It seems like the first quiz blog in ages, so if you are not interested, don't even bother clicking further. It was a great night out - there was a full squad tonight, with ringers like Chris and Nat we were destined to win our first ever quiz weren't we??
Well, we had a good fun night anyway! After a surprisingly successful first 3 rounds we gambled with the joker on the fourth round, which turned out to be our worst round. Despite this, we managed to scrape ourselves into the money, winning a bumper £5 for coming joint fourth! It wasn't too bad considering there was 16 teams entered.
Everyone in the team made a great contribution tonight, and instead of listing the highlights, I have provided a slide show - maybe you can figure it out?
A teaser that is not in pictures - which is the third largest city in Scotland? (answer below pics)
It's Aberdeen......not Dundee
I had the good foresight to take Friday off work, as I had expected to be suffering from post Charity Chuckle blues/hangover. Turns out I didn't really, quite the opposite - I was up early and still on a high from the success of the night. As Joe was staying at Auntie Amy's house we offered to have Isaac for the night, and he was fantastic! OK we had to surrender television for the night so he could get his fix of Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Tombliboos, Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka and of course Ninky Nonk (ok I had to google some of them, I couldn't remember them all!).
He was quite taken by our new goldfish, Elvis and Priscilla, and insisted on feeding them, a lot! We played our usual game of 'crawl round on Uncle Dan's head while he lays down', and snuggled up on the sofa in an attempt to get him to sleep. It never worked. He finally fell asleep at 'ahem' o'clock (can't be too precise in case his Mam and Dad read), and didn't hear a peep out of him until 7am. Great stuff! We dropped him back off and got on with our busy Saturday.
It was Grand National day and so I done my bit as bookies runner and headed off to the Hartlepool match with Dad. Incidentally, I picked up my winnings today (£3.50), but it cost me a lot more than I got back! With Pools facing relegation today it was a must win game, as is every remaining fixture, and it turned out they actually did win! There is still a tiny bit of hope in staying up, but it's going to need a large slice of luck.
Saturday night was poker night - there was 8 of us playing, but looking in the recycling bin this morning you would have thought there was 20! Nat played the perfect hostess as always and left chilli and rice for the lads, and pie and peas for those who prefer normal food. One invited critic said this of the food:
"Mouth watering dish that danced around in the mouth 10 out of 10"
Les Blakeman (former London food critic)
Despite my hazy recollections, I think we played 6 games, and with 4 different winners, the money was spread out. What we did learn from the night was that Matthew had a secret past in the music industry, Shifty has a well practised technique for completely emptying a shot glass of vodka jelly, and I have a salad crisper, hoorah! Oh and it is much better clearing up on the night no matter how late it is than facing it on a Sunday morning.
I'm hoping to spend a bit of time organising my C2C trip, and updating websites, but more of that later.
It's been a long time coming but the night of the Charity Chuckle was finally upon us. What could possibly go wrong? Hmmm, maybe the call on Tuesday to say Pat Monahan was filming a movie in London all week and was physically unable to make it. But would that stop us having a great time? Would it hell!
As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and it proved to be the case again. As disappointing as it was to lose Pat at such short notice, Neil from Hilarity Bites (who ALWAYS does the biz) pulled Phil Ellis out of the hat as the replacement headliner. He also, if things went according to plan, would have Pat beamed down to us via FaceTime on the projector on the stage at some point throughout the night. The final silver lining being that Pat has agreed to come up and do a preview of his Edinburgh show in July - so we now get two gigs out of it!
A small crack team (Me, Nat & Mark) got to the pub at 6 to set ourselves up ready for the 120+ people who would attend. I was to take tickets/money etc, Nat was queen of the raffle, and Mark ended up being greeter/projectionist/lighting/cashier/general ensurer that things went smooth. We all did a bloody good job of it!
The comedy itself was excellent, with each comedian being quite different from the rest. Tony Jameson done a fantastic job of hosting the night, and Neil did manage to connect to Pat Monahan in London! It was a pretty unique thing to do and added to the night. We were worried for a while though thinking that the screen would come down and the image would be of Uncle Chris via satellite in Angola sat in his underpants eating his supper. We were spared that though!
Most of the crowd abuse focused on Richard, primarily because he sat on the front table, with a neon yellow t-shirt on. He was tortured over his job, accused of being a 'swinger', called homosexual (at least once or twice), but told me during a break that he was thrilled - nobody seemed to notice he had ginger hair! Fantastic.
I must give a special mention to Nat who excelled herself selling raffle tickets - she nearly took £400 on the raffle alone (Despite her threatening to join the winner of the afternoon tea for two in The Dean Court Hotel, York)! Also thanks to Mark who put himself about all night, thanks to Neil from Hilarity Bites who put the night together excellently, to all of the comedians who took part - genuinely nice blokes having spoken to them. Thanks also to The Swan for the free room hire and the effort they put in to make the night a success.
