Monthly meetings

The Broken Drummers has met at least once a month since late 2004. We usually meet on the first Monday of the month, although May meetings tend to be rescheduled in order to avoid a clash with the Wincanton Spring Event.

Reports of our meetings are archived below. All reports are by Helen Nicholls unless stated otherwise.

Future Meetings
July 2015

Report by Sim Lauren

Drummers July Report

Alcohol was drunk.
The punnes... OMG the Punnes!
Cootie-boxes were debated.
Paper flowers happened.
I'm not allowed to say that there was shark wrestling.
There was a shirt with *probably* a thousande elephants!
There was a discussion about how a Tasmanian has hair on his palm.
There was a quiz. It was on Marvel superheroes. And got very difficult very quickly. But there was lots of hints, so that's OK. Alex won the quiz without having to claim any bonuses for having the best Mustache. He is plotting the next one already!
There are Larry badges. They had an out of cheese error, and will re-emerge infinitely better.
We also debated if the phrase "Gary Gygax put TSR up his nose" is slander, libel, true or alleged.

June 2015
Monday night was the busiest non-Christmas Drummers meeting we've ever had. Larry and Judy's son Marc was over from the USA with his wife Erin. It's the first time we've seen Marc since he moved to Texas about five years ago. We also had another visitor from the USA, Malinda.
Early on I saw a gentleman in a tricorn hat approaching and just knew it was someone for Drummers. His name was Robin and he was a friend of Chris'. Later another of Chris' friends, Tracy, appeared. Sadly, I didn't get the chance to speak to her as it was so busy. Sim has also been recruiting; her friend Mike came along. He already knew Robin. It's a small world.
Malinda asked about the history of Drummers. I told her about the time Jack turned up to a Meet-up that consisted of him and a journalist writing an article on Meet-ups and decided he would take control and start a group. Within a short time I heard a cry of, "there he is!" I turned to find over glorious founder standing behind me looking very smart in his suit. 
All evening people poured in - including Bill, who came to Drummers on his birthday - and we gradually commandeered more and more tables. It was a very lively evening, about 22 in total. I'm told that after we left things descended into card tricks. Sim will not confirm or deny starting it but says she didn't end it. Whatever happened next I suspect Bill was involved.
Next meeting is Monday 6th July. Jessica is doing a quiz, which I believe is on superheroes.
May 2015

So we met on May the Fourth. I had a Star Wars quiz prepared and a "May the Force Be With You" badge as a prize. The quiz was typically raucous. Chris argued about one of the questions so much I accidentally revealed the answer. So just to confirm: the original movie was just called Star Wars. In 1981 it was re-released with the sub-title "Episode IV: A New Hope". That was so that The Empire Strikes Back could be Episode V. So there.

Jessica won the badge. Since she is not going to be here next time, I will sort out a quiz or alternative. Unless I have a volunteer. As I explained to Barbara P. anyone can do a quiz.

April 2015 Meeting
The Broken Drummers met on Easter Monday. As expected most of the talk early on was about Terry. We also discovered that most of the people present were librarians at school (as was Terry). One exception was Alex C. who was an armourer, which was apparently like being a librarian but with guns rather than books (this is really true, Alex went to a military school). 
Andrew gave the toast to Terry. He reminded us of Terry's statement that a person never dies until the ripples they created fade. Jessica then told us about all the tributes to Terry that took place at EasterCon and handed out some goodies.
We had one new person, Barbara. Others present included some of the newest members who seemed very keen to help recruit more newbies. I promised that I really was going to sort out flyers and the Facebook group. I've meant to do it for years and I'm writing it down now so that you can remind me to get on with it. Then I can remind Marina and Phil that they volunteered. 
Later in the evening conversation turned to upcoming events. Then somehow we got onto singing silly songs and discussing the etymology of swearwords. Marina was especially puzzled by the similarity of words for the female genitalia in unrelated languages. The best explanation I could come up with was "people have always had them."
That's it for now. It only remains for me to say thank you to Terry Pratchett for sowing the seeds that grew into Drummers and every other permutation of Discworld fandom. He used to say that he felt like Frankenstein did as the monster was walking out of the door. I can imagine. However, he once said to me that he felt very blessed with his fans because we were all such nice people. Without Terry I would never have met any of you, including my husband. So, once again: thank you Terry. May the ripples you made echo through the years (OK that's mixing a metaphor) and may your monster grow and carry on lurching.
February 2015
It was a cold winter's night but around nine of us made it to the Monkey Puzzle nevertheless. I arrived to find that my husband had bought a patterned bobble hat with ear flaps and plaited cords. He insists that it is a good hat.
Eunice did her first quiz. It was on Discworld love interests. I won and was faced with the problem that the prize, an R2D2 Pez dispenser complete with sweets, already belonged to me and I did not want to take it home. Since Andrew was in second place I gave the prize to Sim as she seemed to want it very badly. She declared that she would take it to work and use it to dispense treats to people who have been good. We marvelled at her Pavlovian management skills.
Eunice and Sim discussed a gig they had both been to. I only tuned into that conversation when I heard Sim say that she was, "yelling obscenities in Australian!" She also said something about it being, "piratey, punny fun."
Andrew wore his new hat back to the station. He insisted that a hat says a lot about a person's character. Eunice looked at him appraisingly and observed that this was certainly true.
July 2013

