Mr L’s Birthday Quiz

The ‘Guess the Year’ Quiz consists of a Mr L photo and 3 clues for each relevant year.  Every question is for a different year………..

(Answers are at the bottom of this post)

  1.  1954 (4)Burger King founded; Ernest Hemingway wins Nobel Prize for Literature; Boeing tests the 707, the first jet-powered transport plane.

2.1984 (4)Tory party conference was bombed; Mrs. Gandhi assassinated; First ‘Terminator’ film was shown.

3.2005  Pope John Paul II dies; Tony Blair becomes first Labour Party Prime Minister to win 3 successive terms; Tom Cruise and Katy Holmes get engaged.

4.1955  Luncheon vouchers introduced in the UK; George de Mestral invents Velcro; Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of a bus breaking Montgomery, Alabama, segregated seating law.

5.1982 (2)  Mary Rose raised; Falkland war begins; the first execution by lethal injection take place in America.

6.1996  Charles and Diana divorced; publication of the Scott report (Arms to Iraq); new Severn bridge opened.

7.1962 First colour supplement to a Sunday newspaper appears; Cuban missile crisis; Beatles drummer Pete Best is replaced by Ringo Starr.

8.1979  Jeremy Thorpe cleared of murder; first nudist beach in Britain; Shah leaves Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini takes over.

9.1960 (2)  Rio de Janeiro ceases to be the capital of Brazil; a test cricket match ties for the first time; Psycho one of the years most successful films.

10.2013 (14)  The NSA, Edward Snowden and surveillance; Nelson Mandela dies; US government shutdown.

11.1983  Compulsory to wear seat belts in the front seat of a car; the first American test-tube baby is born; ‘crack’ cocaine is developed in the Bahamas and soon found in the US.

12.2008 (12)  London Heathrow Terminal 5 opens at Heathrow Airport; Boris Johnson becomes London Mayor when he defeats the incumbent Ken Livingstone; Cuban President Fidel Castro permanently steps down after 49 years in power and hands control of Cuba to his brother, Raul.

13.fetal scan  DNA is discovered; the Samaritans are founded; Stalin dies.

14.1985 (2)  Coca Cola introduces Cherry Coke; Gorbachov, glasnost and Perestroika; Live Aid concerts in US and UK for famine relief in Ethiopia.

15.2010 (12)  Worst earthquake in Haiti for 200 years, magnitude 7.0; Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland results in a volcanic ash plume in the atmosphere over northern and central Europe; 33 Chilean miners spend 68 days trapped in a mine half a mile underground.

16.1988  Hello! magazine launched in the UK; Pan-Am 747 explodes from terrorist bomb and crashes in Lockerbie; Comic Relief charity appeal launched by Rowan Atkinson.


  1. 1954
  2. 1984
  3. 2005
  4. 1955
  5. 1982
  6. 1996
  7. 1962
  8. 1979
  9. 1960
  10. 2013
  11. 1983
  12. 2008
  13. 1953
  14. 1985
  15. 2010
  16. 1988

Mr L’s Birthday Dinner

The day of the birthday dinner has dawned, preparations are complete, food is cooking and its now 6.30pm – time for all the guests to arrive. Fourteen guests in total: Mr and Mrs L, Miss A and Mr D, Little Miss A and Mr G, Granny L, Granny M and Grandpa A, Mr and Mrs T with Nephew J and Anya, and last but not least Nephew S.


Mr and Mrs L


Miss A and Mr D

Mr G and Little Miss A

Mr G and Little Miss A

Let’s get this party swinging!!!!

All attendee’s keys into a bowl on arrival…..Mrs L has a plan…….the well established pampas grass outside the backdoor finally lives to fulfil its potential (a potential unknown by Mrs L but which Mr T assures her is correct – how does he know we ask?).

Champagne served and presents time……lots of lovely bubbly, a bottle of Remy Martin, an ‘Old Guys Rule’ t-shirt, a blue glass fruit bowl, a book of Thunks, an indoor skydiving gift voucher for 2.  Mrs L’s gift is a 2 week trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar – 6 days safari on the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater followed by 3 days of culture and history in Stone Town, Zanzibar and then the final 6 days in Nungwi, Zanzibar staying by the beach.  Mr L was quite pleased I think!

