Tag Archives: pop quiz

I Get Locked Down But I Get Up Again

Here we are then back in Lock Down for the third time in England. When you consider that it is only about two months until the first anniversary of the initial one it does highlight how long this terrible virus has been a huge issue. The nature of the disease it being a Flu variant meant we all knew it may be a bigger problem sadly during the winter months. Possibly early estimations of when the threat might be averted were a little to on the optimistic side from some areas. But here we are again and it has to be the right and sensible thing to do.

We are all missing seeing family and friends. It is hugely frustrating to be missing out on so many things and events we would normally all do during the year. However what we are being asked to do at the minute annoying though it is, is a small sacrifice really compared to what our Grand Parents and Great Grand Parents went through for us. See it possibly as our chance to return the favour by looking after them this time. I would take staying in the house over being stuck in a ditch somewhere while being shot at any day of the week.

The new variant has made the situation worse but we now have several vaccines that are being rolled out to combat this thing to enable us to be able to ultimately get our lives back. The work of those scientists to produce these injections so quickly is amazing. It shows just how far medical research has come to be able to get to this stage in such a relatively short space of time. We need of course to protect the vulnerable first. And generally I think they are doing it in a fair and sensible way. That said as soon as it is my turn to be offered it I will be straight down to the Doctors with my arm out ready.

The main issue driving the government’s decisions has not changed from the start as far as I can see. Making sure the NHS can cope with all medical emergencies has to be a priority for all of our sakes. The Staff of that organisation have done a super human job over the last year. I cannot even imagine how tough it has been for them, but I do appreciate their “Herculean” effort. I would obviously like to thank them all so much for what they have done and continue to do. We will get through this thing by working together and looking after each other. It will be under control and we will be able to return to the things we love doing at some point.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

After seeing Joe Wicks had returned with his PE lessons, I had no choice but to bring back my weekly Pop Quiz. I enjoy doing it and I know people have fun playing along with me. I do not take myself or it too seriously. It is simply meant to be a bit of fun every Tuesday night at 8.30pm. If you have not done it before why not give it a go? It lasts around thirty minutes and it is just me asking some music based questions and having a laugh.

It is called “Quigger’s Plays Pop”. If that title does sound familiar I believe there was once a music quiz on television hosted by the ace Keith Chegwin called “Chegger’s Plays Pop”. Any similarities are of course purely coincidental and if you think the theme tunes to both sound almost identical but for a few subtle tweaks then you are spot on. But let us look at it as a nod and a tribute to that programme just in case there are any lawyer type people reading this. Here is a video of the latest episode, so you can watch that and then decide if you to want to get involved next week. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164496880380591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am trying to use the current situation to get as fit as I possibly can. Between me and you I am trying to get the six pack back that I had when I was eighteen but that may be out of reach. I am pretty sure all I had to do back then to achieve that was just ten sit ups a week. It appears a little more effort is required in your forties. I am running for nine miles three times a week. That is followed by forty-minutes on the exercise bike. On the other three days I do weights and home Pilates sessions. Then on all of the days I do Yoga and sit ups. I treat myself to a day off on Sundays.

Towards the end of last year I got one of those resistance bands not really knowing what they were about, if I am honest. Anyway from this month I have added a twenty minute evening online work out with the band to my routine. I have not quite mastered the use of it yet, plus I did not realise they come in different sizes so mine needs to be stretched quite a lot to do the moves. I figured another bit of exercise a day cannot do any harm but I am not sure if I like working out with it or not yet. If nothing else I will burn a few more calories.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

As my girlfriend’s quest to try to find “Neil Friendly” films, continues, alongside her aim of exploring the entire back catalogue of Quentin Tarantino. We watched Django Unchained. It did manage to keep my attention, which is a positive as it is a long movie. I enjoyed it. And it was clearly his take on a slave movie come western, I think. Like a lot of his stuff it had a pretty high body count. There was plenty of blood everywhere. He seemed to kill almost everyone off including himself during his own brief cameo appearance.