I came down with a bug on the day and therefore was unable to go to the meeting. Meanwhile, my inbox was filled with apologies from regulars also unable to make it. At first it looked like this meeting would go unrecorded but Tim W was there and took notes:

"It was a select gathering last Monday. Only 5 of us made it to the Monkey Puzzle, including the long absent Watt (aka Bill), Sandra, myself plus two newbies.

"Conversation was centred around introducing the newbies to the various Events, Cons and other gatherings we have, with the old timers boring to death the young'uns! Much discussion was had about the upcoming Wadfest including some plotting and planning.

"By the time we got to quiz time there was only 3 of us left so agreed to postpone it (again!) and so August will see The Much Ptim Quiz!!! See you there!"

So there you are.


June 2013
We had a good turnout, including 3 Americans who had deliberately scheduled their holiday so that they could come to Drummers. Tere informed me that she got into Discworld after attending a signing with a friend who went to school with Terry Pratchett. We also had another new member, Mark.
Chris and Eunice are preparing for the Nine Worlds Geekfest, which sounds great (I only wish it didn't clash with Wadfest). Chris is also preparing for a whole host of Discworld events around the globe that I didn't even know existed. There was a brief period of hilarity when Lord Vetinari was spotted leaning out of the window of one of the flats opposite using a mobile phone. The resemblance was uncanny and a couple of attempts were made to take a picture but sadly the camera phones didn't have a good enough zoom. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Tim W was unable to make it with a quiz but Eunice did bring Discworld Fiasco. There was much speculation about Tim's whereabouts, including the suggestion that he was unable to make it because he is the new Doctor. He did attempt to email me the quiz but we were unable to open the file so we will save it until next time.

May 2013

Drummers met a week early, on 29th April, in order to avoid a clash with the Wincanton Spring Fling. We had some discussion of rude messages hidden in apparently innocent communications, which led to a discussion of Rickrolling. We recounted the day Andrew rickrolled me in person, which fixed our stereo. A miracle, I'm sure you will agree.

 Tim E. did his first ever quiz. I advised that the first thing to do is establish authority. Tim replied that this was impossible as his wife, Sim, was absent and she IS the authority. Tim did a quiz on song lyrics, which coincidentally included Rick Asteley's greatest hit. Yes, Drummers was Rickrolled. I should add that there was also a hint of corruption as Tim included a question that only Sim was likely to know, apparently so she wouldn't kill him. However, she was not there to gain and the prize (a box Sim and Tim were going to throw away) went to Tim W.

April 2013

The last meeting was on April Fools' Day and at first it looked like the joke was on us as it was just me and Andrew there. However, as with most bank holidays, people started to appear around 7.30. I had resisted the urge earlier in the day to email the list with the news that Terry had agreed to be a judge on Strictly Come Dancing and instead devised a foolish quiz. It was the Fools' Guild exam paper and contained questions on cheesy jokes. I brought Andrew's jester's hat along for good measure. Some, Eunice and Alex in particular, claimed to be far too sophisticated to know such things but others took to it well, especially Tim E who fully grasped the basic principle that all jokes must be authorised. He was declared the Drummer's Fool and as a prize had his photo taken wearing the hat.

Afterwards there was an incredible amount of discussion of video games, especially Overlord: Dark Legend (script by Rhianna Pratchett), which I am currently playing and The Legend of Zelda series generally. I got very animated about thrusting the Master Sword into Ganondorf's head at the end of Wind Waker and then realised that I was scaring people.

March 2013
I arrived late on and pretty tired on Monday having had a prior and more serious meeting to attend. I'm told that I missed Sandra completely. Monday seems a long time ago now but I recall launching into a rant about the onanistic tendencies of some writers shortly after I arrived.
Eunice tells me that so far we have not generated many ideas for the Nine Worlds Geekfest. Please, if anyone thinks of anything or wants to get involved please let her know. Unfortunately most of the Drummers regulars are going to Wadfest the same weekend.
Tim did a fiendish quiz but managed to avoid death threats. Everyone seemed pretty tired as is often the way at this time of year. I won and will therefore be doing the next one.
February 2013

I arrived late to find a large gathering. We had three new members Ellie, organiser of the Irish Discword Convention, Jonny and Charles, also known as Murgatroyd on the forum. We also had a visit from Pat, who is in London for a few days. He came wearing his duck bow-tie and cufflinks.

