Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Quiz 2018 – #BrainfluffChristmasQuiz2018

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When Gran was alive, during our family gatherings we used to play Christmas games. Gran particularly loved general knowledge quizzes, but with 5 generations ranging from the late nineties down to a three year old, it posed something of a challenge. So each year I devised multiple choice questions and everyone played in pairs, which gave even the youngest a chance of answering correctly. Gran is no longer with us, but if you happen to gather in a multi-generational mash-up to celebrate Christmas perhaps this will pass some time between opening presents and tucking into the seasonal feast.

Many thanks for your support and company throughout the year – I hope you have a lovely holiday, whatever your beliefs and whoever you are celebrating with.

1) What was asked for in the Christmas song?
a. Two front teeth                                               c. Three pairs of socks
b. Four DVD’s                                                     d. Five sets of smellies

2) What colour was Rudolf’s nose?
a. Green                                                             c. Mauve
b. Red                                                                d. Black

3) Where does Father Christmas live?
a. The moon                                                     c. Iceland
b. Greenland                                                    d. Lapland

4) How many sides does a snowflake have?
a. Five                                                              c. Eight
b. Six                                                               d. Twelve

5) In the Christmas song, who ‘are getting fat’?
a. Mothers preparing food                            c. Turkeys
b. Reindeer                                                    d. Geese

6) In the song ‘Rudolf the …..nosed reindeer, how is it described? ‘You would even say it…
a. Runs                                                           c. Glows
b. Blows                                                         d. Sneezes

7) In the song ’12 Days of Christmas’ what does my true love give on the fifth day?
a. Lords a leaping                                          c. Swans a swimming
b. Gold rings                                                  d. French hens

8) Where do poinsettias originally come from?
a. Mexico                                                       c. Brazil
b. Peru                                                           d. Venezuela

9) What brought Frosty the Snowman to life?
a. A special knitted scarf                              c. His carrot nose
b. An old top hat                                         d. His coal eyes and stone teeth

10) Who was the composer of The Nutcracker ballet?
a. Handel                                                     c. Bach
b. Tchaikvosky                                             d. Mozart

11) Who was the first English king or queen to have a Christmas tree?
a. King Henry VIII                                        c. Queen Elizabeth I
b. King Charles II                                         d. Queen Victoria

12) In the song ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ what pudding is asked for?
a. Figgy pudding                                        c. Plum pudding
b. Sticky toffee pudding                             d. Rice pudding

13) What was Joseph’s job?
a. Fisherman                                               c. Farmer
b. Carpenter                                               d. Builder

14) Which one of these is NOT one of Father Christmas’s reindeer?
a. Dixen                                                     c. Rudolf
b. Donner                                                  d. Dasher

15) Good King Wenceslas ruled which country?
a. Hungary                                                c. Flanders
b. Czechoslovakia                                     d. Bohemia

16) Where did the real St Nicholas used to live?
a. Lapland                                                 c. Greece
b. Turkey                                                   d. Hungary

17) What did Harry Potter get for Christmas in his first term at Hogwarts?
a. Invisibility cloak                                    c. X-box
b. Book of spells                                       d. An owl

18) What is the name of Tiny Tim’s father in A Christmas Carol?
a. Ben Sackett                                           c. Bob Cratchit
b. Bart Hatchet                                         d. Bill Scratchit

19) What drink was adapted to become the American Christmas drink ‘egg nog’?
a. The Scandinavian drink ‘Glogg’            c. The Austrian drink ‘Gluhwein’
b. The French drink ‘Lait de Poule’           d. The German drink ‘Biersuppe’

20) Who invented the Christmas cracker?
a. George Cracker                                    c. Tom Smith
b. Thomas Edison                                    d. Prince Albert

Christmas Quiz 2018 – Answers
1) What was asked for in the Christmas song?
c. Two front teeth                                     c. Three pairs of socks
d. Four DVD’s                                           d. Five sets of smellies

2) What colour was Rudolf’s nose?
c. Green                                                   c. Mauve
d. Red                                                      d. Black

3) Where does Father Christmas live?
c. The moon                                            c. Iceland
d. Greenland                                           d. Lapland

4) How many sides does a snowflake have?
c. Five                                                     c. Eight
d. Six                                                      d. Twelve

5) In the Christmas song, who ‘are getting fat’?
c. Mothers preparing food                    c. Turkeys
d. Reindeer                                            d. Geese

6) In the song ‘Rudolf the …..nosed reindeer, how is it described? ‘You would even say it…
c. Runs                                                   c. Glows
d. Blows                                                 d. Sneezes

7) In the song ’12 Days of Christmas’ what does my true love give on the fifth day?
c. Lords a leaping                                  c. Swans a swimming
d. Gold rings                                          d. French hens

8) Where do poinsettias originally come from?
c. Mexico                                               c. Brazil
d. Peru                                                   d. Venezuela

9) What brought Frosty the Snowman to life?
c. A special knitted scarf                       c. His carrot nose
d. An old top hat                                  d. His coal eyes and stone teeth

10) Who was the composer of The Nutcracker ballet?
c. Handel                                              c. Bach
d. Tchaikvosky                                      d. Mozart

