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Question for starters. What do you do for entertainment when you live on the smallest full-time inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides and the pub shuts?
Keren Cafferty, landlady of The Puffer on Easdale, has got the right answer. You put heads together with others isolating on the same lump of rock and come up with a virtual pub quiz.
Using the Zoom app, and after a number of dummy runs over the last week or so, The Puffer pulled together a good home crowd on Saturday.
Islander and quiz master extraordinaire Steve Brown, known for setting quirky quizzes, put participants’ IQs and local knowledge to the test with his expected off-the-wall questions – some including sound-effects familiar to Easdale residents’ ears.
The pub now has about 30 people signed up on a WhatsApp group keen to join in future quizzes – the next is on Saturday April 4.
‘We are planning a few surprise guests at other quizzes to come, they might be friends from far away who don’t get up to join us on Easdale so often. We have some part-time residents and people who’d been looking forward to coming here on holiday until coronavirus got in the way. Our quiz is a great way of still bringing people together and keeping in touch.
‘In fact the virtual quiz has taken off so much that we might keep it going when the pub is back up and running! ‘ said Keren, who has owned The Puffer for 12 years.
The Puffer, which also doubles up as a tearoom and restaurant, is still open for takeaways.
On Saturday people could pre-order their quiz drinks and food to enjoy at home – there was even an option to have more refreshments delivered to their home during the quiz if they ran dry, although responsible drinking was being encouraged.
Everyone taking part in Saturday’s quiz could be seen on the one screen at the same time and when one person was talking, the box highlighted in green.
‘It’s a great way of teaching people to be respectful when someone else is speaking!’ Said Keren.
It was Easdale resident Samantha Payne who hosted Saturday’s live quiz, and who already had the Zoom app subscription, and her IT whizz of a husband David helped Keren get the quiz off the ground.
Keren continued: ‘We survived the winter and just as we were looking forward to Easter appearing through the gloom, coronavirus struck.
‘The quiz is our way of keeping the community together – there’s a lot of people self-isolating and working from home. It’s also helping to keep the pub ticking over.’
‘We’re thinking of having a go at karaoke next,’ added Keren, who also has plans to replicate The Puffer’s popular supper nights online to bring stay-at-home diners round the virtual table.
‘I’ll cook the food and we’ll deliver it to them, ready for sitting down together online,’ she added.
The Oban Times would love to hear what you are doing in your community to keep everyone safe and entertained. Call us on 01631 568023, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook and send in your photos.