Colin took an environmentally friendly approach to the quiz. He recycled one from a few years ago. He actually brought two but decided to use the harder one in honour of Dr Harkin's visit. This decision was popular with everyone else as the difficult quiz was short. I remembered some of the questions from last time. The good folk of Hartlepool hanging a monkey in the mistaken belief that it was a Frenchman stuck in my mind . However, it was Tim who won the quiz and the dubious honour of setting the next one. I've noticed that responses to quizzes are becoming increasingly violent. This time it was suggested that after the quiz Colin should be taken outside and burned. Once again I pointed out that anyone can do a quiz or an alternative activity but was told that it is far more fun to criticise a quizmaster than it is to be one. Nevertheless I advise Tim to proceed with caution.

January 2013

January is usually a quiet month for Drummers but this year the meeting was far enough from New Year's Day to get a reasonable attendance. Chris prepared a special quiz on firsts, where he provided the answers and participants had to supply the questions. It was a tough quiz, so much so that at one point Larry suggested that the relevant questions might be, "When was the last time a pub quizmaster was hung, drawn and quartered?" However, Colin won by miles because, as he said, general knowledge is his special subject. He will be doing the next quiz so beware!

We had a new member come along. Bailey, from the USA, will be in London for the next few months. I made everyone introduce themself and say one thing they liked and disliked. Lots of people seemed in a positive frame of mind, struggling to think of a dislike. As someone who could easily fill a Room 101 Christmas special, I find this amazing. Judy caused outrage when people heard that she did not like kittens until it became clear that what she had actually said was "kidneys" (which immediately prompted the question of whether this included her own). Discussion of religion followed. Bailey revealed that she was once almost thrown out of a Sunday school class for mistaking Jesus for one of the Beatles. Chris meanwhile was actually expelled from two Sunday schools for pedantry and for asking questions about armadilloes in the book of Deuteronomy and other technicalities. He assures us that hedgehogs are kosher.

December 2012

The Christmas party went smoothly. We had about 19 in total including Sharon and Gary, two Australians on holiday in London who decided to pay us a visit. There was also a surprise visit from Elizabeth who extended her Hogswatch visit before returning to Russia.

Chris bought a prototype quiz for South Africa's first Hogswatch. We were asked to have a go to see whether it was too difficult. I think most people's answer was "yes!" Meanwhile, I provided the main quiz. For once knowledge of Discworld was of no use whatsoever as it was a Christmas songs quiz. Months of no quizzes have mellowed me a little so I was willing to turn a blind eye to collusion, mostly because I was hoping for a tie, which would have to be broken by a sing off. However, my authoritarian instincts kicked in when Larry started playng songs on his phone. Everyone did well but Chris was the clear winner and won a box of Cadbury's milk tray.

Eunice baked a batch of bread turtles filled with chocolate. These were pretty hard on the outside but I ate one and found it quite appealing. Daren and James, the last to arrive found themselves banished to the "naughty table" for the meal but Gary (the landlord) was very apologetic about this and as we left he assured James several times that he would be given a special seat next time. The meal, as usual, was excellent.

November 2012

This week I was fully awake and alert and much more able to enjoy myself. Chris made it with his long awaited quiz. This was the first quiz since April and Chris, usually a tough quizmaster, had prepared a picture quiz based on the Ankh-Morpork game cards. Collaboration was permitted and in one case (you know who you are) consulting the new Discworld Companion was overlooked. Scores were high, everyone getting over thirty points. Andrew and I won and will apparently receive an orginal Ponder Stibbons game piece. Which is frickin' awesome. Thanks to Chris for both quiz and generous prize.

Twelve people came in total, Larry spontaneously brought out a couple of modelling balloons and made a snake and a mouse (or was it a poodle?). I placed the mouse in the coils of the snake, which made the models seem appealingly artistic. Chris updated us on all the latest Pratchett gossip and Daren explained to me in graphic detail why chocolate coated peanuts are, in fact very healthy.

October 2012

I was not well in October and left the meeting early. The report was as follows:

For complex reasons you really don't want to know (or rather that I would rather not relate), I've not have a good few weeks. I made it to Drummers Monday but probably shouldn't have done and we left early. There was much discussion of the latest series of Dr. Who. Broadly favourable but all had reservations. We had a new member come along. Like me he loves The Legend of Zelda series.