Earlier in the day she had given me a beautiful green jumper as a present. As we were watching the film we were having a few wines. As I said it was a very gory film with lots of people getting shot. After it had finished and I am still not sure how I managed to achieve this I somehow threw my glass of red wine in the air! It went everywhere over the sofa, over her and also over my brand new top. It looked like I had recreated a scene from the film there was that much claret in the room. Is that what they mean about things you watch having a subconscious effect on you or am I just a clumsy idiot? You decide!

Neil Quigley

I thought I would give the television show Staged ago this week. It features David Tennant and Michael Sheen basically on Zoom chats talking about a fictitious play they are meant to be rehearsing online. Their other half’s both make appearances and there are some pretty good cameos.

Each episode is only about fifteen minutes. They are very easy to watch. In a way it is basically about two actors having mini breakdowns at home. They made two series one in Lockdown 1 and the next in Lockdown 2. I have nearly finished the final one but I suspect they might try to make the trilogy as they will now both be stuck at home once again.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

One of my horses “Force Ten” had a run at Exeter last Sunday. Sadly he did not put in a very good display. He got too excited before the race and shot off to quick meaning he faded near the end. He came in seventh out of eighth, which is not ideal. He is getting his flu jab and therefore a bit of a rest this week.

The important thing is that he came home safely. We need to calm him down before his races. Does anybody know of any good relaxation podcasts that they can maybe recommend? It is all part of the fun of being involved with racing.

Force Ten
Force Ten

It has been quite a decent fortnight for my team Tottenham Hotspur. We have reached the final of the League Cup beating Brentford to secure a place at Wembley in April. We have made it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup. In the third round we played Marine at their ground which backs on to houses, people were watching the game from their back garden’s which was a bit strange. We won 5-0 with sixteen year old Alfie Devine becoming the youngest player to not only play for the club’s first team but to score for them to. It was nice to see some of the young players getting a chance.

In the Premier League we are in sixth position. Things are generally going alright but not as good as they could be. We continue to drop too many points when we are winning games and that is costing us dear. This season is a bit odd with games mostly played with no fans or when it allowed just a few thousand supporters. I think that has had effect on some results. It is looking like being potentially the closest title race in years. That should make the next few months exciting and action packed. Plenty more highs and lows to come my way I am sure. Come on you Spurs!

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

On a slightly separate note I was delighted to see that the great Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new PSG boss. He was one of my favourite ever Spurs manager’s. I was actually sad to see him go. I liked his style and the way the team played under his guidance.

It was such a shame he did not win a trophy with us. I wish him all the best in his new role. He has inherited a great squad there. I am also very pleased that he did not end up at another English Club or I would have found it tough when we played his team.

Tottehham Hotspur
Tottehham Hotspur

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Online and Doing Fine

The second national lockdown in England has ended. We now find ourselves in a selection of different tiers. It is almost as if they have based the latest policies on a sketch from The Frost Report in 1966 featuring John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. I am in a Tier Two area. It will not change what I have been doing since March. I am still working on the policy the less people you come into contact with the less chance you have of catching or passing on the virus.

I will admit I am being extra cautious but as an Asthma sufferer I feel this is a sensible approach to take. I do not really have the desire to return to a pub or even the theatre until they are more like how they used to be. When you could order a beer stood at the bar or sit next to other people. Plus the whole point of going to the pub was to have a break from the people you live with. Dragging them there with you just defies the reason for going in the first place.

I hope whatever situation, you find yourself in you are coping with it all currently. There is some light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this and at some point things will return to normal. And we will be able to go back to doing the things we love. We just need to be a bit sensible still and to respect each other. Like everybody else I have lost pretty much a whole year’s worth of events. My diary is the emptiest it has been for years. But on the plus side I have seen many more films this year than in the last ten!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I took part in my first ever online Zoom Games Night recently. It was organised by a friend and former radio colleague of mine. He got in touch with everyone using the new way to liaise about every event now by setting up a “WhatsApp” group for it. He did oversubscribe it a little as there were only eight places available on the night. These were allocated on a first come first serve basis and I made the cut for the inaugural edition.

