Day 675 – Quirky intro

Regular readers will know of my passion and enthusiasm for popular quiz show Only Connect. One of the many likeable features of the show is the quirky, single line fact given about each of the contestants as they are introduced. Stuff like:

“John Smith, a copywriter who has a room full of toy buses.”
“Angela Davies, a librarian who once unknowingly took part in a Boney M tribute act in a bar in Swindon.” or
“Stanislav Mikhailovich, a student whose favourite shirt was sold by his cousin to a man in Belfast.”

These facts are often a bit off-the-wall (hey, the whole show is a bit that way), and are always presented without context. For me, this allows the viewer to fill in the gaps in any way they choose, and thus adds to the amusement.

There are often discussions on OC forums about what people would use as their quirky facts. I don’t consider myself to have led a very boring life, but they’re more difficult to come up with than you might think. So far, I have got:

“6000, a blogger who was in a rival pub quiz team to Only Connect question editor Jack Waley-Cohen for many years.”
“6000, a laboratory manager who once watched a 90 minute argument between two prostitutes on a street in Florence, while eating a free watermelon.”
“6000, a microbiologist who once sat opposite Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar on an otherwise empty District Line train.”

Not much for n years, hey? I’m sure I could do better if I really applied myself, though. Like my abseiling off the Tyne Bridge. Or disappointing my BSc supervisor by choosing not to do a thesis on Slime Moulds.

But this week has actually been very kind in supplying quirky facts. Because I can now add:

“…who once nearly blew himself up in a Victorian cottage on top of Table Mountain.”
“…who once played Beat The Intro against a Quantum Physicist at a braai in Constantia.”

What fun we had.
(OK, the nearly blowing myself up bit wasn’t great, but it does make for a good story.)

So… the obvious question is: what would your best quirky fact be for your Only Connect introduction? The more bizarre, the better. But of course, they have to be true.

No blog today

Well, apart from this one, obviously.

I was going to write reams about really exciting stuff when I sat down yesterday evening, but then an accidental click here (or there), and suddenly I was down the rabbit hole that is Only Connect Series 9.

It even beat the football for my viewing pleasure.

I might still be watching as I – they’re the only countries to have those as their last letter of their name – as I am writing this. Maybe I’ve just given away the fact that I’m writing this yesterday evening.

Maybe I’ll pop something up later in the day. But then again, I might not.
I have a very busy day planned.


So, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
I mean, I couldn’t if I tried.

Different names

I was binge-watching Only Connect again last night.
I got as far as Series 11. Episode 21.
The Scientists vs The String Section.
Gripping stuff.

And while there were many brilliant questions on offer, there was one which stood out for me, so I’ve elaborated upon it a little and reproduced it here.

All you’re looking for is the thing which connects these clues. The sooner you get it (correctly, of course), the more points you score.

Here we go:

Strudel (Israel)

Sleeping Cat (Finland)

Monkey’s Tail (The Netherlands)

Elephant’s Trunk (Denmark)

Snail (Italy)

Curled Alpha (Norway)

Wild A (Serbia)


That’s your lot, I’m afraid. If you’re still struggling (or if you’re not), the answer is down below. How quickly did you get it? Did you get it? Leave me a comment and tell me how you got on.
I’m guessing that my resident Israeli reader might have got this one sewn up. Unless she actually went for “apple pies”. Because it’s not them.









The earliest yet discovered reference to this thing is a religious one; it features in a Bulgarian translation of a Greek chronicle written by Constantinos Manasses in 1345. Held today in the Vatican Apostolic Library, it features it in place of the capital letter alpha “A” in the word Amen. Why it was used in this context is still a mystery.

It first appeared on a typewriter in 1889.

And it has no official name in English.

The answer is… the @ symbol.

Well done if you got it.

My day

[Day 57 in the Big Brother House, and 6000 is getting twitchy.]

Truth is, it’s actually only Day 8. But this is post an operation that was supposed to take 3 days to recover from. And I’m nowhere near yet.

The good news is that I think that the bleeding in my knee has now stopped. So it’s now “just” a case of keeping it raised and iced and getting rid of all that fluid that’s stuck in my leg. That leg is a mess, physically and visually. My modelling career may be over (long) before it had even begun.

And while lying in bed binge-watching back episodes of Only Connect might be some peoples idea of heaven (me included, actually), it’s tempered somewhat by the pain each time I move anything anywhere.

So yes, I am a bit twitchy and a bit grumpy and a bit down. But then so might you be if you were stuck in my condition, forced to stay at home, and with this week’s lab work already a large blot on next week’s horizon.

Maybe a bit (more) of Series 12 will help with my situation…