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The sum of our parts?

November 5, 2011 in EQC

It’s lunchtime on day two of the European Quiz Championship in Bruges.

The Nations Cup qualifier last night was possibly the hardest quiz I’ve ever seen, let alone taken part in. Questions ranged from obscure to the impossible. The one that sticks in my mind opened with a picture of a lady sitting at a keyboard, with her back to the camera. ‘Ok, it’s going to be about a pianist’ I thought.

“This Polish harpsichordist contributed to the harpsichord revival of the mid-twentieth century. What is her name?”

Now, I don’t know about you, but the harpsichord revival of the mid-twentieth century must have slipped under pay radar as I wasn’t aware anyone did anything noteworthy on the harpsichord since the end of the Baroque era. 🙁
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On the set of In Bruges

November 4, 2011 in EQC

It’s been a mad, mad 24 hours since we took off from Dublin Airport yesterday. Let’s put it like this: the most normal thing we’ve done was to get our photos taken standing at the lectern in the European Parliament chamber.

That occurred during a tour of the Parliament given to us by our old college buddy Brian, who works in the building as an MEP’s research assistant. Brian was also our host for the evening, a role he filled to an impeccable degree: feeding us, showing us the sites and losing to us in cards. He was very thorough in that last one, actually.

The cards filled up most of our evening. They were played in Bar des Halles, a very cool Brussels spot which not only provides free decks of cards but chess boards too. Our marathon game was given a little extra spice by our deciding half-way through that the spare bed in Brian’s apartment was on the line! Mike held his nerve better than I held my Baileys and he prevailed. I did manage to finish in second though and thus claimed the couch ahead of David.

We were lucky to get home to those sleeping spots, mind you, as the journey home from the pub felt more like a deleted scene from the French movie Taxi. About a third of the way home, our driver encountered a colleague at a red light. Some banter through the open window ensued before an impromptu race kicked off with traffic lanes, other cars and even a red light being ignored in favour of his effort to keep up with his mate. Mike, who had been in the ‘launch position’ in the middle of the back seat, felt most alive after this experience was over!

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Coming soon … In Bruges

November 3, 2011 in EQC, Quizzes

The weekend begins here. I’m typing this post from Dublin Airport’s swanky new Terminal 2.

I’m here with some of the members of the Irish team for the European Quizzing Championships, which is taking place this weekend in the city of Bruges.
Throughout the next few days I will be posting regular, short reports on how the Championship is going and how we’re getting on. So stay tuned!

Our first stop today is a tour of the European Parliament building in Brussels. Hopefully there’ll be some questions about it over the weekend! 🙂

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Very busy week ahead

November 1, 2011 in Housekeeping

What a week I have ahead. Ok, thanks to the Public Holiday, it starts on a Tuesday but that will only result in it being even more crammed with stuff for me to do.

First off, I’m the host of tonight’s quiz in Gilligan’s, Claremorris.  As usual, the regular Tuesday night quiz kicks off around 10.30pm.  Please come on in if you’re anywhere near. I promise at least one round on Hallowe’en! 🙂

Tomorrow evening, I’ll be in the Claremorris Community Radio studios to record this week’s episode of After the Fact, our weekly quiz show that combines QI with Sesame Street.  Normally, as I’m sure you know, we do the show live on Thursday evenings at 7pm.  However, this week we can’t as I’m away.

Where will I be?  I’m part of the Irish team going to the European Quizzing Championship, which takes place in Bruges, Belgium, over this weekend.  If you’d like to find out more about the competition, please check out Of course, I’ll endevour to keep you all up-to-date on how the Irish team is getting on, right here on the site throughout the weekend.

It’s all very exciting but I do feel like I’ll be quite tired come next Monday!

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