11) Who was the first English king or queen to have a Christmas tree?
a. King Henry VIII                                 c. Queen Elizabeth I
b. King Charles II                                  d. Queen Victoria

12) In the song ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ what pudding is asked for?
a. Figgy pudding                                 c. Plum pudding
b. Sticky toffee pudding                      d. Rice pudding

13) What was Joseph’s job?
a. Fisherman                                       c. Farmer
b. Carpenter                                       d. Builder

14) Which one of these is NOT one of Father Christmas’s reindeer?
a. Dixen                                               c. Rudolf
b. Donner                                            d. Dasher

15) Good King Wenceslas ruled which country?
a. Hungary                                          c. Flanders
b. Czechoslovakia                               d. Bohemia

16) Where did the real St Nicholas used to live?
a. Lapland                                           c. Greece
b. Turkey                                            d. Hungary

17) What did Harry Potter get for Christmas in his first term at Hogwarts?
a. Invisibility cloak                              c. X-box
b. Book of spells                                 d. An owl

18) What is the name of Tiny Tim’s father in A Christmas Carol?
a. Ben Sackett                                    c. Bob Cratchit
b. Bart Hatchet                                  d. Bill Scratchit

19) What drink was adapted to become the American Christmas drink ‘egg nog’?
a. The Scandinavian drink ‘Glogg’     c. The Austrian drink ‘Gluhwein’
b. The French drink ‘Lait de Poule’    d. The German drink ‘Biersuppe’

20) Who invented the Christmas cracker?
a. George Cracker                             c. Tom Smith
b. Thomas Edison                             d. Prince Albert

Sunday Post – 23rd December, 2018 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost

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This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

It’s been another whirlwind week. I’ve been rushing around like a blue-bottomed fly getting presents wrapped, writing and sending off cards and organising the food for Christmas, which isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds, given that my son is vegan and we are vegetarian.

On Monday, I travelled to my daughter’s house to deliver the Christmas cards and pressies as I wouldn’t be seeing them over the Christmas break. I had great fun playing with baby Eliza, who is growing at a rate of knots. She fell asleep in my arms and once more I was swept with that painful wave of love which stops the breath in my lungs and makes each heartbeat hurt – a now-familiar sensation since the birth of my first grandchild. They’ll say something, or tilt their head in a particular way – and I’m suffused with that fierce feeling all over again. We went out for lunch together and then I made my way back home when Rebecca had to leave for the school run.

My son arrived on Wednesday and will be staying until after Christmas, which is a great treat, given that I don’t get a chance to see him all that often. Yesterday, I attended a lovely party where we sang seasonal songs around the piano and today, after we did the final supermarket run, we Skyped my mother-in-law, who is celebrating her birthday today. Other than food, I now have all the other Christmas chores completed – yippee!

Last week I read:
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe – Book 1 of The Salvagers series by Alex White
Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she might have stumbled on something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction. Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses the murder of a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah only has one lead: the killer also hunts a woman named Boots.
I really enjoyed this magical, futuristic adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world, recovering after a brutal pan-galactic war. There is plenty of action-packed mayhem, which didn’t prevent me from steadily bonding with the main protagonists.

 

Hurricane – Book 3 of the Hive Mind series by Janet Edwards
Eighteen-year-old Amber is the youngest of the five telepaths who protect the hundred million citizens of one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but this time a simple case leads on to something far bigger. This is a case where Amber’s team have to face the unknown and break all the rules they usually follow, while Amber has extra burdens she can’t share with anyone. She has a personal mystery to solve, and questions she wants answered, but curiosity is a dangerous trait in a telepath.
I’ve enjoyed this series from Edwards – but this is the best book so far. It answers questions about this world that have been niggling since the first one of the series, while the crime investigation provides plenty of tension and action. Review to follow.

 

There Will Be Hell to Pay by Benjamin Gilad
They say those who get deep into the Kabbalah’s mystical text of the celestial spheres can lose their minds. But one man discovers the celestial spheres are far from saintly. The man, Jack Merriman, is a Seer sucked into the celestial realm against his better judgment. He finds out Satan is a beautiful female with a keen sense of justice. Archangel Michael sounds just like James Earl Jones and the Cherubs fill the Celestial spheres with heavenly elevator music. But underneath, the Celestial Spheres are as political and incompetent as a big government agency.
This quirky paranormal investigative story has an interesting premise. I shall be reviewing it in due course.

My posts last week:

Review of Academic Curveball – Book 1 of the Braxton Campus mysteries by James J. Cudney

Teaser Tuesday featuring Hurricane – Book 3 of the Hive Mind series by Janet Edwards

Christmas-Holiday Gifts – Science Fiction and Fantasy for Everyone

Review of The Death Chamber – Book 6 of The Detective’s Daughter series by Lesley Thomson

Friday Face-Off featuring Hogfather – Book 20 of The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Review of How To Steal a Dragon’s Sword – Book 9 of the How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Friday Face-Off: Seasonal “Ho, Ho, Ho.” https://perfectlytolerable.com/2018/12/21/friday-face-off-seasonal/ This is my favourite meme and Brittany nails it this week by featuring
How The Grinch Stole Christmas – which is your favourite cover?

