Returning to my hometown in January this year was fairly daunting. Would things be the same? How would new routines compare to old?
Luckily for me, two friends had also returned to Oxford and we decided to commit to the Old Bookbinder’s weekly pub quiz. This quickly became the highlight of the week – a chance to socialise, test our brains and create new traditions.
It is testament to the pub’s innovative nature that this social staple was not lost when the lockdown struck. Every Tuesday at 9pm, quizmaster and pub landlord Josh Mullett-Sadones jumps on Facebook Live to host the six-round quiz for a virtual audience from around the world (teams have been known to tune in from Canada and Columbia).
As my teammate Joss puts it: “The best thing about the quiz is just how much has remained the same despite the move online. The questions are still written by ex-employee Fiona - who no longer lives in the country but still has the dedication to deliver a new quiz every week. Josh presents the quiz digitally with just as much bravado and enthusiasm as he does in person, and we still get the highly sought-after appearances from Brutus, the pub dog.”
Apart from the occasional strain to hear the music round, there are added benefits to taking part in the quiz virtually. Joss notes “it’s easy to instantly react and comment about the questions being read out, without having to scream ‘HEY! What was question 4 again?’ over the noise of a crowded pub.” And fellow teammate Jenny adds that it’s a good way of getting more of the family involved.
As well as continuing to raise money for local charity Helen & Douglas House – there are links to donate the usual quiz entry fee on the Old Bookbinder’s Facebook page – taking part in the quiz has had a positive impact. Jenny says, “it’s always good to have the weekly wake up call on how important it is to stretch the brain and think about something other than coronavirus.”
Things are not the same, and we’re all having to adjust to new routines at this time, but I would highly recommend adding the Old Bookbinder’s weekly virtual pub quiz to yours.