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"Better days will return,” Queen Elizabeth II said, echoing the beloved World War II-era song “We’ll Meet Again” that offered hope to many on the front lines. “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
While the country is in lockdown and we are self-isolating, regular communication with friends and family is key. Since the lockdown everyone's gone absolutely mad for pub quizzes. The complete lack of the 'pub' bit of the pub quiz would, you'd think, take away much of the appeal, but linking up with mates via trivia does make a lot of sense. Pub quizzes are an essential pillar of Britain's national character, but they're a very handy way of getting otherwise flaky mates to coalesce around an activity. We all need a bit of direction at the minute, and a pub quiz sits right in the sweet spot of normality and novelty.
Seeing groups of friends exclusively via your phone or tablet still doesn't feel normal, and it's difficult to have a coherent conversation when one person's five times louder than everyone else and two people keep lagging and freezing. The quiz gives some much-needed structure to the whole experience.
Here at SageBrown head quarters, AKA home, we've embraced the pub quiz and this is our quick guide to get you going over the Easter break.
1. Pick your platform
This is critical. One person needs to make a call as to how you're going to see and hear each other, and it has to be at least one day in advance of the quiz itself. We use Zoom but there are others like House Party or WhatsApp.
2. Choose a date and time
We get together every Sunday at 8pm with a drink, nibbles and bundles of enthusiasm. Set up a WhatsApp group if you havent already got one and see who is keen to participate. This could be your gym mates, your book club members, your old Uni friends, your family or neighbours.
3.Nominate a quiz master(s)
Depending on the group size, one or two quiz masters are a good number for variety and diversity. They need to come up with 2 or 3 themes and 10 questions per theme with the occasional bonus points thrown in. To give you an idea, choose a theme like The 80's, Sport, Music, The Classics and research 10 questions for each theme. Don't make them too hard and don't overthink it. That said, this is an opportunity for some creativity, with pictures or music thrown in for good measures. Dont just "Google it". Choose a subject you're interested in and if you're worried your friends don’t share your fascination with steam engines or Harry Potter, opt for multiple choice.
4. Structure is everything
Drinks and nibbles are a must - it's a pub quiz after all! At the start, enjoy a brief catch up altogether then put everyone on mute and begin your questions. After each round, un-mute your friends and give out the aswers. You will need to keep the scores so there is a winner and then perhaps the top two scoring people are next week's quiz masters? After 3 rounds, schedule a rest room and refilll break.
This way of socialising is new to us all and it can be difficult to come to terms with all this technology. If mistakes are made, then so what, give it a go and learn on the job, everyone else is!
If you're the nominated quiz master, here are 10 questions on leather that will test people's knowledge.
(Answers are at the end!)
Q1: Shell cordovan (or cordovan) is a type of leather commonly used in high-end shoemaking.
What animal is Cordovan leather derived from?
Q2: The hides of mammals are composed of three layers, what are they?
Q3:The "Lady Dior" bag was famously adorned and associated with one of the world's most publicised women, of whom ordered the bag in every version. Who was this Lady?
Q4: Any well made leather bag will last a life time, and will develop it's own characteristics as it ages. From affects such as sunlight, dirt, wear and tear, leather bags can develop a desirable hallmark soft sheen and darken in colour. What is this known as?
Q5: The Hermes Birkin bag is an iconic handbag style. Who is it named after? and what was their profession?
Q6: Sagebrown products are often lined in contrast suede, adding an extra touch of luxury. It's a type of leather made from the underside of the animal skin, giving it a soft surface. Suede is usually made from lambskin, but it is also made from other types of animals. Name 2 more.
Q7: How many items of leather does an average consumer possess?
Q8: Golf balls were once made of leather, but what were they stuffed with?
Q9: What is The Queen's favourite handbag brand? (it's not SageBrown btw)
Q10: In medieval times, what was used to colour or soften leather?
Just after writing this blog our neighbours are out on the street clapping and banging wooden spoons on pans to thank the NHS and front line workers who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of all of us. "Every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times” said the Queen.
At the same time we are all clapping, one of our neighbours is playing the Monte Python song, "Always look on the bright side of life". I've never really taken much notice of the lyrics of this infamous song, but they ring true at this time of uncertainty:
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best
Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life
If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing
Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life
So, why should we always look on the bright side of life? Research suggests that optimists are more likely to survive health threats . Dont get too serious: instead of Easter Eggs this year my lovely mum made Covid inspired gingerbread men. It made me giggle at her creativity at this time.
It's the little things that put a smile on our faces. With this in mind, the SageBrown family would like to wish you a safe and Happy Easter with special memories and beautiful moments that maybe shared over a video chat.
Remember we are offering complimentary delivery on all UK orders and don’t forget to take 20% off your purchase with code SPRING20.
A1: Shell cordovan is the name for a leather derived from the hindquarters of a horsehide.
A2.1 Epidermis, a thin outer layer
A2.2 Corium, or dermis, the thick central layer
A2.3 Subcutaneous fatty layer.
A3: Lady Diana
A5.1 Jane Birkin
Created in 1984, the iconic bag boasts as its namesake muse Paris-based British actress Jane Birkin. Its existence was a happy accident, borne out of an exchange between Birkin and former Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas on an Air France flight from Paris to London in the early ’80s. Birkin, who had been upgraded, ended up sitting next to the executive; when the contents spilled out of her bag, Dumas suggested she needed one with pockets, and this sparked a conversation about her ideal accessory. As she recounted to The Telegraph in 2012, the actress ended up doodling her specifications for “a handbag that is bigger than the Kelly but smaller than Serge [Gainsbourg]’s suitcase” on a sick bag. The rest is handbag history.
A6: Goats, pigs, calves, deer.
A7: The average consumer is wearing four leather products at any given time.
Dating back to the early 19th century, wooden golf balls were replaced with leather. Those newer leather balls were stuffed with enough feathers to fill an entire top hat!
A10: B Urine
Ammonia in water acts as a caustic but weak base. Its high pH breaks down organic material, making urine the perfect substance for ancients to use in softening and colouring animal hides. Soaking animal skins in urine also made it easier for leather workers to remove hair and bits of flesh from the skin.