Taste Of Success

I have very slowly and tentatively started venturing outside of my house and began to engage with life a bit more than I had been since Lock Down. I was just keeping my head down and waiting for it to all blow over really. I appreciate that I was very lucky in that I was in the position of being able to work from home during this whole period.
It does appear that may be the combination of being outside and the warmer weather does seem to be slowing down the transmission of the Coronavirus, as long as we continue to social distance of course.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

A few Sunday’s ago I went to an event for the first time in just over four months. It was a Drive in Movie at the home of the Saracens Rugby Union Club Allianz Park. I had never been to one before. Previously I had only seen them on American television shows like Happy Days and The Flintstones. Therefore I did not really know what to expect. I believe it is a fairly new idea in this country to cope with the extra demands of staging anything at the present time.

We arrived at the entrance to the Car Park it was being held in. There we were checked in and given a big speaker to put on the dashboard. It was tuned to the correct frequency for the film and was playing music with announcements before show time. There were marshals directing all the cars to particular spaces. We were shown to a spot right at the back, although it was directly in front of the screen. We got there about thirty minutes before it was due to begin.

You could order drinks and food through a mobile phone application they had set up. They would then deliver it to your car. It was a grid system and they put a marker on one of your wing mirrors so they could find you. We had some chips and pizza washed down with a cup of tea. I am so rock and roll nowadays. The delivery person arrives on an electric scooter, which adds to the fun a little.

The film we were watching was Moulin Rouge. I had seen it before but I was more interested in checking out the experience rather than seeing something new. As we were at the early showing which began at six thirty the sun was still shining on the screen, which made it a little tricky to watch. Mind you there was something cool about wearing sun glasses during it. You could pretend you were a film star and too cool not to wear them. The screen was smaller than I was expecting, which at times made it tough to see what was going on.

Moulin Rouge

As an experience it was alright and quite quirky. I am glad we choose to see something that we had seen previously as I felt you could not really get into the film plus it did not matter if you missed the odd bit. You do not have the benefit of surround sound as you would in a normal cinema.

As you are in your car you can chat during the film without disturbing anyone. It was nice to be around people and feel like you were at an occasion and on a night out. I am not a massive film fan as it is but I am not sure I will visit to many of these over the summer.

Drive in Movie

I then got a little braver and had my first socially distanced barbecue. It was in a friends back garden so we were all outside and had plenty of space between us. It was a bit strange not shaking hands or giving people a cuddle on arrival and when leaving. We were lucky that it was a warm and sunny afternoon. Therefore I had a very pleasant time having a few drinks and chatting with everyone. I settled back into being around people and having a laugh effortlessly which was a big relief. Plus the host had got a keg of beer in from a local brewery so it was nice to have a poured pint for the first time in a while.

You have to think and concentrate a bit more than you used to do just to make sure that you keep everyone safe and of course stay within the rules. But it was good fun and nice to get out and do something a bit more normal and social than I have done for a while. As long as friends and family are honest with each other with how they are feeling. And you all take a few extra precautions these gatherings are so worthwhile and essential to us as people. I look forward to my next one!

Neil Quigley Enjoying the Sun
Neil Quigley Enjoying the Sun

Last Saturday I was able to enjoy my Christmas present from my parents at last. They had got me a Luxury Wine and Cheese Tasting Experience. I bought my Dad the introductory one a few years ago and he took me along with him. We had an interesting and fantastic time at that one, so I thought I would return the favour and take him on the luxury version with me. Believe it or not this had not actually been delayed by Covid but it was the earliest date we could book in January when we were both free. It had been in the diary for a while.

However it was still a bit touch and go up to just a few weeks ago due to the current rules and regulations for these sorts of things to be able to take place. They did have to change the venue it normally takes place at which is a very nice hotel in Central London. It had to be moved to The Oval Cricket Ground to allow them to be able to comply with social distancing requirements. Rather than do battle with the public transport system we decided to treat ourselves and book a taxi there and back.

That might seem a bit flash but I have not been out for so long that I have saved myself a fortune, so it made sense to make this outing as special and as simple as possible. It worked out perfectly, the car delivered us right on time outside the gate we needed to enter the ground. It was all so well organised from arrival. They took your temperature on the gate before they even let you in the place. There were two metres markers and lots of hand sanitiser everywhere you went.

