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!