The way it worked was we had a Zoom Meeting that we all signed in to using the secret ID of course. Therefore we could all see and chat to each other. Once we had finished catching up we got down to the business in hand. For the games the person hosting had set us up on an American website that offered online games. We could see the screen on the Zoom Call. Then we also had to log into the website Jackbox Games on our own mobile phones.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

At the start of each game we got given a special code to enter which connected us all to the same one. The way it worked was we could put our answers into our phone and then when the time was right these would be displayed on the main screen for everybody else to see. We played three different games, although they were all along the same lines. We had to fill in missing words or give joke meanings for phrases. Then two of us were randomly pitted against each other with the rest of the players voting on who had given the funniest or best suggestion.

It was a bit weird at first and took a little getting used to but when we got the hang of it, it was a good laugh! The games we played were quite silly and simple. Light hearted fun and the chance to have some interaction with other people. I am ultra-competitive so I was a bit disappointed that I did not win any of the games. That said they were not quizzes with exact answers more like parlour games designed for a laugh. I would definitely do it again. Plus it gave me the chance to use my green screen and put up some different backgrounds, simply to amuse myself really.

Neil Quigley

I watched yet another film last weekend making this year a record breaking one for me on that front. I normally average at best five of them in any twelve month period. I am definitely into double figures now, as ever though I am still a bit behind the times with my movie selections. They do also have to fall into a certain category to make me want to put them on and commit to them. This latest one was written by Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle. As I have in the past enjoyed both of their work this convinced me to at least give it a try.

The film was “Yesterday” which was released last year. That for me is like watching something almost brand new. The premise of it is that a strange synchronised event happens at the same time worldwide. Kind of like the year 2k bug that never materialised. The outcome of this is that nobody remembers The Beatles and there is no record of them existing. The star of the piece somehow avoids the meltdown of the planet and he still remembers them. He is a musician so then starts releasing their music pretending that they are all his songs.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

This leads to him supporting Ed Sheeran on tour. Ed appears in it as himself. It is a Richard Curtis film so obviously ultimately there is a massive love story at the centre of it. The best thing about it for me was all The Beatles’ songs that it features. It does have a great cast to. I appreciate when you put the plot down in writing it does sound a bit odd but it all kind of makes some sense when you are watching it. Apart from one bit towards the end which seems to put a massive whole in the concept of it. I will not spoil that here though, you will have to work that out for yourself.

I would say it is an easy film to watch and enjoy. You do not really have to concentrate too much. It does you could argue have a fairly predictable ending. But then you could make that argument about a lot of movies. I did find that when it had ended that I had to listen to all the other Beatles songs that it did not include. It really put me in the mood to hear their music and that is never a bad thing.

Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields

Owing to the fact that I am so rock and roll nowadays I have been playing a few games of Scrabble during the last couple of weeks. It has now turned into a bit of a Sunday afternoon pastime. I had not played for years until a few of weeks ago I challenged my girlfriend to a game. It was all going very well by which I mean I was winning and managing to use up lots of my letters. Then she put down the word “Phoenix” on a triple word square and then in that one move I basically lost the game. I did keep playing until the bitter end but it was all in vein. I was defeated!

After that I was not overly keen to play again but the following week we found ourselves going head to head once again. This time it was a timed game as I made it very clear that we had to be finished before the Chelsea v Tottenham game started. It is important to have your priorities right in life. This time the letters and the board worked in my favour. I managed to make two decent words including a Z both on extra points squares. I went on to win and level things up in the series doing so five minutes before kick off. I suspect we may have to play the decider this weekend as we are both very competitive. We may struggle to leave it as a draw.

