If you saw today’s Countdown, you’ll know that it was quite an exciting match – but I was pipped at the post. It was surprising that I didn’t do a lot worse: the chap I was up against already had 4 wins under his belt. I wasted points early on – I could have got quite close on a numbers round, but didn’t bother to declare as I was sure Jonathan Liew would get 10 points – and he messed it up. Then later I managed to make an embarrassing spelling mistake (comes of having been a French teacher for all those years: appease in English is apaise in French with one -p-.) Fortunately, getting a 9-letter word gave me a big advantage, but when it came to the crucial conundrum I hadn’t spotted where I was supposed to look for the jumbled-up letters. Silly me. Never mind, Jonathan (a really nice guy) is brilliant at the maths and pretty good at the words. I bet he makes it as an octochamp.
The important thing is that Nick Hewer asked me about Hastings Sierra Leone, so we got some useful publicity. If anyone gets to this site because I invited viewers to Google ‘Hastings Sierra Leone’, it’ll all have been worthwhile. It was good fun taking part, seeing how a studio works (you’d be amazed at how basic the set is – everything has to be manually swapped around between the word rounds and the numbers rounds), and everyone was very nice to the poor contestants. Your brain freezes under the pressure, and 30 seconds flies by, especially when you’ve got a tricky calculation to do. Talking of calculations, I’ve been sponsored for £234 plus Gift Aid. All for the health centre project, of course. If any Link members fancy free-fall sky-diving, I’ll be happy to sponsor them.