We found are way to the John Major Suite where the event was to take place. We were checked in and predictably we were the first to arrive. I have got a real thing about being late so normally arrive at things nice and early. It was a Wine Cottage Tasting therefore it was hosted by the brilliant Kam Zadeh who had educated us during our first experience a few years before. To prove how good he is, he did actually recognise me and we had a lovely chat before things got underway.

As we got there first we managed to get a table in prize position. We had a glass of red wine as we were waiting for everyone else to get there and for it all to start. You need to get yourself in the mood of course. The room slowly filled up and the first wine to sample was poured into the first of the six glasses in front of us. They are so good and professional. They always make sure the next wine is poured in advance so it gets to the right temperature before you taste it.

Wine Certificate
Wine Certificate

Kam does the introduction. Where he tells you what to look for and how to be able to decide pretty much where a wine comes from and most of its characteristics just from a few simple tests. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about the subject, yet he explains it all so simply, so it is easy to understand. You get a sheet with details of all the wine you will be trying, which has space for your notes and findings on each one.

Every wine that you sample has been paired with a particular cheese by Kam, so it enhances the flavour of it with every sip. During the tasting we had four different French wines, one from Spain and one from Australia. Each one was slightly different and showed how the grapes, location and the fermentation process can make a difference to the taste and alcohol content. I once again found it fascinating and I learned so much. Lastly we got a small glass of a very sweet desert wine that came in an edible chocolate cup, which was amazing!

Wine Cottage sell their own selection and you can purchase the wines that you tasted at the end of the proceedings. My dad and I both treated ourselves to a bottle of our favourite tipple that we had sampled on the evening. At I must be honest very reasonable prices for such high calibre of red wine.

I feel I know more about wine now so I can hopefully make better informed choices when I am choosing it in the future. My favourite fact is still that all grape juice is clear. It is the skins of the red grape that give red wine its colour, if they removed the skin straight away like they do with white, you would not have red wine. As you may have guessed I favour red over white wine I just prefer the taste. In fact I do like a full bodied oak flavour with a long finish just in case you are ever planning on buying me a bottle.

If you are really into your wine I would certainly recommend a Wine Cottage Tasting Experience. The whole team are easy to deal with and very professional. Kam is faultless, you will have a laugh and come away feeling educated plus you get to sample some quality wines. What is not to like? Of course you do not get drunk as they are controlled measures but you certainly come away feeling very merry. I would happily do another one, if you want to purchase one and take me along as your guest.

A Lovely Drop of Red…

Huge congratulations to Wycombe Wanderers on their promotion to The Championship. After beating Oxford United at Wembley Stadium in the League One Play Off Final.

It just seems mad to say that, I remember watching them play at Loakes Park in the old GM Vauxhall Conference. I was only a child granted but never at that point did I think they would one day be playing in the league below the top division in England. It is quite amazing how far that they have come.

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

I must confess I saw them play at Adams Park twice this season. One game they comfortably won and looked great. And one they were so outclassed by Coventry there was no way I would have suspected they would get promoted this year.

They did have a bit of luck in that when the season was suspended they were outside of the play off places. Then the way that the “points per game” system was worked out it put them back in contention. From there on in fair play they took that chance and grabbed it with both hands.

Adams Park

I watched all of the Play Off games including the final and you could not fault them for effort and determination. It is such an amazing achievement for a club of their size and resources. It might be a bit tough next season but you cannot take this bit of history away from the players and the manager. And as the boss said after that crazy final win the extra money will guarantee the Club’s financial security for at least the next two years, which is the aim of the game for a lot of teams at the minute.

I did play for half a season with the Wycombe Lions Under Sixteen football team who were linked to the club. Plus I did have a trial for the Chairboys Youth Team before I ended up playing for Aylesbury United. As it happened my League debut for the Ducks was up at Beaconsfield against Wycombe Wanderers. I can now say that I once had a trial with a Championship side.

Whatever happens next season I really hope the manager, players and the fans totally enjoy the experience. It would be fantastic if they can finish just above the relegation places, I know that sounds a bit negative. But doing that for Wycombe would be the equivalent of finishing in a Champions League place for a Premiership side.

Wycombe V Barnet
Wycombe Wanderers

Talking of securing European football my team Tottenham Hotspur have had an indifferent end to the Premier League season. That said it was great to win the North London Derby and it has been pleasing to head towards the end of the season with some back to back wins. However it looks like we can only qualify for the Europa League at best. I would rather not be in Europe than play in that competition. It was odd watching the last home game of the season from my home. It is normally a fun day where we get to clap the players and them us and it is always an excuse for a bit of a party!