September 2012

Last month we had two visitors from the USA, Sarah and Z (pronounced 'zee' not 'zed'). Eunice also brought along two new members, Tracy and Simon. She also bought Cards Against Humanity. I had heard that she had planned to bring a game and since Chris was unable to make it with his quiz, it seemed like a good alternative. It was a simple game that consisted of choosing which of a number of cards with a name, word or phrase was best suited to the topic drawn. There person whose turn it is decides which is the best. It just so happened that most topics and cards were either outright smutty, laden with innuendo or just bizarre. I am pleased to say that I won the game I played despite joining late and thus being at a disadvantage. As James B. philosophically observed, "there has to be some smut, otherwise it wouldn't be right."

When I rejoined the conversation at the other end of the table I had to readjust my brain not to find innuendo everywhere. We talked about bizarre legal cases, Dave Hodges tent pegs and I recall lots about geology as well. Jax was also able to give us news from the recent Discworld Convention. We had a good attendance, thirteen people in total, although Gary (the landlord) commented early on that we were unusually quiet, possible because the disreputable game at the end of the table was keeping people occupied. Next meeting is Monday 1st October. I hope that it will be raucous and Chris will be able to attend with his far more respectable quiz.

In other news, a new sister group, Broken Vectis Drummers will meet in the Isle of Wight for the first time this month. I wish them luck.

August 2012

We had a busy evening, fifteen people in all. This included a diplomatic visit from Daniel, esteemed founder of Drummers Downunder (Perth). Also in attendance was the founder of the orginal Sydney Drummers Downunder, Sim, who brought along her Perplexity cards, cards with puzzles on. These were fun to look at and various people had a go throughout.

I was gratified to hear from Sim and Daniel that our quizzes are far more difficult than the Drummers Downunder ones because we are apparently better at quizzes, although Eunice promptly told me that my quizzes are too difficult. Once again, there was no quiz this time. I was considering a different activity but the Monkey Puzzle were showing Olympic events on all their screens so the surroundings were just too noisy. Maybe next time. 

Fi also came along, for the first time in nearly a year. She's hoping to bring along another person who hasn't been for years at some point.

Next meeting is Monday 3rd September. Meanwhile you can follow Drummers on Twitter @brokendrummers (yes, really, I swore I wouldn't do this but it's worth a try). I'm looking for a volunteer to restart and maintain the old Facebook group as well.

July 2012

By Helen Nicholls and Sim Lauren

Sadly, I was unable to make this month's meeting so once again I left Sim in charge. Her report was as follows:

"Order Maintained!
We had lots of fun making origami spinners:
Here are some inferior instructions for those who were not at the meetup!
I can't speak for everyone, but I'm very happy that we were folding the spinner, and not the cabbages!
...DW theme or not!
There were abstract kitty puppets, and a superior Parrot puppet.
Wossname eventually lost his voice, but not before attracting the attention of several patrons, a few kitchen staff, and one very confused doggie.
I got absolutely absorbed in a conversation with Eunice and Jax about knitting, that I have no idea what else happened for like 2 hours at the end."

Make of that what you will.

June 2012

As tends to be the way on bank holidays people arrived later than usual. We were there early having been to the British Museum with birthday boy Daren. Fortunately Eunice was also early. She brought freshly baked cakes and cookies and told us all about polyamorous relationships - with diagrams.

My Jubilee avoidance plan for the weekend was thwarted as the Monkey Puzzle were determined to celebrate it. They had a large screen just near us showing the concert. Everyone joined in the singing when Tom Jones came on and then the chef came out of the kitchen and handed out Union Jack hats. I was extremely tired and decided to leave before I fell asleep or everyone started standing for the national anthem.

After that is anyone's guess. I imagine everyone carried on singing along and being jolly and patriotic. To which I say "meh".

May 2012

May's meeting occurred on 30th April as the following weekend was a Discworld event. I was unable to make it as it was too close to my final exam. I left Sim in charge. This was the report I got back:

"we got 9 ppls.
quiz went well. Scores ranged form 22 (adjusted) to 37, so my machinations worked well. *grins*

It was a very different atmosphere without the Lolcat-police... There was much enthusiasm in response to the proposal of - Helen can has loled report?
you are lucky though, because I'm wiped, so you'll have to use your imagination as to just how very much awful this could have been.

Towards the end, the rowdies stayed around sharing their mutual hatred of Sharepoint, which seemed to quickly descent into a general questioning of why common sense isn't common.

Also - note for future reference: Starting up a Drummers Band = Bad idea.
Actually I wouldn't recommend that we ever do a karaoke night either.

thankyou for putting me in charge - it was awesome.

April 2012

We arrived just before 7.00 to find a large gathering already present and were chastised for lateness despite being ten minutes early. That said there is no problem with lateness, provided you don't turn up after everyone has left. Eleven came in total, I did last month's quiz, which was won by Chris. However, he will not be doing the next quiz because Sim has volunteered to do May's quiz. She tells me that the format will allow every participant will be able to get a score in double figures.