Then for the quiz…….there are 4 teams of 3 people for the quiz.  Team leaders are Nephew S, Anya, Little Miss A and Mr T who then selected a set of keys to find out their 2 other teammates.  Miss A is a floater as she does have some insider knowledge (so cannot be allowed to win), and as quiz master all Mrs L’s answers are final with no appeal allowed.  The quiz was great fun and Mrs L declared everyone a winner when the quiz was marked after dinner!

Dinner consisted of starters – pears and St Aguy on a bed of salad leaves with a hazelnut dressing; main course – cheese and pepperdew stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in bacon served with new potatoes and french beans; dessert – ‘birthday bunny’ jelly and ice cream (it is a birthday party after all!!); birthday cake – a stunning chocolate birthday provided as a birthday present by Mr G and Little Miss A.  Thanks to Little Miss A’s aunt who made the cake – delicious…….


Copious quantities of champagne, wine with the meal followed by brandy, whisky, port and baileys……….

A brilliant evening………..Mr and Mrs L finally made it to bed at 2am.

Birthday Dinner Music – All the Number 1s on 29th December since 1953……….

The birthday dinner music playlist is one like no other……..all the Number 1 songs since 1953.  Most are the Christmas number 1 but a few fall in the week after Christmas.  There are some good songs, some very good songs, some bad and some absolutely bloody awful songs!!  All will have their share of airtime though as that is only fair.

Mrs L, Miss A, Mr D and Mr T gathered together their iTunes lists and identified what we had – just about 50% which means Mrs L had to purchase the rest.  Broke her heart to spend good money on some really crappy songs……..Benny Hill, Jimmy Osmond, Cliff Richard, Spice Girls to name but a few…….I could go on!

Downloads from Amazon are cheaper than downloads on iTunes – 69p for most tracks as compared to 99p for all tracks on iTunes.

If you want to know what all the number 1s were on your birthday then check out these websites:

Here is the playlist………..

  1. 1953: Frankie Laine – Answer Me
  2. 1954: Winifred Atwell – Let’s Have Another Party
  3. 1955: Dickie Valentine – Christmas Alphabet
  4. 1956: Johnnie Ray – Just Walkin’ In The Rain
  5. 1957: Harry Belafonte – Mary’s Boy Child
  6. 1958: Conway Twitty – It’s Only Make Believe
  7. 1959: Emile Ford and The Checkmates – What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At me For
  8. 1960: Cliff Richard and The Shadows – I Love You
  9. 1961: Danny Williams – Moon River
  10. 1962: Elvis Presley – Return To Sender
  11. 1963: The Beatles – I Want To Hold Her Hand
  12. 1964: The Beatles – I Feel Fine
  13. 1965: The Beatles – Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
  14. 1966: Tom Jones – The Green Grass of Home
  15. 1967: The Beatles – Hello Goodbye
  16. 1968: Scaffold – Lily The Pink
  17. 1969: Rolf Harris – Two Little Boys
  18. 1970: Dave Edmunds – I Hear You Knockin’
  19. 1971: Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
  20. 1972: Little Jimmy Osmond – Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
  21. 1973: Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
  22. 1974: Mud – Lonely This Christmas
  23. 1975: Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
  24. 1976: Johnny Mathis – When A  Child Is Born (Soleado)
  25. 1977: Wings – Mull of Kintyre
  26. 1978: Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child
  27. 1979: Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall
  28. 1980: St Winifred’s School Choir – There’s No One Quite Like Grandma
  29. 1981: The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
  30. 1982: Renee and Renato – Save Your Love
  31. 1983: The Flying Pickets – Only You
  32. 1984: Band Aid – Do They Know Its Christmas?
  33. 1985: Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
  34. 1986: Jackie Wilson – Reet Petite
  35. 1987: The Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
  36. 1988: Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine
  37. 1989: Band Aid II – Do They Know Its Christmas?
  38. 1990: Cliff Richard – Saviour’s Day
  39. 1991: Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives
  40. 1992: Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
  41. 1993: Mr Blobby – Mr Blobby
  42. 1994: East 17 – Stay Another Day
  43. 1995: Michael Jackson – Earth Song
  44. 1996: Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
  45. 1997: Spice Girls – Too Much
  46. 1998: Chef (South Park) – Chocolate Salty Balls
  47. 1999: Westlife – I Have A Dream
  48. 2000: Bob The Builder – Can We Fix It?
  49. 2001: Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – Somethin’ Stupid
  50. 2002: Girls Aloud – Sound Of The Underground
  51. 2003: Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules – Mad World
  52. 2004: Band Aid 20 – Do They Know Its Christmas?
  53. 2005: Shayne Ward – That’s My Goal
  54. 2006: Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This
  55. 2007: Leon Jackson – When You Believe
  56. 2008: Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
  57. 2009: Joe McElderry – The Climb
  58. 2010: Matt Cardle – When We Collide
  59. 2011: Military Wives with Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are
  60. 2012: Justice Collective – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (Hillsborough Tribute Song)
  61. 2013: Pharrell Williams – Happy