Scrabble

I have enjoyed this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. It has been different with it being at the castle but they have kept the key elements the same the best they could. Ant and Dec have been on top form throughout it. They are more relaxed at the trials so are laughing at the camp mates a lot more, may be because they are in Wales and not being bitten by bugs in the jungle. I was pleased that they all got on with each other. They have all supported and helped each other when they have been struggling. That has been great to see.

I never had a favourite this year so was not bothered about who won the crown. It has just been a bit of fun and a nice distraction every night. Just like catching up with old friends or more accurately eaves dropping other people’s conversations. Having now worked in radio myself for over twenty years I have got a fair few showbiz stories to tell. I am not sure if I should hold on until I can get into the jungle to spill them or maybe I will just write my autobiography. I have already got two titles standing by for it either “The Real Neil” or “Power On Basically” If you want to know why “Power On Basically” is one you will have to read the book that technically does not exist yet.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I finished a run of four brand new episodes of my online Pop Quiz last Tuesday. I did them weekly during the last national lockdown. I also did sixteen of them during lockdown one. They are all still free and available to watch on my Facebook page. Each one is about half an hour. It is just me having a bit of fun and asking some music based questions. Here is a link to the latest edition, if you fancy checking it out. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164325111415591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

As things stand at the minute Tottenham Hotspur are still top of the Premier League. It has been a long time since that has been the case at the beginning of December. I am not getting carried away or too excited as there is still a long way to go. But as someone who likes to live in the moment I am enjoying it right now.

We have another huge game tomorrow with the North London Derby against Arsenal. It is a match that could go either way. I am looking forward to it and hope we can take maximum points from it but it will be tough. COYS!

Neil Quigley

It is my birthday this coming Thursday 10th December. I do like to try to take the day off for it when I can. That will seemingly not be a problem this year. I am somebody who embraces and enjoys my big day. Every year you complete in this game called life is always worth celebrating. Although events this year mean it will be pretty low key. I think I might just stay in cook myself a nice meal and may be have some drinks.

Staying in is the new going out. Plus Tottenham are playing at home in the Europa League that night so I can watch that on the television and pretend I am there. That is where I would have been if the world was normal. Just to clarify for the 19th year in a row my showbiz age will remain at twenty-five!

Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Strictly I’m A Celebrity

Hopefully we are now over half way through the second National Lockdown in England, if it does end on the originally planned date of the second of December. Personally it has not affected me too much. I am mostly working from home as I have been lucky enough to do since the first one. I am able to exercise outside at a park near to where I live. It is nice to get out in the fresh air for a bit although I have not yet bumped into my Morgan Freeman type character.

There have been some encouraging developments with potential vaccines, which does appear to be good news. However it still may be quite a while before life returns to anything like it was before this all started sadly. It is just not going to suddenly stop and disappear and it is presenting the country with its biggest logistical challenge since the Second World War. Something I am sure we will all come through if we work together and for each other.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Luckily for me one of my favourite television shows is back on our screens nightly for around the next three weeks. I do not watch a huge amount of TV but I always closely follow “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. I am a fan of Ant & Dec this show gives them the perfect platform to do what they do best, mess around and have some fun at their own and the campmates expense.

I have met a lot of the former stars of the show many of whom actually won it! These include Christopher Biggins, Kerry Katona, Carl Fogarty, Pat Sharp, Timmy Mallet, Tony Hadley, Katie Price and Tommy Cannon.

Neil Quigley with Christopher Biggins
Neil Quigley with Christopher Biggins

This series is of course going to be a little bit different as due to the current global situation. They are not in the jungle in Australia but at a castle in Wales. I am particularly gutted about this as at the start of this year I went to Australia and being such a huge fan of the show I stayed at the Versace Palazzo on the Gold Coast.

That is the Five Star Hotel were the celebrities stay after they get voted out of the show. I was looking forward to posting pictures of me in the same locations that they showed the ex-campmates in. I am going have to wait until next year to do that providing of course they use all the same places when they presumably go back to the Jungle again.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

They seem to have a really good and interesting selection of people taking part this year. It is a very strong line up, possibly helped by the fact a lot of their dairies would have been quite empty and that they were not required to be on a plane for twenty four hours. I liked the way they adapted the opening challenge to the new surroundings using the cliff. That was really clever and I think set the scene for what was to come nicely. It will basically be the same but different, as simple as that.