It looks as if next season will resume in the first couple of weeks of September meaning there will not be much of a break. It is being suggested by the government that fans could return to stadiums by October but we shall see. It is going to be a strange close season and transfer window. It will be interesting to see how much it is affected by the current environment. I suspect for “us” Spurs supporters as ever we will not get the players in, we want or indeed suspect. There are always a few out of the blue surprises. All part of the fun of being a fan!

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

As it stands I am still doing my weekly Pop Quiz on a Tuesday night at 8.30pm on my Facebook page. I started it as a one off for a bit of fun. But while we are still a little restricted on what we can do and where we can go.

I am keeping it going for the time being at least. It is a good laugh to host and hopefully entertaining to play along with. If you have not seen it yet please feel free to tune in. You can actually still see all previous episodes of “Quigger’s Plays Pop” on my page. https://www.facebook.com/neil.quigley

Neil Quigley

You can catch me every Saturday afternoon on Radio Ninesprings between 2pm – 4pm currently. It is the station for Yeovil and South Somerset but you can of course listen online wherever you are. http://www.radioninesprings.co.uk

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Needed A Run

Here we are once again then unsurprisingly I have not been up to much in the last few weeks. Owing of course to the fact that most of the places I visit are still yet to reopen fully. Lock Down in England has been eased slightly in that pubs, restaurants and some areas of the hospitality industry have been able to commence with their activities. Albeit with a lot more rules and regulations in place than there were before this pandemic.

I have decided at the moment not to visit any of these locations. It is just a personal decision that I have made. I am asthmatic which just means I am being extra cautious. Fair play to people who want to use these facilities in a sensible and social distanced way, I of course do appreciate that these businesses need to start at least bringing in a bit of money to survive. But if I am totally honest another factor for me is the almost clinical way that they have to operate. Not their fault at all but Pubs are not what they were currently and I think this would spoil my enjoyment a little.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Therefore I am still keeping a pretty low profile which is rare for me but needs must at the minute. I am on a real fitness drive. For some reason I have decided this is a good time to increase my exercising. I am doing five mile runs three times a week, which are always then followed by forty minutes on the exercise bike. I have started doing Yoga and do ten minutes a day six times a week. I do three weight sessions every week. On these days I also do a further thirty minutes worth of Yoga and Pilates.

I have always played sport and tried to keep in shape ever since I was a child. My diet is relatively healthy but it has far too much chocolate and cheese in it, so I am never going to be the Body Coach. The way that I motivate myself to keep working harder every week is I see training as like paying into a bank account. You put some in every week and then see a bigger benefit every four weeks. For example any work I do today say, I will benefit from in a month’s time in my system. All I can say is it works for me.

I do feel that the physical and mental benefits from regular exercise are huge. I have so much more energy, focus and enthusiasm for my weekly workouts. Although I will confess I think I might be addicted to exercise but let us face it there are worse addictions you could have. Even a nice long walk helps a lot. I always see running and walking as great thinking time. I have come up with many great ideas and solved personal problems during both. Just may be something to think about if you are finding it a bit tough to deal with the current situation that we find ourselves in. We are all in it together.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have a very small amount of shares in three race horses through a great organisation called the Owners Group. One of my horses had its first run of the season at Haydock Races last Sunday. Obviously I could not be there to see it in person as racing is currently taking place behind closed doors.

It is called Proclaimer and is trained by Julie Camacho. On this occasion he was ridden by Kevin Stott, who rode a couple of big winners during the Royal Ascot meeting. He was once a promising school boy footballer who was released by Spurs.

Proclaimer

I managed to watch the race online. It is great fun seeing one of your horses run. You did get a bit nervous before the start. The team does have its own colours purple with black chevrons and a black hat. It is amazing how well looked after these race horses are, nothing is left to chance. They really do get the best care.

As it was Proclaimer’s first run for several months we were not sure what to expect but we were hoping he would run well and enjoy it. He finished third in what was quite an exciting race. A good start to the season! All being well we should see him back in action again soon.

Neil Quigley

The Premier League continues behind closed doors. Congratulations to Liverpool who have been crowned champions. Totally deserved it they have clearly been the best team this last year. My team are still struggling as we have been all season really.

