Deborah used to be my boss, and so Cheesefest involves a get-together of our old team, who were all a fabulous bunch. We all stayed in touch, but Cheesefest is the official day of the year when we all meet up at once.
The festival evolved because we all love cheese and music. I mean, who doesn’t?, but I think we possibly take it to a new level.
There are several rules involved in Cheesefest, now just celebrating its third year. The first is that we have a dinner involving large quantities of cheese – generally fondue or raclette. The second is that there is a themed dress code – this year it was ‘Western/cowboy’ and so we all duly wore checked shirts and neckerchiefs and were greeted with a shot of tequila each when we arrived; last year it was ‘Hollywood’ and we drank martinis.
The final rule is that we all participate in a music-based quiz game. Again, this is themed: the first theme was ‘summer’, the second ‘guilty pleasures’; this year it was ‘food and drink’. Each of us picks two songs related to the theme (to be sent anonymously to Deborah’s partner Stuart, who is an impartial adjudicator), and after dinner we listen to everyone’s picks, armed with a scoresheet on which we have to guess: the name of the song, the artist and who picked it.
It sounds simple (my friends would argue that I would say that, having won two out of three years) but it actually isn’t. Having a geeky knowledge store and a good memory, I am generally pretty good on the songs and artists. However, I find it nearly impossible to guess who chose the songs. All my friends have good taste, some of them similarly. Every year I find myself shrieking ‘I don’t know you people at all!’ as I struggle with identifying the pickers.
This year saw some excellent choices, some of which were:
Prefab Sprout: ‘The King of Rock n Roll’
Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren: ‘Bangers and Mash’
Placebo: ‘Special K’
The Divine Comedy: ‘National Express’
Blur: ‘Coffee and TV’
Supertramp: ‘Breakfast in America’
The Duckworth Lewis Method: ‘Jiggery Pokery’
Lily Allen: ‘Chinese’
Can you guess which ones were mine? I guessed as much. You don’t know me at all.