Otherwise, Eunice was accused of indecency when retrieving something from behind the seat and had to be reminded that Drummers is a decent and respectable group (no sniggering at the back). She was unrepentant. Chris boasted of his prowess in making bad puns, claiming that he had faced Pat Harkin himself in a pun contest. The result was apparently a draw as onlookers were beaten into submission by the awfulness of the puns. He too was unrepentant. Colin gave a whole three minutes of pro bono legal advice (at least I hope it was pro bono as Drummers has no funds). Also an old man intervened mid-way through the quiz to accuse Chris of cheating. He then asked to see the quiz paper and was pleased to see that the answer to one question was "Cat" as this is apparently his nickname.

Next month's meeting is Monday 30th April. It is still the May meeting, it occurs a few hours before May technically begins. After that we return to the usual first Monday schedule. I'm not sure if I'll make it as I have an exam a couple of days later but if not I'm sure Sim can maintain order.

March 2012

This week's meeting was a quiet one. We had ten in total. There was much technical talk on pharmceuticals, chemicals, exploding trousers, planes, finance and computer programs. Sim spent a long time answering the question "what's your name?" and I never got the complete answer due to fears that I might use it for identity theft.

For various reasons Simon, Kate, Sandra and Patrick all had to leave early. We decided to save the quiz until next time. The theme is masquerade [note spelling]. We were not far behind as Andrew and I were exhausted. What Jax, Sim, Tim and (eventually) Colin got up to after that is anyone's guess.

Hopefully everyone will be more lively when we next meet on April 2nd. I will be doing the quiz. Meanwhile at the May meeting on April 30th (look it'll be a few hours before May technically begins) Sim will be doing the quiz. She was considering a format where everyone gets points for every question but who knows what she'll come up with. Volunteers for the other dates also very welcome although you can decide nearer the time.

February 2012

Monday evening was cold and dark and frost remained on the ground. Nevertheless, twelve of us made our way to the Monkey Puzzle. These included Naomi who, due to transport disruption, faced a journey home that would take hours and Jacqui who, despite being ill and slightly injured, came along so that we might have a quiz. I hope others may be inspired by their example (in an abstract sort of a way, we don't want people spreading disease every month).

To be honest, I can barely remember what happened; I was pretty knackered having just gotten over two weeks (two bloody weeks!) of illness and having spent most of the day trying to entice students into doing surveys. Sandra told us an unbelievable amount about pharmaceuticals, sickness being on everyone's minds, and the SAS. Simon vetoed John Williams is the Man early on so there was no singing this time. I won the quiz, that much I remember.

January 2012

I was expecting a low turnout so close to New Year. As with last January it was quiet for the first hour then everyone arrived at around eight. We had eleven in total including Daren's daughter, Sabrina, who came along for the first time. The break has clearly done people good. We had an especially raucous meeting. There was a lot of signing, particularly of gold songs Colin treated us to a rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to the tune of Deutschland Uber Alles and for some reason I ended up singing A Policeman's Lot is not a Happy One. Then we got onto Weebl and Bob songs, Sabrina and Alex seem to be word perfect on Owls and Narwhals.

As promised there was a nice easy quiz, on pets of the Discworld. Jacqui won and got a soap in the shape of a Blackberry (the machine) with a plastic bookmark inside (why, we have no idea). She will be doing the next quiz.

We will continue to meet on the first Monday of the month this year. There may be a clash of dates in either May or June depending on the timing of the Wincanton Spring event. If so I will announce a change. The forum thread on the subject suggests that the date will be announced soon.

I have made a decision to stop doing birthday cards. I have been doing it for the last five years and as the group grows the tasks gets more and more unwieldy (and expensive). I hope everyone's ok with this. Any complaints will be treated as volunteering.

December 2011

This year's Christmas party didn't quite break our attendance record (33) but it came a very respectable second place as 27 people made it along. This came as something of a surprise as we were only expecting 23. However, the Monkey Puzzle managed to find Christmas dinners for two extras at the last minute and bar meals for another two. We just about managed to squeeze everyone around the large table that the Puzzle had laid out for us.

There were newbies as well: Adele and Elizabeth, who many of you will have met at the events, and Joe and Becky, who are completely new to the group. Chris did a quiz entitled "The True Meaning of Hogswatch and Christmas", which turned out to be shopping. I won the assortment of convention goodies that he had brought along as prizes and the honour of setting the next quiz. Fear not, it will be a kind gentle quiz to ease you into the New Year.

Steve took a number of photos and I look forward to seeing them, although the flash was so bright we fear that he is using the same methods as Otto Chreik in The Truth. The meal was fantastic (mine was, anyway). As I tucked into the venison steak I reflected that maybe it was for the best that Bambi's mother didn't come back.