We never got started in the league at all right from the start of the season. That has been the case whoever was manager and whatever players were on the pitch. It is hard to put your finger on it as to why. On paper we have I think a strong squad and we were Champions League finalists last season.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

It now looks unlikely that we will make the Champions League for next season. I appreciate that this sounds like a lack of ambition but I would rather miss out on Europe altogether than play in the Europa League. I have no idea why but for some strange reason playing on a Thursday and Sunday really affects the league form and makes it impossible to challenge for the title.

Liverpool missed out a few seasons ago and they finished second in the Premier League that year. Hopefully we can finish the season strongly still, starting with the North London Derby tomorrow.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Having never seen the original Googlebox because I flatly refused to watch people on television watching television, as I thought it was pointless. I have now somehow got hooked by Celebrity Googlebox. Mainly I think just to see Shaun Ryder and Bez chat at home and then work out what is going on with what they are watching. I think they live in a world of their own but it is captivating! To be fair they have some great couples on there. I actually like them all. Rylan and his mum are great, she is so accidentally funny.

I do also think that Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash make a great couple as do Denise Van Outen and her fella Eddie. Add to that Johnny Vegas, Mo Gilligan, Gyles Brandreth and Emilia Fox’s mum Joanna. It is a very entertaining show. Well done to whoever casts that programme. That is a great group of people that they have persuaded to sit in and get paid to watch TV, actually may be that is not that much of a hard sell. It is my guilty pleasure currently. I have one problem though they keep making them all watch horror films which I hate!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am venturing out for the first time in four months tomorrow night to go to a properly social distanced Drive in Movie at Allianz Park. They are showing Moulin Rouge. I have seen it before but never while sat in my car in a big field, so it will certainly be a brand new experience for me.

I will let you know what it was like in case you are planning on going to something similar this summer. “Drive in” forms of entertainment could be the immediate future it seems.

Moulin Rouge

You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Behind Closed Doors

Lockdown rules continue to be eased with all non-essential shops opening again this week. I am still being extra cautious and still only going out when I have to and need to. I am Asthmatic so I am being really careful. Although to be honest the main places that I used to go were Football Stadiums, Theatres, Television Studios, Pubs and Race Courses and none of these are open to the public as of yet.

Talking of which this week it is Royal Ascot. It is taking place behind closed doors adhering to government requirements and operating with the least amount of people as possible. I have been to the event for the last three years now. This year I was due to be there on the opening day Tuesday and yesterday on the Friday. It is a fantastic day out. You get all dressed up, everyone looks amazing, the food and drink are lovely and you get to see the Queen.

Royal Ascot
Royal Ascot

It also produces five days of exceptional horse races. The best horses from all over the world come to Berkshire to complete for some very big and prestigious prizes. It is so exciting especially when you see the one you backed hurtling towards the finishing post. There is a special atmosphere to the place and at the end of the days racing you gather around the Band Stand for a good old fashioned sing song. Normally while enjoying a glass of Pimm’s.

Obviously I missed out on all that this year. It is great for the Sport that they got the event on. It is so important for the racing industry to be back and racing albeit behind closed doors. It was of course very different watching it at home while drinking tea and wearing my slippers but it was still good fun to have a few bets and enjoy some top quality racing. I will be back there next year having a great day out with friends and giving my annual wave to the Queen.

Royal Ascot
Royal Ascot

As a Season Ticket Holder at Tottenham Hotspur normally when the team are playing at home you will find me at the stadium cheering them on. The Premier League season has resumed this week with all the remaining matches being played behind closed doors with no fans in the stadium and only the bare minimum number of people required. Spurs had their first game under these conditions at their home stadium last night. I was of course watching it from my front room. It felt strange seeing them playing at home with me not there sat in my seat.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

True to form this season though it was not exactly a dominating home performance, despite taking the lead with drew one all with Manchester United. It did have the feel of a pre-season friendly a little bit. One thing I had forgotten during the break was how it is so frustrating and annoying when your team to not get the result you were hoping for. Emotions I had clearly been missing while the game was suspended. Spurs back and doing what they do best!

It is quite weird seeing the games played in empty stadiums with no fans watching. Luckily the German League restarted a few weeks ago, so that has given us a bit of time to acclimatise to it. It must be strange for players who are used to playing in front of thousands of people to be playing in front of no one. It must just feel like a training session or a behind closed doors friendly to them surely. It should not affect their game or the way they play as once you step on to any pitch you should just want to win whatever. Or is that just me?

