The big question this week, was of course how would I be able to get all the way to East Anglia and my shows there without a car. Not easy to walk that distance trying to carry all of my props. I ended up hiring a car from the very affable Popular Motors in Merriott. They loaned me a nice green Vauxhall Vectra which was a bit like driving a Formula One car after chugging along in my old Toyota Lucida. I drove to Essex on Monday the 15th May and stayed overnight at my parents. I was a little late getting up the next morning, but was confidant I could get to Lowestoft in plenty of time, and I would have, if it hadn't been for a smash up on the A12 and the simply appalling roadworks in Lowestoft itself. I ended up having to phone ahead to the school and apologise for my tardiness. The school I was at was Roman Hill, a lovely school and this was my second visit to them. As ever I was warmly welcomed by the lovely staff and some great children. Nearly all of the children had dressed up in great Tudor costumes and I was once more invited to judge the best boy and girl costumes in each class. Not an easy task, I can assure you. All went well at the school and they want me back next year again, which is fine by me. The journey back to my parent's in Essex was easier than the journey there, and I passed another school close to Roman Hill and noticed my friends "Portals to the Past" chucking all their Roman clobber in their van. What a small world.
Wednesday, May 17th. Today I was at Myland School in Colchester. This is my first visit back for over 2 years. Myland were only my second ever school when I started out as Henry (the honour of my first visit going to Rickling Green School near Saffron Walden in Essex), so it was nice to be invited back. We had a superb day - I love this school. The teachers and assistants "become" the 6 wives by donning t-shirts with the names and faces on them! Fabulous stuff! Another fine day and another really great group of children.
Thursday, May 18th. My final Henry of the week saw me appearing back at another school I have done before. This was Little Parndon in Harlow. Again, lovely to see all the old familiar faces and enjoy their company. The group today was a little subdued in comparison with some schools I visit, but they seemed to enjoy themselves nevertheless. After finishing at the school I headed up to Chelmsford to visit Duncan James again, to see how the two new costumes are coming along. Marvellous! Duncan showed me all the wonderful material he has gathered. I shall be seeing him again this week for a fitting of what he has managed so far. Can't wait to show these new costumes off!
I drove back to Somerset on Thursday evening, and I am delighted to say nothing fell to pieces this time. Saturday we drove down to near Upottery in Devon to view a car I was thinking of buying as a replacement for the Lucida. It was a really nice Honda Accord - so I bought it! Should be ready for next weekend.
This week I am in Taunton on Monday for a photo-shoot at the Castle Museum as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Then Wednesday I am back at my old stamping ground of South Woodham Ferrers in Essex for a school visit there and then on to Martock in Somerset on Friday. Then the following Sunday I will be at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire for another Henry day. Hope to see some of you there.