Echo of Love https://thelonelyauthorblog.com/2018/12/21/echo-of-love/ This time of year is particularly tough on those grieving or lonely – and this beautiful, thoughtful poem reminds us of this…

How The Left Hand of Darkness Changed Everything by Becky Chambers https://lithub.com/how-the-left-hand-of-darkness-changed-everything/ The Lit Hub featured this wonderful article by one of our most talented science fiction authors…

Indian Tea/ Chai Walla(भारतीय चाय, चाई वाल्ला) https://historyofkingpanwars.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/indian-tea-chai-walla This fascinating and detailed article includes videos and a history of growing and drinking tea on the Indian continent.

Things We Say Today Which We Owe to Shakespeare https://blogging807.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/things-we-say-today-which-we-owe-to-shakespeare/ My blogging pal, Rae Longest reblogged this post. It’s a response to all those who claim Shakespeare is no longer relevant to modern life.

In the meantime, many thanks for taking the time to comment, like and visit my blog – have a wonderful holiday, whatever your beliefs and wherever you are…

Friday Faceoff – Ho, ho, ho! Brainfluffbookblog

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This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is CHRISTMAS, so I’ve selected Hogfather – Book 20 of the Discworld series by the irreplaceable Terry Pratchett. The first time I read this book, I was crying with laughter over the scene in the toy department…

This version was released in October 2002 by Corgi and I get the impression that the cover designer was told that this book featured Death stepping into the role of the Hogfather. He chose to focus on the Death part… All this gloom and blackness gives this cover a sense of horror – and it’s nothing of the sort. While the story is violent in places and features the most psychotic killer Pratchett ever depicts, there is also plenty of mayhem and lots of humour, too. Not that you’d know it from this cover, which I HATE.

 

Published in October 2002, also by Corgi, this cover is a huge improvement – mostly because it’s based on the original. In my opinion, it’s even better, because those big, intrusive text boxes are no longer a feature and we get the full benefit of the fabulous artwork. This one is my favourite.

 

This edition, published by Corgi in June 2013, is another winner – though I’m intrigued to see this one was released in the middle of summer, for some reason… Rightly featuring the pigs, it once more packs a punch with that lovely dark sky in the background and nicely stippled author font. Again, this one is based on the original cover for the book and so the riotous aspect of the story is reflected in the artwork. This one is also my favourite. And no… don’t ask me to choose between the two, because I can’t.

 

Produced by Harper in September 1999, this one is just boring. While a picture of the Hogfather features on the cover and the title font is pleasingly quirky, that doesn’t really make up for the oh-so plain yellow cover. And no – I personally don’t think the line of scythes is a suitable replacement for the iconic bright, colourful covers that always remind me of Pratchett’s Discworld series.

 

This French edition, published by Pocket is the only original cover that comes close to the humorous mayhem that represents the series. I love the way Death emerges from the chimney, with the children looking on in fascination. Susan is beautifully portrayed and I love the orange glow that suffuses this cover – so appropriate for the time of year. If I didn’t have such fond memories of the previous covers, which I’m sure is affecting my choices, this one would have been a real contender. Which one is your favourite?

Christmas Quiz 2017

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Christmas candles @ mum’s-2

When Gran was alive, during our family gatherings we used to play Christmas games. Gran particularly loved general knowledge quizzes, but with 5 generations ranging from the late nineties down to a three year old, it posed something of a challenge. So each year I devised multiple choice questions and everyone played in pairs, which gave even the youngest a chance of answering correctly. Gran is no longer with us, but if you happen to gather in a multi-generational mash-up to celebrate Christmas perhaps this will pass some time between opening presents and tucking into the seasonal feast.

1. What is another name for the alligator pear?
a) Kumquat                b) Avocado
c) Boysenberry          d) Pineapple

2. What did Marylebone, Ranleigh and Vauxhall have in common in the 18th century?
a) All were land owned by aristocratic families
b) All had churches on them
c) All were pleasure gardens
d) All were sites of gibbets for public hangings

3. Who taught Alice to dance the Lobster Quadrille?
a) The Lobster          b) The Walrus
c) The Carpenter      d) The Mock Turtle

4. Die/dice, man/men are examples of irregular plurals in English. Just how many of them are there?
a) 7                             b) 10
c) 13                           d) 18

5. Who is the heir apparent to the British throne?
a) Prince William    b) Prince Andrew
c) Prince Charles     c) Princess Anne

6. On which day did God make the sun, the moon and the stars?
a) The second day    b) The third day
c) The fourth day     d) The fifth day

7. Which artist expressed a wish to eat his wife when she died?
a) Pablo Picasso       b) Paul Gauguin
c) Paul Cézanne       d) Salvador Dali

8. What is blennophobia?
a) Fear of the colour white       b) Fear of slime
c) Fear of ice                                d) Fear of silence

9. Quarantine is isolation because of sickness. What else can it be?
a) A forty-day study sabbatical available to university dons
b) A small island in the Pacific, named by James Cooke
c) The name of the flag, warning of infection aboard, flown by the Royal Navy
d) A sort of red apple