November 2011

Last night was the quietest we've had for a long time, with just 7 people in total. Since Jax couldn't make it I did the quiz. Andrew won but should be spared the task of doing it next time as Chris has volunteered to do a special quiz for Christmas (please confirm this for me, Chris). Out of interest, do people rely on me sending out a reminder to say there's going to be a meeting? I'm just curious as to whether the low attendance was because I sent out the notice late or if it is just a random thing [conclusion: it is a random thing].

The thing I remember most clearly from last night was Eunice increasing everyone's biological knowledge. Sadly that is as much of that conversation as I can decently report.

October 2011

Last night saw a smaller than usual gathering, with just nine in total. By chance this seemed to mostly consist of the old guard including Fi, who has not been to a meeting for a couple of years. It was nice to reflect that in 2005 nine would have been a good attendance.

Jack turned up with his head shaved. The general consensus, confirmed by an image search, was that he looked like Brian Glover. Sim was the first to trigger the appearance of my new accessory, a sign saying, "LOL-free zone", by using the dread language of Lolcat. She was not the last. Andrew bought me the postcard because I have told him off for using it at home. I immediately felt the need to attach it to a stick and bring it to Drummers. (Andrew said that I could not bring rest of the dowel from which I cut the stick to hit repeat offenders so I settled for hitting Sim on the head with the sign instead. Threats of further violence only led to bright exclamations of "I can haz spanking?") If none of this means anything to you, know that you are blessed and resist the temptation to type "Lolcats" into Google.

Despite the small numbers, there was demand for the quiz (from Jax). I had prepared a quiz on the relatives of Discworld characters, which Jax won by a long shot. She won a self-assembly anime figurine or as she put it, "a Kinderegg without the chocolate", she will be doing the next quiz. The winner of that will be free from the burden, however as Chris is preparing a special quiz for Christmas.

September 2011

Last Saturday was the Drummers' summer party. Ten of us met up at my Dad's house in Wanstead. Several long-term members who haven't been for quite a while came along and it was great to catch up. The events that stick in my mind are: James' claim that Maltesers wrapped in the plasticky cheese you get in burgers taste really good. I tried this and disagreed. Colin agreed to repeat the experiment "for science" and concluded that since the cheese tasted of very little it didn't taste particularly good or bad. In light of such an inconclusive result I suggest everyone try it for themselves and send me the result. It's for science. Sim turned up wearing a time traveller's T-shirt with everything you need to know if you are suddenly transported to the past. Jacqui spent some time reading it aloud to us all. Many silly things were said and done until nearly midnight. The conversation that particularly sticks in my mind is pubic waxes that look like Hitler's moustache.

Lots of people were sorry not to be able to make it, however I'm planning to do it again next year and will give plenty of notice. I'm sure my Dad will be amenable (thank Fi for that, she was the one who insisted we clean everything up before going to bed).

It was two Drummers' meetings in two days for those of us that made both the barbecue and Monday's meeting. I think the total was 16, if you count a very fleeting visit from a Discworld fan from Devon in London for the day. Chris P popped in for about 10 minutes and left for a long coach journey home. Andrew again decided to lecture everyone on his new favourite programme, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (currently available on YouTube). It seems he is not the only man at Drummers to enjoy this programme. Alex declared that he is also a 'Bronie' (one of the brotherhood of ponies) and also reads the fan fiction, which apparently is "very well written". Alex walked back to Paddington with us and he and Andrew did the "Bro-hooves" salute across the barrier as we parted. We sang the Monty Python Philosophers' song at one point and there was much hilarity when a van pulled up outside the Puzzle bearing the legend "Al Shamel International Fright Services". Either a bad bit of signwriting or they supply Hallowe'en accessories. I'm still waiting for someone to send me the photo so that I can put it on the website. Jax (or Jacs as she tells me it is properly spelled) did a quiz on guilds, which I won. I will be doing the next quiz.

August 2011

Monday night's meeting seems a long time ago now. Chris regaled us with tales of the US Con and, according to Andrew, there was a sudden outbreak of knitting. The total attendance was 16.

Religion is a forbidden topic in some social groups. However, this is certainly not the case among Discworld fans and so I did a quiz on Religions of the Disc. Chis observed that I had worded questions very carefully to avoid his pedantic corrections (this was broadly true but I have always done this as there are several other pedants). He and Jax tied as winners and Chris eventually won the paper, scissors, stone tie-breaker but then remembered that he would not be able to make the next meeting so Jax will be doing the next quiz.