Final thanks go to everyone who supported the night by firstly turning up, and secondly, supporting the raffle. The profit made on the night just passed the £1,000 mark, so well done!
With that major event out of the way, I am able to focus on the other things we have planned - bag packing in Asda (April 20th if anyone is free!), Pat Monahan's comedy night, the Stockton to Darlington Ukulele Express are playing a charity gig, oh and a 192 mile walk from one side of the country t'other.
Well, I suppose it's better to be busy than to have a boring existence!
Not much blogging in this one. A couple of pictures from our Good Friday morning out with Joe and Isaac, and a belated congratulations to Stacey & John and the rest of the gang on the birth of Alice Ann Ferguson (Easter Sunday). Oh, and our new goldfish.......
Tomorrow night brings the long awaited Charity Chuckle - I won't say too much about it now, will save it for the inevitable post chuckle blog.
Have you ever parked your car underground at Asda, then done your shopping and forgotten where you had put it? Now imagine parking your car in Grosmont, getting dropped off 7.8 miles away (as the crow flies) and finding your way back to it, with everything against you.....
The day was already at a stutter as two potential walkers, Ged and Les, were rested up for the day. I had looked at rearranging the last four days of the Coast to Coast and the new route took us via Richmond - Osmotherley - Blakey Ridge - Grosmont - Robin Hood's Bay. I decided to try the Blakey Ridge to Grosmont leg today. I had already slightly overslept but was at Dad's house for 9:30 raring to go, and better prepared than last time. Nat was also driving, and we left for Grosmont. Dad left his car there and we headed to The Lion pub in Blakey Ridge, the plan being to walk back to the car.
As we travelled over Blakey Moor we realised it was going to be a long cold walk in the snow, one which we were unprepared for today, especially kitted out in our shorts! So instead, after my navigation had managed to get us lost in the moors, we ended up in the car park of The Grapes pub along the Moor Road, the GPS had said it was 7.8 miles back to Grosmont so we decided to get out and walk from here. We waved bye to Nat and we were alone in the wild!
About to embark on a 7.8 mile walk in the freezing cold after being dropped off in a pub car park, we thought to ourselves what would be the best plan of attack? You got it - we went into the pub for a pint. Technically though, we never, we went to the toilet, but we felt obliged to buy a pint while we were in there, we don't expect free facilities. We got talking to the owners who had recently taken over and they sounded keen on making a go of it so good luck to them.
The last time out I had used Dixie's GPS but never really got the hang of it, this time though, I had spent all of the time in the pub playing around with it and I had pretty much sussed it, and what an asset it will be on the actual walk. Disaster was to strike though, I had spent so much time messing with it and plotting the upcoming route, and had forgot to charge it after the last use, that when we left the pub, after about 30 metres the battery gave up the ghost. Never mind, I had my new iPhone 5 with all of its glorious settings - only thing is it doesn't get signal over the moors. Ah wait! I have my C2C route maps, hmmm, only thing is we had veered off course and the maps didn't cover it, bugger!
So there we were, stood outside a pub in the middle of the moors with no navigational aids. The only thing I remembered from before the GPS went off was that it was 7.8 miles as the crow flies, but actually 12.5 miles walking. Great! It was at that point I realised it was April 1st and the walking gods were having a laugh at me. Despite my ability to levitate, there was no way I was even attempting to walk on water, it was far too cold for that, so we headed right from the pub and set off walking around Scaling Dam Reservoir. We followed the designated path for about 2-3 miles hoping it would take us to our first point of interest, Lealholm, but instead, we came out on the other side of the reservoir...near the pub we had earlier left! Gutted.
Undeterred, we set off, again, in search of the Holy Grail, or Lealholm as it is more commonly known. With nothing to go by, it was a strut across many fields (which always look the same) for mile upon mile with no sign of civilisation. We even hoped PC Nick Rowan would pass and pick us up in his sidecar, but to no avail.
A chance meeting with a couple of fellow ramblers set us on some kind of right path, even if it was back to the Moors Road, where Nat would come to meet us once more. It was at this point we had completely given up on Lealholm, although I am sure it is still there somewhere.
It was a long pathway back up the track but we eventually made it and parked ourselves in a bus shelter just by the road to The Black Bull. Had we noticed that there was another pub about 100 metres away we would have no doubt took refuge there but as it was, we were happy for a sit down and some relative warmth. Overall we had clocked up somewhere between 8 and 9 miles, and despite the problems we suffered, we managed to have a decent walk out. It wasn't part of the C2C as hoped, but a good day out nevertheless. Nat picked us up from the bus shelter and as we were only 9 miles from Whitby we headed to Mr Chips for tea. A decent day all round.
Oh, and Dad did finally get back to his car in Grosmont, somehow!