I was thinking after I had seen the new living arrangements that they might be going easy on them this year. But then I changed my mind when they covered everybody in bugs within the first five seconds of the first team trial. They are a very competitive bunch on the whole and of course include a man who has four Olympic Gold Medals, so he knows a thing or two about mind set and motivation. Plus the man is clearly a winner, not to mention a Knight. That works well with the Castle setting of course.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There is not anybody who I desperately want to win at the moment. I do prefer it when all the campmates get on well and have a good old laugh with each other rather than start arguing. But I am also aware that a big falling out does make for good television. I think this year though for the good of the world it would be nice if they were a tight unit.

It is a show that I do not think I could ever do but everybody I have spoken to who has been on it says it is a once in a lifetime amazing experience, so never say never I guess. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I think it is going to be a funny one!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Another television programme I enjoy at this time of the year is Strictly Come Dancing. Like everything in the world it is a little bit different. However the main thing about it that appeals to me is the joy and enthusiasm the celebrities get from dancing itself. Alongside the brilliant bond that forms between them and their professional partner.

Happily these two things still remain the same this year. I tried one two hour Salsa class around fifteen years ago, struggled with the basic steps and never returned. Despite that I still reckon that these amazing dancers could teach me to do a passable routine, mainly down to my work ethic and their patience I suspect. But I still feel it is achievable.

Last weekend there was said to be a shock exit but when you get two half decent people in the dance off one of them has to leave. All the judges can do is decide from the bottom two which the viewers vote for. I enjoyed Anton being a guest judge, he was supportive, positive but also I thought fair. Surely when his time as a dancer on the show comes to an end this move would be the natural progression for him.

Even though at one point there was talk of him hosting it, if I am honest I think he would make a better judge. I do not really have a favourite this year, which is good as that means I can enjoy each of the performances with no interest or concern about the outcome. It is a fun, happy and lively show perfect for Saturday night.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

My girlfriend and I are trying to have as many different weekend meals as possible. In a way we are pretending that we are going to a certain style of restaurant every Saturday night. Except she always ends up doing the cooking. For the record she is fine with that! Most recently we went with a home-made burger. Believe it or not that is something I had not had for ages. I tend to avoid fast food places, which has been very easy for me during most of this year.

“We” made the actual burgers ourselves. By that I mean that Lynda mixed up the meat with the spices and created the headline part of it if you like. Then I got to construct my own creation within the bun. If you have not had them at home for a while I would recommend it. The best bit is that you can decide on the ingredients and the ratios. None of this one Gherkin or one slice of Cheese rubbish. You can put as much of those in it as you like. I built my own perfect hamburger. Another bonus is you do not feel hungry again ten minutes after you have eaten it. I enjoyed it more than a man of my age should have.

Home-Made Burger

I watched the new Michael McIntyre Netflix Special. I used to have a stand up show on DVD for Christmas every year. These do not exist anymore as the digital platform shows seem to be the replacement. I have been lucky enough to see him do a small warm up gig once and he was very funny. What I think he is really good at is finding things that we all do and can relate to and making them funny and amusing. I appreciate that sounds really easy but try it and you will find out it is not at all. It takes a lot of skill to achieve what he does.

I am not sure if he felt more freedom within this medium but he did swear a bit more than I expected although to be fair nowhere near as much as Frankie Boyle. It is a very well put together piece of comedy. Each story or anecdote builds on the previous one and then leads to the big pay off at the end. It is clever, amusing and relatable. I think that sums his stuff up nicely. It is worth a watch and easy to absorb.