July 2011

I arrived early as usual to find that a lot of people had got there before me. It's good to see that the nice summer weather has made everyone so keen. Chris put in a brief appearance before flying off to the USA with Terry and Rob for the Convention. I am told it takes some times to recover after a night out with those two so I look forward to hearing about it (and the Con) next month. We had a surprise visit from Marie (aka Mazzie) from Sunderland, who took advantage of my inebriated state to ask if I would join in a skit for Wadfest. (If you don't know what Wadfest is then google it forthwith and book some tickets. We have a couple of spare tents if anyone needs one).Following his brilliant performance as Mr Tulip last week, Tim did a quiz on The Truth. Playing a bad guy has clearly had an effect, as it was fiendish even by his standards. I am proud to say that I acquitted myself well, so much so that I will be doing the next quiz. It has been pointed out to me once again that the same people usually win. My response to that is that anyone can do the quiz, just ask in advance. It can be on anything and in any format that people are willing to go along with (please no drinking games or strip poker).

Total attendance: 21, including a new guy who I did not get the chance to speak to because it was so busy.

June 2011

Ruth was able to fill me in on the Purple Theatre Company's production of The Truth. Claire is producer, Ruth is playing Sacharissa and, most intriguingly, Tim is going to be Mr Tulip. I was told that Tim has been practicing his inging whilst Ruth has become proficient at slapping and applying a knee to the groin. 

The meeting seemed less raucous than usual, people were actually quite well behaved during the quiz. I put this down to our actors being exhausted. Tim won my quiz on Discworld songs and was awarded a Toblerone, a welcome prize apparently because it is pudding and will not clutter up his house. He will be doing the next quiz. Chris entertained (if that is the right word) us with some really bad puns and we sang some silly songs. Colin and Daren arrived late bringing the total attendance up to 15.

May 2011

I was exhausted from exam pressure and the meeting turned out to be exactly what I needed. We had a good attendance of fourteen including Jack, our revered founder. We also have a new member, Patrick. Simon was finally able to do his quiz on the City Watch books, which finished by asking us to name every book that Commander Vimes appears in. I won by several points but was nevertheless indignant at being disallowed Nanny Ogg's cookbook (we make that kedgeree recipe, dammit) and the City Watch diary. I will be doing the next quiz.

We were sorry to hear that Colin was unable to make it as a new case had just come up. However our sadness was dispelled when Jacqui's explanation that he was in court tomorrow was met with a chorus of "Why, what's he done?" Great minds, eh.

April 2011

Andrew and I did not make the meeting, both being afflicted by a virus. I gather that the same was true for several other Drummers and I also had emails from a few who were unable to attend for other reasons.

This situation could have meant that no record of the meeting was kept for posterity. However, Judy kindly sent me a text to tell me about the evening. The attendance was low, just 8 in total. It was agreed that this number of participants was unworthy of the quiz that Simon had spent so much time lovingly crafting so it is being kept for next time. There was a surprise visit from Sim - founder of Drummers Downunder and long-time Broken Drummer in exile - with her fiancé Tim. They will be getting married in May. Congratulations to both!

March 2011

The meeting had a high attendance of 18 including Kirstine (aka GlingleFeegle) and Judy's brother Michael who both came along for the first time. I did a quiz on Good Omens, which was won by Simon. His prize was a keyring Operation game, although since the batteries had run out we had to rebrand it 'Dr Harkin's Operation' (note to non-event people, Pat Harkin is a pathologist well-known at Discworld events). Yes our stash of prizes is getting low but it's what it symbolises that really counts. A special mention should also go to Chris who knew a disturbing amount about the so-called 'Wicked Bible' and the history of the book of Revelation.

 Andrew's birthday was celebrated with chaotic singing when some people decided to sing the 'squashed tomatoes and stew' variant of 'Happy Birthday'. I suppose I should be thankful it wasn't the lavatorial version. He refused to let us give him the bumps, as at 45 he is far too frail.

February 2011

Despite the cold and disease, the meeting had an attendance of 15. It was great to catch up with everyone - for the first time in the new year in most cases. Ian provided a quiz on various Pratchett works with a few general knowledge questions on the side - including a particularly fiendish one requiring the Irish spelling of the word "banshee". I won, mostly by knowing more about Good Omens than is healthy and attracted a certain amount of derision for knowing that Crowley drove a 1926 Bentley.

Terry had recently not announced a four part TV adaptation of Good Omens. I considered this grounds for a Good Omens quiz next time. I made it clear that anyone who actively prepared might stand a better chance of winning the quiz but would lose any right to laugh at me for knowing about Crowley's car.

January 2011

The New Year's festivities were clearly too much for most of the regulars. For a while Andrew and I wondered if we would be the only ones present. However, people began to arrive at around half seven and we had a decent attendance of ten. We have a new member, Cliff, who heard about the group online and "was glad to see that there were other crazy people out there".