10. Who cut off Samson’s hair?
a) Delilah                   b) Salome
c) Jezebel                   d) Naomi

11. Linnaeus gave the name “food of the gods” to which drink?
a) Brandy                   b) Coffee
c) Chocolate              d) Wine

12. Over how many days is the decathlon held?
a) 10                            b) 5
c) 4                              d) 2

13. Who claimed to be able to recognize 140 different forms of tobacco ash?
a) Dr. Watson                  b) Sherlock Holmes
c) Lord Peter Whimsey  d) Hercule Poirot

14. What is a group of swine called?
a) Herd                      b) Sounder
c) Drift                       d) Wallow

15. What does the name Thermopylae, the site of a famous battle, actually mean?
a) Hot waters           b) Red bush
c) Hot gates              d) Place of the Geysers

16. How many lines are there in a limerick?
a) 3                             b) 4
c) 5                             d) 14

17. Whose best friend is Barney Rubble?
a) Mickey Mouse     b) Buzz Lightyear
c) Scooby Doo          d) Fred Flintstone

18. How did the tank get its name?
a) When Lord Kitchener described it as looking “like a damnable tank.”
b) It is acronym for Terrestrial Automotive Navigable Kinesthesmobile
c) For security reasons they were sent to France in crates labelled WATER TANKS
d) It was a nickname coined by the troops that stuck

19. What is the value of the gold spot in the centre of an archery target?
a) 5                              b) 9
c) 10                            d) 25

20. What is added to gin and vermouth to make a drink called a Gibson?
a) Strawberry            b) Orange
c) Onion                     d) Cucumber

ANSWERS

1. What is another name for the alligator pear?
a) Kumquat              b) Avocado
c) Boysenberry         d) Pineapple

2. What did Marylebone, Ranleigh and Vauxhall have in common in the 18th century?
a) All were land owned by aristocratic families
b) All had churches on them
c) All were pleasure gardens
d) All were sites of gibbets for public hangings

3. Who taught Alice to dance the Lobster Quadrille?
a) The Lobster        b) The Walrus
c) The Carpenter    d) The Mock Turtle

4. Die/dice, man/men are examples of irregular plurals in English. Just how many of them are there?
a) 7                            b) 10
c) 13                          d) 18

5. Who is the heir apparent to the British throne?
a) Prince William   b) Prince Andrew
c) Prince Charles    d) Princess Anne

6. On which day did God make the sun, the moon and the stars?
a) The second day   b) The third day
c) The fourth day     d) The fifth day

7. Which artist expressed a wish to eat his wife when she died?
a) Pablo Picasso        b) Paul Gauguin
c) Paul Cézanne        d) Salvador Dali

8. What is blennophobia?
a) Fear of the colour white b) Fear of slime
c) Fear of ice                         d) Fear of silence

9. Quarantine is isolation because of sickness. What else can it be?
a) A forty-day study sabbatical available to university dons
b) A small island in the Pacific, named by James Cooke
c) The name of the flag, warning of infection aboard, flown by the Royal Navy
d) A sort of red apple

10. Who cut off Samson’s hair?
a) Delilah                 b) Salome
c) Jezebel                 d) Naomi

11. Linnaeus gave the name “food of the gods” to which drink?
a) Brandy                 b) Coffee
c) Chocolate            d) Wine

12. Over how many days is the decathlon held?
a) 10                           b) 5
c) 4                             d) 2

13. Who claimed to be able to recognize 140 different forms of tobacco ash?
a) Dr. Watson                  b) Sherlock Holmes
c) Lord Peter Whimsey d) Hercule Poirot

14. What is a group of swine called?
a) Herd                     b) Sounder
c) Drift                      d) Wallow

15. What does the name Thermopylae, the site of a famous battle, actually mean?
a) Hot waters           b) Red bush
c) Hot gates              d) Place of the Geysers

16. How many lines are there in a limerick?
a) 3                              b) 4
c) 5                              d) 14

17. Whose best friend is Barney Rubble?
a) Mickey Mouse      b) Buzz Lightyear
c) Scooby Doo           d) Fred Flintstone

18. How did the tank get its name?
a. When Lord Kitchener described it as looking “like a damnable tank.”
b. It is acronym for Terrestrial Automotive Navigable Kinesthesmobile
c. For security reasons they were sent to France in crates labelled WATER TANKS
d. It was a nickname coined by the troops that stuck

19. What is the value of the gold spot in the centre of an archery target?
a) 5                              b) 9
c) 10                            d) 25

20. What is added to gin and vermouth to make a drink called a Gibson?
a) Strawberry            b) Orange
c) Onion                     d) Cucumber

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a healthy, successful 2018.

CHRISTMAS TRIVIA QUIZ – 2016

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merry_christmas_in_red_193358For a number of years at our Christmas gatherings we played games – not such a simple task when there are five generations taking part. It doesn’t happen now my grandmother, who loved playing them, has left us. It fell to me to construct them and so my Christmas Quiz was always a multi-choice affair which gave the youngest child as much chance of getting the right answer as my very clever father. As I devised this one, please feel free to use it at your own gatherings over the festive season, should you so wish. Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year.