The players are being tested every week. In the lead up to the start of games again there have been a few positive results. It is still a bit like heading into the unknown but again looking at Germany it has not spread through their players despite being in close contact in the heat of battle during games. You just hope everybody stays safe and well and that we can finish the season off with all the matches being fully completed. Ideally with Spurs claiming a top four finish meaning Champions League football next season, if that is even possible of course.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

It seems odd to me watching the games on TV with no atmosphere. It is almost like watching a Sunday League fixture with granted a lot more quality and skill. The celebrations also have to be muted when a goal is scored. There is not meant to be any hugging and kissing at the moment. It is a nice distraction to have football back and on the television. As they are trying to get it all finished in as shortest time as possible. There are lots of matches on TV to see every week.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

I am currently still doing my weekly Pop Quiz on my Facebook page. It is every Tuesday at 8.30pm, if you fancy getting involved. It has now been running for ten weeks. Simply just for a bit of fun! All that happens is that I supply you with six rounds each containing five questions including an audio round. You play along however you would like to at home. Then I give you the answers, it really is as straight forward as that.

I will also throw in some extra music trivia and the odd story from my time in radio and meetings with various singers and musicians. They only last about thirty minutes and I do try to make them as professional as possible. If you are a big Pop Quiz fan all the past episodes are still available on my Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/neil.quigley

I guess I will keep them going until we have places that we can visit and catch up with people in person. Which looks like it might be next month. But we will have to wait and see it would seem. If you want to get on board it would be great to have you playing along.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have actually got the first event in my diary since March to go to next month. I have got tickets to go to see Moulin Rouge at the Luna Drive In at Allianz Park the home of the Saracens Rugby team. This is of course providing it all gets the green light to go ahead. We will be in our own cars therefore we will be able to social distance from the rest of the people there.

You park up in a dedicated car parking space facing the big screen. All the cars will be adequately spaced out. The audio will be sent via a localised FM frequency so you will hear it through your car radio. It will be a very different experience for me having never been to a “Drive In” movie before. We plan on bringing our own refreshments.

There will be toilets there apparently but spread out two metres apart so we can all social distance safely, while using the facilities. I have actually seen this film before which with my history of seeing films is quite rare. It should be a fun night out, plus it will be nice to be around people and enjoy a shared event with them. I fear it might be longer than we think before we can return to normal cinemas. I will of course let you know what it was like.

General Lee
General Lee

Certain places are being allowed to reopen now in England including Zoo’s and Safari Parks. I must confess I quite like a visit to either of these attractions. To be fair the times I have been to Whipsnade Zoo recently it has been easy enough to be able to social distance, if it was actually required then, when of course it was not. Depending how quickly other attractions are allowed to take in guests again. I am thinking my next day out might be to a Zoo.

Sealion
Sealion

When I was at Secondary School we had an activities week towards the end of the summer term. One year I did the option called “Zoo Quest” which involved visiting a different Zoo or Safari Park every day. I really enjoyed it and if I am honest I am currently thinking of may be reliving that experience.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

No Place Like Home

Here we are then still trying to overcome this nasty virus as a nation. We have been afforded a little more freedom with caution it seems. I am still in the lucky position where I can work from home currently. Therefore to be honest I have been continuing to do the same as I was before the lock-down was relaxed slightly.

I hope you and your friends and families are keeping safe and well. I have settled into this new routine and way of life. Happily I am at the moment at least coping with it fine. Obviously there are things that I am missing that I would like to do. But as these things are not on at the moment like football and the theatre there is nothing I can do. I do subscribe to the do not fight what you cannot change theory and I accept these current issues and will make them work for me the best I can.

I am not a scientist or an expert but it does look like all of the crucial figures are on the decline. However I would feel happier I think if the testing was more easily available and the tracking app was up and running. This would surely give us a better idea of where we stand and will help with opening up the country going forward.

The news from the rest of Europe who were ahead of us in the cycle is it seems encouraging. But if we are sensible and take care of ourselves and others, things will return to “normal” hopefully sooner than was may be originally expected. However this next stage during the next four weeks will I think be crucial to determine if this is the case.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

As I said one of the things I am missing is the theatre. The National Theatre is still showing weekly plays from their archives. While it is not the same as seeing a show live it is the closest thing currently on offer. Therefore I am dipping into these now and again to keep my hand in when it comes to the performing arts. The latest offering was “A Street Car Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams. It made its debut on Broadway in 1947. Like a lot of his plays it is pretty dark in places but it is gritty and real to.