Michael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre

During the first Lockdown I did a weekly pop quiz on my Facebook page for about sixteen weeks. People seemed to enjoy taking part and I had fun doing it. Therefore I decided to bring it back for this latest one. There have been two new episodes in series two so far with two more currently expected in this run. Each one lasts about half an hour. It consists of six rounds each containing five questions.

I have called it “Quigger’s Plays Pop” in honour of a pop quiz that I used to watch on television as a child. Using that title made it quite easy for me to create a theme tune for it. I host it on a Tuesday night at 8.30pm. If you are free and fancy having a bit of music based fun then why not join me? You can play on your own or in teams it does not matter. https://www.facebook.com/neil.quigley

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

A couple of horses from my small stable raced in the last fortnight. “Rock Legend” made his debut at Aintree. He was ridden by Harry Skelton and is trained by his brother Dan Skelton. He did alright for his first time on the track but was a bit weak, so will be held back for a while as he needs more time to grow into himself.

“Force Ten” had an outing at Taunton over the hurdles. He came in sixth out of seven. It was another bit of much needed racing experience for this young horse. Who is under the guidance of the great trainer Paul Nicholls. We may see him race again sometime next month.

Force Ten

Tottenham Hotspur for about an hour were top of the Premier League a couple of weeks ago. It did not last long but it felt good while it lasted. We have since had the International Break with the domestic season back this weekend Spurs face Manchester City today in what will be a massive game for us. It gives us a chance to put down a bit of a marker to the teams around us. I am excited and nervous about the match in equal measure.

As ever from England performances there were plusses and minuses in the results from the three games the national team played. Harry Kane passed the fifty cap mark and in doing so he becomes the most capped Tottenham player ever. If he does stay at White Hart Lane for his whole career, I can see him beating practically every record for the club and possibly for England to. Congratulations Harry he is one of our own!

Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Picnic At The Palace

It is all still a bit odd currently isn’t it? We have all turned in to our own health and safety advisers. Every day is like one big continuous risk assessment. That is how I am finding things anyway. I want to start going out and doing a bit more, yet I still want to be as safe as possible to protect myself and everyone around me. I am of course following all the rules and wearing my mask when and where it is required.

I am limiting the amount of people I come in to contact with as basic maths tells me this has to reduce the chances of acquiring the virus. I have not quite reached Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” level yet but I am a lot more aware of who and what is around me at all times than I used to be, which is no bad thing at the minute. We all need to pull together to do the right things and help each other through this situation.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am still mainly favouring outside entertainment and gatherings as if I am honest I feel they are safer and easier to manage. Recently I did try out another one of those Drive In Cinema events, even though I was not totally sure about them from my previous visit.

This one was at Knebworth House, which is a fantastic setting. They have so much space there and the house was in view from where the screen was set up. It was a bigger screen this time round, although it was a much larger venue.

Knebworth House

As before when you arrive they give you a speaker for your car when they check you in. Then you are directed by several marshals to your own space to park in. To be fair they made sure we were happy and could see the screen alright. I did have to visit the facilities before it started. They were properly spaced out with hand sanitiser stations on the way in and way out. Not something I used to review or even consider but the world is a slightly different place now.

The film they were showing was the absolute classic “Back to the Future”, which is really what tempted me to try another movie in this way. It is just such a great film! It began at half past nine therefore it was dark for most of it, which I found much better, as you could see the screen easier. And it also added to the atmosphere and cinema feeling. I preferred that to my last first visit to a Drive In that we did in the early evening sunshine. We also sneaked in our own Peanut M&M’s, which again made it feel more normal.

Drive In Movie

I enjoyed seeing it again. There were actually a few bits that I had forgotten about or misremembered. It was a bit darker in places than I remembered as a child. It does examine a lot more life issues in more detail than I thought, plus it contains a few swear words. So either they were edited out of the version I originally saw or back then nine year old’s were deemed to be able to handle such language or possibly my parents let me watch films above my age group. It is very cleverly put together with the references between the past and what was the current at the time the film was released.