1. What was the name of the girl who wove so beautifully that the jealous goddess Athena turned her into a spider?
a) Eurycleia  b) Calypso  c) Arachne  d) Charybdis

2. To whom is Alvin Stardust married?
a) Lisa Goddard  b) Pamela Stevenson  c) Joanna Lumley  d) Helen Mirren

3. Who was the treacherous knight of the Round Table?
a) Sir Lancelot  b) Sir Mordred  c) Sir Gawain  d) Sir Baldrys

4. In which city would you find Michelangelo’s David?
a) Rome  b) Florence  c) Genoa  d) Venice

5. Where is the tarsal joint?
a) The wrist  b) The finger  c) The ankle  d) The toe

6. What is the “Senior Service”?
a) The cavalry b)  The infantry  c)  The Navy  d) The musketeers

7. Which European country has a patron saint of cinemas?
a) France – Jean Bosquet b) Spain – St John Bosco c) Italy – Juliano Bosquelli d) Luxembourg – Jean Bosquet

8. What is the sacred beetle of the ancient Egyptians?
a) The scarab b) The termite c) The Death-watch beetle  d) The locust

9. By what name is Abyssinia now known?
a) Niger  b) Chad  c) Somalia  d) Ethiopia

10 What is heraldic black called?
a) jet  b) nigrescent  c) sable  d) inky

11 A Frenchman Adolphe Pegoud was the first pilot to do what in 1913?
a) Cross the Channel  b) Loop the loop  c) Fire a gun from a plane  d) Die in a plane crash

12 Who said, “The executioner is, I believe, very expert and my neck is very slender.”?
a) Charles I  b) Lady Jane Gray  c) Anne Boylyn  d) Catherine Howard

13 In Ancient Egypt the standard length was a cubit. How many palms made a cubit?
a) 3   b) 4   c) 5   d) 7

14 What is scotopic vision?
a) short-sightedness  b) long-sightedness  c) vision impaired by cataracts  d) night vision

15 Which English novelist invented pillar-boxes while working as a civil servant?
a) A.A. Milne  b) Antony Trollop  c) Hugh Walpole  d) R.D. Blackmore

16 What was “Big Willie”?
a) One of the first military tanks b) One of 3 surviving gun carriage horses in WWI  c) One of the first bomber planes  d) One of the first machines guns

17 Which wedding anniversary is leather?
a) First  b) Third  c) Fifth  d) Seventh

18 What was founded by William and Catherine Booth?
a) The Salvation Army  b) Christian Science Church  c) The Temperance Society  d) The Chartist Movement

19 In which film did James Bond drive a white lotus underwater
a) Thunderball  b) The Spy Who Loved Me  c) Live and Let Die  d) Moonwalker

20 When might you use the western roll technique?
a) Making a roll-up cigarette b) Trampolining c) High Jump  d) Pole Vault

ANSWERS

1. What was the name of the girl who wove so beautifully that the jealous goddess Athena turned her into a spider?
a) Eurycleia  b) Calypso  c) Arachne  d) Charybdis

2. To whom is Alvin Stardust married?
a) Lisa Goddard  b) Pamela Stevenson  c) Joanna Lumley  d) Helen Mirren

3. Who was the treacherous knight of the Round Table?
a) Sir Lancelot  b) Sir Mordred  c) Sir Gawain  d) Sir Baldrys

4. In which city would you find Michelangelo’s David?
a) Rome  b) Florence  c) Genoa  d) Venice

5. Where is the tarsal joint?
a) The wrist  b) The finger  c) The ankle  d) The toe

6. What is the “Senior Service”?
a) The cavalry  b) The infantry  c) The Navy  d) The musketeers

7. Which European country has a patron saint of cinemas?
a) France – Jean Bosquet  b) Spain – St John Bosco  c) Italy – Juliano Bosquelli  d) Luxembourg – Jean Bosquet

8. What is the sacred beetle of the ancient Egyptians?
a) The scarab  b) The termite  c) The Death-watch beetle  d) The locust

9. By what name is Abyssinia now known?
a) Niger  b) Chad  c) Somalia  d) Ethiopia

10 What is heraldic black called?
a) jet  b) nigrescent  c) sable  d) inky

11 A Frenchman Adolphe Pegoud was the first pilot to do what in 1913?
a) Cross the Channel  b) Loop the loop  c) Fire a gun from a plane  d) Die in a plane crash

12 Who said, “The executioner is, I believe, very expert and my neck is very slender.”?
a) Charles I  b) Lady Jane Gray  c) Anne Boylyn  d) Catherine Howard

13 In Ancient Egypt the standard length was a cubit. How many palms made a cubit?
a) 3   b) 4   c) 5   d) 7

14 What is scotopic vision?
a) short-sightedness  b) long-sightedness  c) vision impaired by cataracts  d) night vision

15 Which English novelist invented pillar-boxes while working as a civil servant?
a) A.A. Milne  b) Antony Trollop  c) Hugh Walpole  d) R.D. Blackmore

16 What was “Big Willie”?
a) One of the first military tanks  b) One of 3 surviving gun carriage horses in WWI  c) One of the first bomber planes  d) One of the first machines guns