So there we have it, one playlist saved for posterity……..

Preparations for a Birthday Party

Mr L has a birthday, a big birthday, a 60th birthday!!

Mr L wants a family birthday dinner at home.  Due to work and travel commitments of various family members (which meant people would be departing Norfolk at various times on the Sunday), it was agreed that the birthday dinner would need to be on Saturday 28th December.

So early December……let the preparations begin……….

Email correspondence with Granny M to find out if she had any photos of a very young Mr L.  There was a bit of a panic when initially she could not find any of those early pics. Finally the photos were found and Mrs L arranged to pop in to Hethersett on her way back to London on Sunday 8th December.  The photos are all black and white – had colour been invented when Mr L was a mere babe?!  Meanwhile Mrs L had managed to surreptitiously check through the photo albums at Hill House and remove a few gems and secret the album of Mr L photos from the pre-Mrs L era into her backpack – all whilst Mr L was in the loo!!!

1955: Mr L - a mere babe

1955: Mr L – a mere babe

1983: The middle years - bronzed and gorgeous (Pre Mrs L)

1983: The middle years – bronzed and gorgeous (Pre Mrs L)

2013: Grumpy old man....but still gorgeous (The Mrs L effect!)

2013: Grumpy old man….but still gorgeous (The Mrs L effect!)

Mrs L now had loads of Mr L photos back in her flat in London – all shapes, sizes, some B&W, others colour, some printed, some negatives and others digitally saved.

What to do with them all……..

  1. 3 for the invite
  2. Some for a guess the year quiz
  3. Put them all on a USB memory card and they can play on the TV all evening…..thanks to Miss A for that great idea

Now for the music for the evening – Mrs L pondered on this on her drive back to London and thought it would be good to find out what song was number 1 on 29 December 1953…….and then of course she realised that Mr L’s birthday coincides with the Xmas number 1 song!  So now off to make a playlist of the Xmas no 1s for the past 60 years – Mr L will love this!!!!

The week of 9-13 December was busy with scanning in all the photos and then adjusting colour etc – again Miss A’s assistance was invaluable.  Miss A has used her investigative skills and tracked down a couple of excellent websites – one that lists all the No 1s for 29th December (Xmas No 1s) and another that lists useless, interesting, bizarre facts related to 29th December. This has got Mrs L thinking…….all will be used on the evening of 28th December…..the quiz is taking shape in Mrs L’s head.

Other birthday preparations are also proceeding satisfactorily.  Birthday cake ordered, balloons, candle, banner and table ’60s’ all ordered too.  Invites sent – Mr G sent his ‘regrets’ within 1 minute of receiving his invite…..clearly a decision made with care and deliberation – apparently childish efforts on the part of Mr G to wind his mother up!!!  Little Miss A has accepted and will be dragging Mr G along by his bow tie.  Mr L has also accepted so that’s good.


Getting close now…..23rd December – all the little goodies have arrived, the quiz is done (table quiz format with a Mr L picture together with 3 little clues to enable folk to guess the year), music is being collated (Miss A, Mr D and Mrs L are browsing through the obscure and the more well-known tunes in their iTunes folders – what we don’t have between us I will have to purchase), so that just leaves the menu to sort………

What to eat…….hmmm… for 14………

That reminds me, I had to cancel my M&S chocolate birthday cake as Mr G and Little Miss A have sorted something similar but more special.  A must do is to make a ‘birthday bunny’ jelly – never too old for a birthday bunny!!

The day before…….Mrs L hit Sainsbury’s for the mega shop, Mr L came too.  Jelly made, food all in the fridge……Saturday morning let the cooking preparations begin!

Mr L is getting twitched…..very twitched…….he is suspicious that something is about to happen!!!