January 10th 2021

Today I actually won a quiz. Yeah, we’ve come full circle and are back on the ‘zoom quiz’ stage of lockdown. In the last lockdown, I lost a few in a row, and it’s probably 6 quizzes total since I last won.

I was 17 points clear going into the last round, and let me tell you, I was still not confident. The last round of our quizzes is always a ‘name as much as you can’ round, where you’re given a subject and have 3 minutes to list as many answers as you can.

For example, the first question was BBC sports personality of the year winners this decade. You go round person by person giving one answer each, if you get it right you win a point, if you get it wrong, you’re out. I said Andy Murray, for a point, and then went wrong with Harry Kane.

You get the idea.

By the last question of the final round my 17 point lead had been cut to 5, and I was getting nervy. The last question, though, had 73 points up for grabs. The question was this:

Name the 73 counties of England and Wales.

We had 3 minutes to list as many as we could, and then go round in circles giving our answers. Dad, I thank you for this, because I smashed it.

As a kid I spent all my sick days travelling the country in my Dad’s lorry, and as soon as that question was read out I had this memory: “Beds, Bucks and Herts”. I don’t know why, but I specifically remember my Dad saying that to me.

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire. I think it was one of the major depots, or something. Beds, Bucks, Herts.

Once I’d got those three, the rest kind of just kept coming. By the end of my list (I got 35 or so in 3 minutes) I’d named most of middle and southern England. Apparently the north does not exist to me, nor does Wales or the east coast of England.

And so we took it in turns naming counties, and I knew I’d got enough to retain my 5 point lead. I won! And it didn’t even matter that I forgot the two closest counties to where I live (but not the one where I live): and Worcestershire.

Until tomorrow, beds, Bucks, herts.


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