Thursday, December 29, 2005

Merry Blogmas and a Bloggy New Year

Of course, I should have blogged this about a week or so ago, but what was I supposed to do? Christmas! Busy or what?
My final Henry of the year was at Parkfield School in Taunton and they were just wonderful. Great kids, lovely teachers and a really good day was had by everyone. They even bought me some lunch, bless their hearts. The Head Teacher, Mr Sides, said at the end of the day that my presentation was the finest educational experience he had seen in 30 years of teaching. I was very moved and asked him if I could use that as a quote. He said he was happy for me to use that. They want me back next Christmas!
The 17th December we had our pre-Christmas drinks party at home. My Mum and Dad came down, as did Amanda's Mum and Dad, my sister Susan and her husband Trevor drove down from Carmarthen, close friends Pete & Jo, Ali & Ian, Anna, Anne & Jack, Suzi & Julian, and David & Jilly all turned up and, I think, a good time was genuinely had by all. I know I was three, or maybe even four sheets to the wind by the time I fell asleep that evening.
The 18th December we went to Pizza Hut in Yeovil for my son's 3rd birthday party. He had a whale of a time and really enjoyed being with his parents, grandparents and friends.
We had a lovely quiet Christmas at home, just the three of us, but had lots of calls froms friends and relatives and plenty of good food and wine.
And now, as the New Year looms large on the horizon, I find myself once again embroiled with an ongoing battle with Lloyds TSB. The Bank that likes to say "MORE! I WANT MORE!" It is amazing. The entire time you have money they can't do enough for you - and keep offering you more. As soon as you are skint they treat you like lepers and wouldn't urinate upon you even if you were on fire. I won't go into all the sordid details but suffice to say that their latest letter prompted me to try and phone my half wit who I normally deal with there, only to be told that he is off having yet another well deserved holiday. The young lady on the phone asked if I had a message to pass on to him. I told her to tell him that I wanted to thank him for ruining Christmas and my life. I would tell you the rest of what I said, but there might be some children present. Thanks to their intransigence, we now cannot get back to Essex to see my parents and Amanda's parents and will be having to spend New Years Eve alone. Thanks Lloyds! Love you long time!
Anyway, knickers to Lloyds TSB. They can't hurt me anymore. They have bled me white and I have nothing left to give. So I will simply batten down the old hatches, have our friends Pete and Jo over and have ourselves a very peaceful New Year. You have fun too. Unless you work for Lloyds TSB in which case you can **** ***. I'll leave the bankers to work that one out for themselves. Night!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

In need of a good blog

I suddenly realised that it was nearly a month since my last blog. I obviously need lots of roughage in my diet. So what has been occurring since my last missive? Well...
25th November I was back at St Cecillia's School in Sutton, Surrey, which is not the sort of address you want to be attempting if you have a lisp. It was nice to see everyone there again, and once more the children and teachers had come up trumps with fabulous costumes and a good day was had by all. The drive home afterwards was tiring to say the least, so I shall leave it at that.
27th November I drove to Essex to stay at my folks again and do a load more Tudorish things at a variety of schools.
28th November I had to get up early and head for Stradbroke School in Gorlestone near Great Yarmouth. Now as some of you may know already, Great Yarmouth is not my favourite place on Earth, being somewhere on a par with Krakatoa and Ulan Bator as places I really must visit again soon. However, the kids and the school at Gorlestone came up trumps and we had a really good day of it.
30th November I was at Bawdsey Primary school near Woodbridge in Suffolk. I had stayed the night before at my friends Sue and Ian's in Hitcham so I didn't have too far to go. This was just a half day but tremendous fun. All the teachers, and about 99% of the children had dressed up and they had even laid on a Tudor feast at lunch time. Great stuff! When I got back to my parents, Amanda and James had arrived from Somerset, so life got even better!
3rd December. Still in Essex but now struck down with a mild bout of food poisoning. Nothing to do with the Tudor feast at Bawdsey I hasten to add! Probably a rogue sausage.
4th December. Took Amanda, James, myself and my fragile constitution to my Father's Rotary Club Christmas bash in Margaretting. I survived remarkably well, however my poor sister Susan had now come down with the same thing and missed it. While we were sitting and waiting for the event to begin, James was sitting on my lap. I asked him if he was going to see Father Christmas that day. He replied: "I hope so". Not bad for a two year old!
5th December. I drive back to Somerset, only to be greeted by the phone ringing as I enter the house. It is a school in Gravesend in Kent asking if I had remembered that I was visiting them the next day. I had nothing booked on that day and was due to visit my friends in Southampton. The lady was very insistent and so consequently I had to postpone my Southampton visit until Thursday. And then...
6th December. I had to get up at 3.30am and drive to Gravesend to do a Henry day at Riverview School. Easy enough to find but exhausting. The day was GREAT though. A real belter! 120 kids, all very bouncy and exciteable, but it just went so well! However I was virtually in a coma by the time I had managed to drive home again.
7th December. A planned meeting at Taunton Castle was postponed until after Christmas.
8th December. I drove to Southampton this morning and met up with Julian Chalmers, Julie Beard, Mike Clarke and Sue Winfield - all old colleagues from Skandia. Had a nice few drinks with them and also met up with Rod Davies of Skandia a bit earlier. I then had to drive up to Essex and stay at my folks again. They were both out this evening so I went up the pub myself and bumped into dear Sara Turner again. Still as lovely as ever!
9th December. Little Heath School in Potter's Bar in Hertfordshire. A pretty good day all round and much fun had by all. But then the drive home. It took me just short of two hours to drive the 30+ miles to the M3 turn off on the M25. The traffic was dreadful. How on Earth did I ever manage to live in the South East without going completely Tonto is beyond me now. I finally got home at about 7pm, the entire journey taking over four hours.
Today? 13th December? We are getting ready for a house full of guests and visitors this weekend. A pre-Christmas get together which should be fun. Also a good excuse for a birthday party for James who will be 3 on the 20th. I have one more Henry before Christmas - the 16th at Parkfield School in Taunton.
Finally, I am awaiting a follow up phone call from someone at Dillington House near Ilminster. This is a great Adult Education centre near us based in a magnificent grand old country house. We have visited it occasionally and seen people like Mick Aston and Robin Bush from Time Team giving talks there. If they want me to make an appearance, this would be a great honour. Watch this space for more info!