It was still good seeing it again even sat in a car parked in a field next to a massive house. This experience was better than my first try at this new style of event. With the actual cinemas re-opening, I am not sure if the “Drive In” thing will keep going. It is different and gets you out of the house and at a shared event. However I think may be the two of these I have now attended could well be enough for one year. It is always good to try new experiences and I have done that now.

Drive In Movie

Staying with the theme of trying out new outside entertainment options last Thursday I went to a Picnic in the Palace event at Blenheim Palace. Unbelievably although it is not that far away from me I had never been there before. A friend of mine had noticed it and suggested we go and because we both fancied a few drinks we booked a hotel in Woodstock for the night. It was as it happened the first time I had been there to.

We arrived late afternoon. It is a lovely town and even in these times seemed pretty busy and I noticed as we were finding a parking place that it has plenty of decent looking pubs. I duly noted that for the future. The hotel was of course following the social distancing rules as we checked in. I was a little unsure in staying in one at this current time but it was organised and managed well.

The Palace grounds were only about a twenty minute walk away. It all started at seven thirty, so we strolled there from the hotel at the required time. It was a lovely day weather wise fortunately, dry and sunny. We walked up the main entrance enjoying the views as we headed towards the event entrance.

Blenheim Palace

When we arrived there was no queue so we checked in very easily and we were shown to our seats. We had a bit of luck. We had booked seats for two, which should have been two deck chairs. But we got upgraded to a proper table meant for four, which was a right result. The tables were well spaced out from each other. It was a comedy night that we had booked to see. The stage was set up away from all the seats, with the Palace behind us and the lake to our left. It was a lovely setting.

They were serving drinks out of a caravan but because the event numbers were so well managed and everything was carefully set out. Getting drinks from the bar and bringing them back to the table could be achieved with the required social distancing. As part of the ticket price you got what they described as a grazing picnic, which they delivered to your table. Fair play it was crammed with food. It included bread, crackers, cheese, hummus, fruit and vegetables. It did what it said on the tin and it took us most of the evening to slowly eat our way through it.

Picnic At The Palace

While we were stuffing our faces the comedians performed. Having done a little bit of comedy myself I could see that it was a tough gig for them. For starters the stage was miles away from the audience plus when it got dark they could not see anybody in the crowd. That said they all did an amazing job and were great.

The tickets for the whole thing were not cheap but I thought that it was all brilliantly organised, I would go to something there again. Everyone there was very well behaved and enjoyed themselves. No heckling which was helpful as the comics would have struggled to see where it was coming from.

Picnic At The Palace

The comedy night was MC’d by the fantastic Rich Wilson who I have seen a few times before. He is always ace. The first act was Michael Odewale, who was great. We then had a short break which was my queue to dash to the caravan bar to get a few more drinks. Red wine as it happens, a nice Merlot. The second half of the comedy featured firstly Olga Koch who has been on my radar to see for a while and she did not disappoint. She was excellent. She is also very funny on Twitter to! Seeing her was a result!

Then it was Jacob Hawley who I had never seen live before. I had seen him around Broadcasting House a few times but not seen him do a gig. If the name sounds familiar he is responsible for several BBC Podcasts. He was really good and was performing even though he had a pregnant girlfriend who could be about to give birth at any minute. Luckily for everyone he managed to finish his set.

The headline act was also somebody I had seen before at The Tringe Festival last year. It was the hugely talented Jayde Adams. She was very funny and treated us to some Opera. She has a fantastic voice and in that setting it seemed the perfect way to end the evening. You might know her from the Channel 4 show “Snack Masters”.

Picnic At The Palace

It was so good to go be able to go out and enjoy some live comedy again I have really missed that, such a fun and entertaining night. Just before the headline act they gave us some amazing Chocolate Brownies for desert. For a man who always likes to finish any meal with something sweet that was a big bonus. The whole thing was masterfully done as you would expect from an event that was hosted at a Palace.

