses where some import is being paid a shed load of money to explain the latest educational theory or practice, only for it to be pie-in-the-sky or the bleedin’ obvious. Sorry, rant over.
There is a bit of an overlap between acting and teaching and being a quizmaster. Voice projection is important. I do get annoyed when someone talks while I am delivering a question and then demands that I repeat it. I have to be careful not to come out with: ‘If you’d been listening, you’d have heard the first time.’
The person who makes me laugh the most is my six-year-old granddaughter Sophie. I’m always having fun when I’m with her.
The last time I cried? Karene recently spent three weeks in hospital with a mystery virus and I cried on the day she was discharged. I’m more likely to cry when happy than when sad.
We have an amazing number of lanes, tracks, cliff paths, beaches etc for such a small island. And the weather in Jersey is always perfect for walking. There are plenty of interesting walks I can do from my house, taking in the lanes of St Saviour, Grouville and St Martin. But when Karene and I fancy a trip out west, we have some favourites based on St Ouen’s Church. At our age, it is always good to start and end near toilet facilities!
I swim in the sea from late May to mid October. So on a fine day in summer, my favourite spot in the Island is in the sea at Archirondel or St Catherine.
I don’t think you can beat lunch at the St Brelade’s Bay Hotel. But again, we are so spoilt for choice.
If I could introduce any new law to the Island, it would be a restriction on vehicle size to remove stupidly-big cars from Jersey’s narrow roads, although it’s probably too late now.
My final meal? Well, if I’m making it, a cheese and tomato sandwich followed by plenty of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate. Or whatever my wife cooks for me. She’s brilliant in the kitchen.
For more information, visit the More Than A Quiz page on Facebook.