The production they showed on their YouTube channel was the 2014 version performed at The Young Vic Theatre starring the brilliant Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster. I had not seen the play before so was not totally sure what to expect, although from the knowledge of the writer I had I suspected it may not be for the faint hearted. The staging was quite odd in that it was on a square stage in the centre of the audience. It is basically a one scene show as all the action takes place in the same building.

I enjoyed the play, it certainly makes you think. I felt sympathy for all the characters at points as we discovered their stories and worked out their outlooks and flaws. Gillian Anderson was fantastic in the lead role. It was nicely done with a slick and polished performance from the whole cast. I think it is fair to say it is not exactly a feel good play but it is dramatic and gripping. It is not a murder mystery as such but there is quite a bit to unravel as it goes on. If you are a theatre fan to, keep an eye out for what the National Theatre is showing every Thursday night online.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Unbelievably despite being pretty much housebound I am still not watching that much television. One thing I have been seeing though is The Ranganation. I like Romesh Ranganathan and have done since I saw him quite early on in his career when he used to host the BBC Radio 4 topical comedy show Newsjack. He is very funny and quick witted but also has a nice way about him, which although it does not sound like it is meant to be a compliment.

I think the programme works really well. They have a nice selection of members of the general public including Romesh’s mum which helps shape the feel and dynamic of things. They always seem to get really good guests on it to. This is the second series. The first one was of course in a TV studio with everyone there in the same place. The latest one is obviously being made in lock-down. Romesh is doing it from his garage with the Ranganation members and the guests on Zoom and Skype.

Weirdly I think this actually works pretty well with this format. It is almost better than when they were in the studio. I am not sure why possibly them all being at home gives a Goggle Box feel to things. It has not suited a lot of programmes but it suits this one. This series has been very funny so far. It is topical but it is also very laid back and relaxed in its subjects, which is sometimes needed at the minute. I would quite like to be one of The Ranganation. It looks like a right laugh.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am currently still doing my weekly Pop Quiz on a Tuesday night at 8.30pm on my Facebook page. I enjoy putting it together and people seem to be enjoying it. As long as there is still nowhere for us to go out to in the evening I will keep doing it. I try to make it as fun as possible, while also making it quite challenging. It is tough and I will put your musical knowledge to the test, but only in the name of fun!

There are six rounds each with five questions in. I will ask them and supply the answers. Then how you play along is completely up to you. Some people play in teams, some people play individually and some households play against each other. There is no right or wrong way just whatever way gives you the most satisfaction. If you have not tried it yet why not join me and have a go? We will have a giggle and the whole thing only lasts about thirty minutes.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

You can catch me every Saturday afternoon on Radio Ninesprings between 2pm – 4pm currently. It is the station for Yeovil and South Somerset but you can of course listen online wherever you are. http://www.radioninesprings.co.uk

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Star Wars A Solo Story

Hello there, I hope that you and your families are safe and well. It is a very unusual situation we still find ourselves in, I trust that you are dealing with it the best you can. I am still somehow coping with it all much better than I thought I would. I am finding plenty of things to keep myself amused and entertained. I might be going a little bit stir crazy but it is hard to say as I was quite inventive and productive before this all began.

Alan Partridge and Neil Quigley

Last Monday it was Star Wars Day, as it is every year on the 4th of May or as the Americans say May the 4th, which makes it fit much better with one of the movie franchises catchphrases and supportive salutations. I am a massive Star Wars fan, so I do always try to mark this occasion in some small way. This year I produced a video of me on a Star Destroyer pretending to be a Jedi on a fact finding missing, as you do. I assure you this is perfectly normal behaviour for a man in his forties.

Star Wars Exhibition
Star Wars Exhibition

I have watched all of the Star Wars films and enjoyed them, although the three prequels that were made in the middle not quite as much as the others. I think that is more to do with the fact that the original characters are ingrained in me from that first film I saw as a Kid, so they resonate with me more. Plus the final three were shot more in the same style as the initial trilogy. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker but fear in reality I am probably more of a Han Solo.

When I was a child I had a huge Star Wars toy collection including all the main characters, a Millennium Falcon, Jabba the Hut’s Throne, a Speeder Bike and an AT AT. I sold them all at a Car Boot Sale about ten years ago, just before they announced a new movie featuring some of the original cast. It is all in the timing, if I had waited a bit I probably could have sold it all for a lot more. But it went to a good home and let us face it I was getting a bit too old to play with it.