As we were walking back to the hotel I had a very short chat with Rich Wilson through his car window as he was leaving with the headline act and his girlfriend Jayde Adams, which was nice. As we were having such a good time we did treat ourselves to one more glass of wine each when we got back to the hotel. After a decent night’s sleep and a lovely Eggs Benedict for breakfast. We then left Woodstock. I would definitely go to something at Blenheim Palace again, they have got lots of events on and they are worth checking out.

Blenheim Palace

I appreciate that I am well behind the times here but what can I say I have had a bit more time on my hands than I would normally have recently. Therefore I have finally got round to watching the whole of the first series of the Ricky Gervais show “After Life”. Yes I know I am still a series behind but I am working on it. I have always been a fan of his work. I follow him on Social Media and I feel like he used his experiences on there in certain aspects of this project.

I thought it was really good. There are some great moments and scenes in it. The cast are amazing! He has got such a talented array of performers involved with it. The great thing is that they cross so many generations of the comedy scene both past and present. It is not laugh a minute but there are some huge laughs in it. There is a focal point and as ever with his stuff the main story and several sub stories, so you have an interest in all the character’s lives to a degree.

I think I could relate a little having worked in local radio to some of the stories that the local free newspaper he works on has to cover. I am not convinced any of those are made up. I reckon they could all be real things reported in these publications over the years. Ricky is really good at taking you on an emotional journey and then dropping the C-word when you least expect it. I am looking forward to seeing the second series, which I plan do to at least before the third series which he is currently writing is released.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The Premier League Football season is over albeit a bit later than normal this year. My team Tottenham Hotspur finished in sixth place which means we have qualified for the Europa League. Or to put it another way not made it into the Champions League, which we have enjoyed playing in for the last few years. It is time to have a bit of a rest and then comeback stronger and better next season. There is only a short break before the new season is due to start back up in early September.

Spurs have already released their new kit for next season. When did it become a thing to change it every year? I am sure at one point at least they used to last for two or three years, so you could get used to it and work out if it was lucky or not. Now with more strips, there are more that I do not like as much regularly coming out.

The new kit is alright but as you have to make it different every year you almost feel they are changing bits for the sake of it. Relax I know they change them ever year to try to extract more money from the loyal fans. If I am honest I do find it a bit annoying but I cannot rule out that I might still buy the new shirt. I know, I know, I am part of the problem!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I found a new mobile phone application to play with last weekend. It gives you the chance to put your face on certain celebrities. It offers you the chance to face swap in short little video clips that it supplies. I tried a few out initially and they did not look that different from the originals and you could not really see that it was me. I then tried a few that I thought might really stand out to see which one I could post on social media for a laugh.

I hope you are sitting down for this bit as I put my face on a short eight second clip of Britney Spears. And it is the most terrifying thing you are ever likely to see. I must confess I thought that it was so bad and shocking that it was funny. I would also argue that in at least two of the scenes I looked weirdly attractive as the American singer. I will warn you that it might give you nightmares but here is a link so you can see it for yourself. Some people may find the following scenes offensive! https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10163808501395591/

Neil (Britney Spears) Quigley

I did also do one of me as The Rock, which because we both favour a similar hairstyle actually looks alright. It is interesting to see what I would look like with arms that big. I have already deleted the app from my phone now as I fear I may waste far too much time doing these for fun. Plus after the reaction to the Britney one I do not want to lose all my online friends. I did just see it as a bit of fun but if you have seen the clips I will apologise as you cannot unsee them, those images will be burned into your eyes forever.

Last Tuesday it was the end of series finale for my weekly Pop Quiz. I had been doing it for the last fourteen weeks having started it a few weeks into lock down. It seemed like a good time to take a break. I will probably bring it back again as we head towards winter as I did really enjoy doing it. To make the last one for a while memorable I decided to dress up as Elvis Presley. If you want to watch any of the episodes of “Quigger’s Plays Pop” they are all still on my Facebook page. It was just for fun and a laugh. Here is the link to see the final show if you missed it. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10163792438540591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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.