17 Which wedding anniversary is leather?
a) First  b) Third  c) Fifth  d) Seventh

18 What was founded by William and Catherine Booth?
a) The Salvation Army  b) Christian Science Church  c) The Temperance Society  d) The Chartist Movement

19 In which film did James Bond drive a white lotus underwater
a) Thunderball  b) The Spy Who Loved Me  c) Live and Let Die  d) Moonwalker

20 When might you use the western roll technique?
a) Making a roll-up cigarette  b) Trampolining  c) High Jump  d) Pole Vault

Christmas Quiz – 2015

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During our family gatherings on Christmas Day, there are regularly four generations of us. And some are right clever-clogs… So I compiled this multi-choice quiz of 20 quirky questions so the youngest, hopefully, will have almost as much chance of getting the right answer as aforementioned clever-clogs. I thought I’d share it with you – you’re very welcome to download it and use it. Happy Christmas!

1. What is blennophobia?Featured Image -- 4449

a) Fear of the colour white b) Fear of fish
c) Fear of slime d) Fear of zinc

 

2. Where is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes?

a) Malbro’ country b) The moon Europa
c) Alaska d) South Island, New Zealand

 

3. What is the commonest surname is Spain?

a) Garcia b) Campo
c) Blanco d) deCruz

 

4. How many times have the Olympic Games been cancelled due to war?

a) Never b) Once
c) Twice d) Three times

 

5. What does a belly-man do?

a) Tattoos tummies b) Is a food-taster
c) Assembles pianos d) Looks after ballast on a ship

 

6. Which mammal lives longest?

a) Gorilla b) Man
c) Blue Whale d) Sloth

 

7. Which festival was the first greeting card manufactured for?

a) Christmas Day b) Easter Day
c Mothering Sunday d) St Valentine’s Day

 

8. Where do Vectians live?

a) The Virgin Islands b) The Isle of Wight
c) The Channel Islands d) The Isle of Man

 

9. In 1949, many precious manuscripts in the Vatican Library were discovered to be destroyed. How?

a) Monks had doodled in the margins b) Damp had rotted them
c) Termites ate them d) Paper wasps had nested in them

 

10. In which film did James Bond drive a white Lotus car underwater?

a) The Spy Who Loved Me b) Live and Let Die
c) Thunderball d) Goldfinger

 

11. What freak weather killed 23 people in Rostov, Russia in July 1923?

a) A tornado b) Mud slide after a rainstorm
c) Giant hail stones d) A tsunami

 

12. What is 555 in Roman numerals?

a) VVV b) VCDM
c) DLV d) LVD

 

13. From which planet do Dr Who’s daleks come?

a) Davros b) Skaro
c) Gallifrey d) Silurian

 

14. Who sang the original version of “Blue Suede Shoes”?

a) Elvis Presley b) Buddy Holly
c) Little Richard d) Carl Perkins

 

15. Which part of the body was the guillotine originally designed to cut off?

a) Head b) Hands
c) Feet d) Fingers

 

16. Whose national anthem is called “Thousand-Year-Old-Land”?

a) Ethiopia b) Finland
c) Bosnia d) Egypt

 

17. How many nobles used to be in £1?

a) None – a noble was worth £1-2s-6d b) 2
c) 3 d) 4

 

18. What is the name of the Flintstone family’s pet dinosaur?

a) Fido b) Dino
c) Boom-Boom d) Thumper

 

19. What part of the body does Bright’s disease affect?

a) The heart b) The eyes
c) The kidneys d) The liver

 

20. Why were brasses originally worn by horses hauling heavy loads?

a) To ward off the evil eye b) Their jingling warned people they were coming
c) To make them look good d) To keep the flies away

Christmas Quiz 2008 – Answers

1. What is blennophobia?

a) Fear of the colour white b) Fear of fish
c) Fear of slime d) Fear of zinc

 

2. Where is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes?

a) Malbro’ country b) The moon Europa
c) Alaska  d) South Island, New Zealand

 

3. What is the commonest surname is Spain?

a) Garcia  b) Campo
c) Blanco d) deCruz

 

4. How many times have the Olympic Games been cancelled due to war?

a) Never  b) Once
c) Twice  d) Three times

 

5. What does a belly-man do?

a) Tattoos tummies b) Is a food-taster
c) Assembles pianos  d) Looks after ballast on a ship

 

6. Which mammal lives longest?

a) Gorilla b) Man
c) Blue Whale d) Sloth

 

7. Which festival was the first greeting card manufactured for?

a) Christmas Day b) Easter Day
c Mothering Sunday d) St Valentine’s Day

 

8. Where do Vectians live?

a) The Virgin Islands  b) The Isle of Wight
c) The Channel Islands d) The Isle of Man

 

9. In 1949, many precious manuscripts in the Vatican Library were discovered to be destroyed. How?

a) Monks had doodled in the margins b) Damp had rotted them
c) Termites ate them  d) Paper wasps had nested in them

 

10. In which film did James Bond drive a white Lotus car underwater?

a) The Spy Who Loved Me  b) Live and Let Die
c) Thunderball  d) Goldfinger

 

