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By Spalding Today Columnist

Last year Dougie and I spent a day in Holt, Norfolk. We were sitting outside a cafe with our obligatory coffee and scone, when we saw a woman heading towards us with a clipboard. "Don't make eye contact," Dougie warned me, envisaging being accosted for an opinion poll or charity direct debit sign-up.

What a relief when the lovely lady asked if we wanted to buy a copy of a quiz to help raise funds for the maintenance of a local church. We love a competition so happily donated some money and imagined a happy afternoon identifying tiny images of 144 famous faces.

Weeks later and the quiz had taken over our lives. I'd emailed the photos to my mother and son to see if everyone could chip in. We became obsessed with these faces that stared out at us every day, taunting us with their obscurity.

Trish Burgess (9692582)
Trish Burgess (9692582)

We didn't win but we had a decent stab at it and congratulated ourselves on some excellent powers of observation. Until the answers were released and we discovered our mistakes. The man in front of some music notation wasn't Leonard Bernstein but Benjamin Britten. That was particularly cruel when we'd only just returned from his concert hall in Snape Maltings.

Did you know that Wendy Craig is the spitting image of writer Anita Brookner or that Louis Walsh is the double of Terence Conran?

Most maddening of all was a black and white photo of a man on a bench seat. We'd left that answer blank. It turns out it was Dr Beeching, sitting in a train carriage.

Are we ready to put ourselves through this agony again? It seems we are as I've already downloaded another fundraising quiz, this time from the Spalding Gentlemen's Society. The entry fee is a minimum of £1 (donations appreciated) and there are 140 picture questions but this time categories including faces, cities and business logos.

I can see the time being eaten up again with vague searches of the internet: 'a city of six letters with some kind of weird monument' or 'old woman in funny hat'.

Thankfully the quiz has arrived at just the right time. We're feeling a little bereft because two of our favourite TV programmes, Only Connect and University Challenge, have ended for the year. I've been wondering how we would survive without Quizzy Monday and now we have some brain fodder to keep us going.

If you'd like to have a go yourself and are prepared for days of torment, then check out the news section of their website (www.sgsoc.org) to download it. Or you can send a large SAE plus entry fee to Quiz, Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 9 Broad Street, Spalding PE11 1TB. It's also available from Bookmark in Spalding. There are prizes too: £20, £10 and £5 but we all know we just do these things for love.

You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk


Guilt-free reading in joint retirement


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