I own a Star Wars T-shirt with all of the main original characters on it. A few years ago there was a big Exhibition at the O2 with lots of items from the films like costumes, models and other memorabilia. It was ace. I had a brilliant time. I had never been that bothered about going to Disney World before. But now that they own the franchise and have a Star Wars themed area called Galaxy’s Edge where you can go on board the Millennium Falcon, I now have to go there!

Star Wars Exhibition
Star Wars Exhibition

I am missing the live theatre at the moment. Sadly it looks as if it may not be back-up and running in London’s West End until next year at the moment. Andrew Lloyd Webber is streaming some of his shows on his YouTube Channel every Friday Night at 7pm. I have seen a few of them and while it is not the same as actually being there. It is the closest experience to it we can get at the minute. If you are a fan of musicals I would recommend watching these, they are all great to be fair.

School of Rock
School of Rock

I mentioned this last time but The National Theatre is also showing some of their productions on their YouTube Channel. Last weekend I watched their version of Frankenstein starring Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. There were actually two versions to choose from as they alternated the two lead parts between them. That is not only unusual but meant they both had twice as many lines to learn. I saw the performance with Jonny Lee Miller as the Monster and Benedict Cumberbatch playing Dr Frankenstein.

I am not normally a fan of horror but this is very nicely done and not too scary or gory. What I did not realise is that it is more of a story about society, perceptions, responsibility, accountability and love. Than it is a creepy and frightening play. It does really make you think and lots of the dilemmas and misconceptions that exist within it are sadly still relevant today. I found it very interesting and I am glad I watched it. The cast were great. It is well worth seeing if you have a couple of hours spare at the moment.

Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks funny take on the story.

I have just started reading Timmy Mallet’s new book. It is a diary of a cycling pilgrimage he did in memory of his brother combined with an autobiography of his life story. He has a degree in History and The History of Art therefore it also contains a lot of interesting historical facts. I discovered that the supposed mummified hand of St James, one of Jesus’s Apostles is actually at St Peters Church in Marlow, which is just down the road from me. It is also near to him to, which makes things a bit strange when you know that the final destination for his trip is to see the burial site of St James in Santiago in Spain.

The book is excellent you do get an insight into Timmy’s upbringing and career, you discover more about his love of art and history. But it is actually more than that. It is quite philosophical and inspiring. I am really enjoying reading it. I have been lucky enough to meet him a few times in the past. He is such a friendly and lovely man who is happy to chat to anyone. Yes he is a bit for want of a better word wacky but he is a really good guy. You always feel better for having run into him.

I ordered my copy directly from his website and got it personally signed with a message from the great man himself. While I was on there I noticed he also had Pinky Punky’s available, his little Mallet friend on Wacaday. At that point the big kid in me took over and I had to have one! Therefore I got myself one along with the book. When it all arrived the first thing I did was take a picture with it. In fact I also made a video pretending to be Timmy at the start of a game of Mallet’s Mallet. In my defence we have all been stuck in our homes a lot at the recently. I am really looking forward to finishing the book.

Neil Quigley

For the last couple of Tuesdays I have been hosting a Pop Quiz live on my Facebook page. I was just doing it for a bit of a laugh and to give people something to do of an evening. I delivered the questions and then the answers just leaving people at home to play along how they wanted to. They could use my scoring system of one point for every correct answer or create their own. The idea was that it was a bit of fun for people to get involved with.

I had fun writing, producing and presenting it. I called it Quigger’s Plays Pop and even made a theme tune slightly ripping off the old Chegger’s Plays Pop theme, thank you Keith. They are still available on my Facebook. Each one lasts around thirty minutes. The idea was for them to be short, sweet and amusing. I am not sure if I am going to do anymore or not. I think I might continue doing them during the rest of lock down, if people want me to.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Yesterday was 75th Anniversary VE Day. I still find it impossible to truly imagine what it would have been like to live through and be involved in the Second World War. Not to mention the feeling of joy and relief when Victory in Europe was achieved. I hope you marked the occasion in any way you could and saw fit to. We to will be able to party and celebrate when this particular situation will currently face passes, which it will.

VE Day 75th Anniversary

I am currently presenting on Saturday afternoons between 2pm- 4pm on Radio Ninesprings. It is lovely to be back on the air in the Somerset area. You can listen online at www.radioninesprings.co.uk

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Neil Quigley Presenter