11. What freak weather killed 23 people in Rostov, Russia in July 1923?

a) A tornado b) Mud slide after a rainstorm
c) Giant hail stones  d) A tsunami

 

12. What is 555 in Roman numerals?

a) VVV b) VCDM
c) DLV  d) LVD

 

13. From which planet do Dr Who’s daleks come?

a) Davros b) Skaro
c) Gallifrey d) Silurian

 

14. Who sang the original version of “Blue Suede Shoes”?

a) Elvis Presley b) Buddy Holly
c) Little Richard d) Carl Perkins

 

15. Which part of the body was the guillotine originally designed to cut off?

a) Head b) Hands
c) Feet d) Fingers

 

16. Whose national anthem is called “Thousand-Year-Old-Land”?

a) Ethiopia b) Finland
c) Bosnia  d) Egypt

 

17. How many nobles used to be in £1?

a) None – a noble was worth £1-2s-6d  b) 2
c) 3   d) 4

 

18. What is the name of the Flintstone family’s pet dinosaur?

a) Fido b) Dino
c) Boom-Boom d) Thumper

 

19. What part of the body does Bright’s disease affect?

a) The heart b) The eyes
c) The kidneys  d) The liver

 

20. Why were brasses originally worn by horses hauling heavy loads?

a) To ward off the evil eye  b) Their jingling warned people they were coming
c) To make them look good  d) To keep the flies away

 

A Christmas Present – from me to you…

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For years I’ve been Games Mistress to the Family Gathering – which at one time ranged from my grandmother in her late nineties to my small granddaughter. Five generations of us. Hm. Tricky. So I devised these multi-choice quizzes that meant everyone could take part. I’ve also included the answers, with the correct version underlined. It took some time compiling it, and if you wish to use it for your own Christmas festivities, feel free to do so. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Quiz

1. What is blennophobia?

a) Fear of the colour white     b) Fear of fish    c) Fear of slime     d) Fear of zinc

2. Where is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes?

a) Malbro’ country    b) The moon Europa   c) Alaska    d) South Island, New Zealand

3. What is the commonest surname in Spain?

a) Garcia    b) Campo   c) Blanco    d) deCruz

4. How many times have the Olympic Games been cancelled due to war?

a) Never    b) Once   c) Twice    d) Three times

5. What does a belly-man do?

a) Tattoos tummies    b) Is a food-taster   c) Assembles pianos    d) Looks after ballast on a ship

6. Which mammal lives longest?

a) Gorilla    b) Man   c) Blue Whale    d) Sloth

7. Which festival was the first greeting card manufactured for?

a) Christmas Day   b) Easter Day   c Mothering Sunday    d) St Valentine’s Day

8. Where do Vectians live?

a) The Virgin Islands    b) The Isle of Wight   c) The Channel Islands    d) The Isle of Man

9. In 1949, many precious manuscripts in the Vatican Library were discovered to be destroyed. How?

a) Monks had doodled in the margins    b) Damp had rotted them   c) Termites ate them    d) Paper wasps had nested in them

10. In which film did James Bond drive a white Lotus car underwater?

a) The Spy Who Loved Me    b) Live and Let Die   c) Thunderball    d) Goldfinger

11. What freak weather killed 23 people in Rostov, Russia in July 1923?

a) A tornado    b) Mud slide after a rainstorm   c) Giant hail stones    d) A tsunami

12. What is 555 in Roman numerals?

a) VVV    b) VCDM   c) DLV    d) LVD

13. From which planet do Dr Who’s daleks come?

a) Davros   b) Skaro   c) Gallifrey   d) Silurian

14. Who sang the original version of “Blue Suede Shoes”?

a) Elvis Presley   b) Buddy Holly   c) Little Richard   d) Carl Perkins

15. Which part of the body was the guillotine originally designed to cut off?

a) Head   b) Hands   c) Feet   d) Fingers

16. Whose national anthem is called “Thousand-Year-Old-Land”?

a) Ethiopia   b) Finland    c) Bosnia    d) Egypt

17. How many nobles used to be in £1?

a) None – a noble was worth £1-2s-6d    b) 2   c) 3    d) 4

18. What is the name of the Flintstone family’s pet dinosaur?

a) Fido   b) Dino   c) Boom-Boom   d) Thumper

19. What part of the body does Bright’s disease affect?

a) The heart   b) The eyes   c) The kidneys    d) The liver

20. Why were brasses originally worn by horses hauling heavy loads?

a) To ward off the evil eye   b) Their jingling warned people they were coming   c) To make them look good   d) To keep the flies away

Christmas Quiz 2008 – Answers

1. What is blennophobia?

a) Fear of the colour white   b) Fear of fish   c) Fear of slime   d) Fear of zinc

2. Where is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes?

a) Malbro’ country   b) The moon Europa    c) Alaska    d) South Island, New Zealand

3. What is the commonest surname is Spain?

a) Garcia   b) Campo   c) Blanco    d) deCruz

4. How many times have the Olympic Games been cancelled due to war?

a) Never   b) Once   c) Twice    d) Three times

5. What does a belly-man do?

a) Tattoos tummies    b) Is a food-taster   c) Assembles pianos    d) Looks after ballast on a ship