Since it was the 119th birthday of JRR Tolkien, Andrew did a quiz on his works. I was told last time (by Jessica, also a member of the Tolkien society) that it is customary to toast "The Professor" at 9pm on his birthday. We kind of did this although it was actually 9.30 and the toast was less reverential owing to the fiendishness of the quiz.

December 2010

The Christmas Dinner officially broke our record for attendance. There were thirty-three people in total including six new members. The month also contained two significant birthdays so cards were given to Naomi, who turned thirty a couple of weeks later, and Colin, whose age it would be indiscreet to mention. Simon did a quiz on Hogfather and Christmas, which Andrew won. He was presented his prize (a compass, which was his to begin with) by young Elizabeth, brought along by her parents following an acute babysitter failure. The prize was passed to Tim as runner-up so we did not have to take it back home with us.

November 2010

I was not able to make the meeting but was told that it went well.  There were 12 in all including a new member. Simon, tragically deprived of a birthday card by my absence, won the quiz. I was tricked into helping my husband cheat at the quiz when he texted me one of the questions, but he was rightly disallowed the point. James O appeared shaven-headed and sat in solidarity with James B. The glorious founder of Drummers, Jack, also made a long awaited appearance.

That is my take on the meeting based on the slightly drunken account I got from my husband when he came home. I take no responsibility for its accuracy.

October 2010 (auxiliary meeting)

Since both September and October’s meetings were disrupted by train strikes we had an extra meeting on 18th October. We had a very good attendance of seventeen, including a three new people. Tim did a quiz on fictional schools and even provided a prize: penguin bowling. Jax won the quiz, the prize and the honour of setting the next quiz.

Also welcome was the appearance of Gary, the landlord, who immediately ordered the bar staff to give us all a drink on the house.

October 2010 (main meeting)

Ten people made it despite the best efforts of disgruntled train drivers. Since Tim was unable to attend I did a quiz, which was won by Jax. The group somehow formed a distinct male/female divide (although Colin arriving late inadvertently became an honourary woman) with the women discussing current affairs while the men talked about science fiction TV shows.

September 2010

A tube strike deterred quite a few but we still managed a respectable attendance of 11. I was also delighted to be told that the Puzzle now stock Badger's cider. Since Andrew was working late, I did a Discworld Transport quiz on his behalf. Tim won and shared the box of chocolates that formed the prize. He will be doing the next quiz, although I feel James O deserves a special mention as the only person who remembered 'Skillet, Wang, Yrxle!yt, Bunglestiff, Cwmlad and Patel'.

August 2010

The meeting went well. Despite absences from a few of the regulars we had an attendance of 14. These included one new member and a surprise visit from Butcher & Periwinkle who were down from Wincanton. Andrew won the Where's My Cow quiz on a tie-break but gave the prize to our guests. He will still be doing the next quiz.

July 2010

Great meeting! We arrived late to find a huge crowd, including two completely new people and Tim's girlfriend (who I had been asking nosy questions about over the weekend). Gary the landlord seems to have created a new tradition that newcomers get a drink on the house*. This was most excellent as the young man who was offered the drink declined so I got it instead.

After negotiations following a drawn tie-breaker it was agreed that I would do the next quiz if Tim took the etch-a-sketch keyring that we brought as a prize. Tim was uncharacteristically quiet for some time after receiving his prize.

*All traditions involving free drinks are entirely at the whim of the Monkey Puzzle.

April 2010

Since the meeting fell on a bank holiday, we had the first Drummers Easter Excursion. We met in the afternoon in a pub near the Natural History Museum and had a look round the new Darwin centre. We then made our way to the Monkey Puzzle for the regular meeting.

Eleven Drummers came along to the Easter Excursion, including Sim Lauren, departed member and founder of Drummers Downunder. More Drummers joined us in the evening for the Anglo-Australian cultural understanding quiz held in her honour. The subjects of famous Australian philosophers and the subtleties of Australian slang were explored and discussed. It was generally agreed that Tim looked very debonair in the inflatable Monty Python shower cap that he claimed as his prize.

March 2010

Good meeting. The Drummers were in a musical mood which led to much quaffing and carousing. The rules of 'gay chicken' were explained to us all by Vorlina and Tim. Lots of other stuff happened which I have forgotten because it was a week and a half ago now. I do remember that I am doing the quiz next time. I suggested a gay chicken tournament but for some reason there were few takers.

December 2009

By Steeljam

Twas the Night before Christmas, well actually it was quite a few nights, but the air was crisp and clear. I arrived quite late and there was already a good collecting of Usual Suspects there. Luckily the pub tollerates our group and had given us the area in the back all to ourselves. They had a special Christmas Menu which look excellent and to help the night along the libations were flowing. It makes a big difference being able to use Public Transport to get there and back.