6. Which mammal lives longest?

a) Gorilla    b) Man   c) Blue Whale    d) Sloth

7. Which festival was the first greeting card manufactured for?

a) Christmas Day   b) Easter Day   c Mothering Sunday    d) St Valentine’s Day

8. Where do Vectians live?

a) The Virgin Islands   b) The Isle of Wight   c) The Channel Islands   d) The Isle of Man

9. In 1949, many precious manuscripts in the Vatican Library were discovered to be destroyed. How?

a) Monks had doodled in the margins   b) Damp had rotted them   c) Termites ate them   d) Paper wasps had nested in them

10. In which film did James Bond drive a white Lotus car underwater?

a) The Spy Who Loved Me   b) Live and Let Die   c) Thunderball   d) Goldfinger

11. What freak weather killed 23 people in Rostov, Russia in July 1923?

a) A tornado   b) Mud slide after a rainstorm   c) Giant hail stones   d) A tsunami

12. What is 555 in Roman numerals?

a) VVV   b) VCDM   c) DLV    d) LVD

13. From which planet do Dr Who’s daleks come?

a) Davros   b) Skaro   c) Gallifrey   d) Silurian

14. Who sang the original version of “Blue Suede Shoes”?

a) Elvis Presley    b) Buddy Holly   c) Little Richard   d) Carl Perkins

15. Which part of the body was the guillotine originally designed to cut off?

a) Head   b) Hands   c) Feet d)    Fingers

16. Whose national anthem is called “Thousand-Year-Old-Land”?

a) Ethiopia   b) Finland   c) Bosnia    d) Egypt

17. How many nobles used to be in £1?

a) None – a noble was worth £1-2s-6d    b) 2   c) 3    d) 4

18. What is the name of the Flintstone family’s pet dinosaur?

a) Fido   b) Dino   c) Boom-Boom   d) Thumper

19. What part of the body does Bright’s disease affect?

a) The heart    b) The eyes   c) The kidneys    d) The liver

20. Why were brasses originally worn by horses hauling heavy loads?

a) To ward off the evil eye   b) Their jingling warned people they were coming   c) To make them look good d) To keep the flies away

Father Christmas – What Do You Tell Them?

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Having a distinctly Scrooge-like attitude, it was the only Christmas task I really enjoyed – overseeing the children’s ritual of leaving mince pies and milk out for Father Christmas, together with a carrot for Rudolf. And later tiptoeing into their bedroom with filled Christmas stockings. For several blissful years I sang When Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney to them and fielded questions about Santa’s domestic arrangements (Is Father Christmas married? What does Mrs. Christmas do on Christmas Eve?) And it all seemed perfectly straightforward…

Screen-Shot-2012-12-23-at-11.35.55Until my six year old daughter rushed across the school playground one afternoon, red-faced and indignant, “Katherine Shawcross says that Father Christmas isn’t real! She’s lying, isn’t she, Mummy?”

Could I bluff it out? It seemed so unfair – to be stripped of all the illusions about Father Christmas at the tender age of six. After heartily wishing Katherine Shawcross a really miserable Christmas, I took only option I really had. I told the truth. If I lied now, she would never trust me again.

She was appalled. “But… we write letters to him every year! And in assembly Mr. Weaver read out a poem about Father Christmas and talked about the reindeer and he’s the Headteacher and he hates lying, he told us so… Are you sure it’s made up.”

“I’m afraid so,” I mumbled.

We walked home in an unhappy silence. When she finally started to cry, I nearly joined in.

Of course, it didn’t end there. Her trust in adult ability to tell the truth evidently undermined, my formidably precocious daughter interrogated me about other characters she had doubts about – I soon had to come clean about the Tooth Fairy.

Rebecca frowned. “I’ve always wondered about her, anyhow. And what about this business about God and Jesus, then? Is that the same?”

“Oh no.” At last, I was on solid ground. “There are people who don’t believe in God or Jesus. But millions of clever people around the world do and pray to them every day. While no grown-up really believes in Father Christmas or the Tooth Fairy.”

She then decided that her four year old brother ought to be told about the ‘Father Christmas lie’, as she put it. After a long discussion, we agreed it would be fairer to tell him when he was at least six.

A relief, as this had been the first year that he hadn’t been nearly hysterical at the sight of a large, red-robed man with a bushy beard. A perfectly understandable reaction, if you think about it. Of course, until confronted with a screaming, sobbing child in Santa’s Grotto, I hadn’t. However apparently, it is a common reaction. My sister spent a sleepless, tearful Christmas Eve before finally getting her youngest to explain he was terrified of Father Christmas coming into his bedroom while he was asleep. So she pinned a note to his bedroom door explaining to Father Christmas that David would rather have his stocking filled in the lounge, after which he finally calmed down sufficiently to go to sleep.

In the face of Rebecca’s outraged reaction, I have often wondered since why we do spin such an elaborate story around a completely mythical character. Maybe, it’s some sort of preparation for all the disillusionments children will suffer, later on. Or maybe, it just seems like a simple, fun thing to do. Has anyone else encountered a similar reaction? I can’t be the only one who ended up being interrogated about the ‘Father Christmas lie’…