If I suddenly appear to be talking very Tim Wonnacott from "Bargain Hunt" then do forgive me, things will become clear as this blog unfolds. We start back on Friday 1st September. I was to drive to Kent to stay with my sister and her husband again as I was back on parade at Leeds Castle again for the Ballooning and Classic Car Show that weekend. I drove to them via my parents in Essex as I hadn't seen them for a long time. I had a nice leisurely lunch with them and then headed down to Kent. Cathy and Julian were as welcoming as ever and only set the dogs on me once. Friday evening there was a barbeque at Leeds Castle as a thank you to all the people appearing at the weekend, so I took Cath and Julian as my guests. We had some lovely food and sat on a terrace over looking the castle, which looked fabulous lit with spot lights in the darkness.
Saturday was the first day of the balloon festival. I arrived at the Castle at about 9.30am to be told that there was little or no chance of any more balloon launches after 20+ had gone off at 6.30am - the weather was just too bad. This was also a classic car weekend and I was occasionally assailed by car anoraks trying to tell me about their latest front end differential changes or how much the parping couplet on their revolving squonk pan had made such a difference to their overall gearing ratios. Like I cared? It was a bit of a depressing day all round really. Pitifully few people in through the door and steady drizzly rain driven by a keen wind. I met some lovely people and had loads of piccies taken, but when it came to finish at 4pm I was quite grateful. What a difference a day makes! Sunday was another kettle of fish altogether. Although it started out badly, the weather was never quite as bad as Saturday, with strong sunshine and warmth for the afternoon. Sadly the wind was still too strong for any balloon launches. Masses of people piled into the castle and I met some fabulous people. I'd like to say a big hello to my friends on the Cappucino stall and the Pimms stall - thanks for everything! Also the lovely lady and her gentleman friend on the kite stall - hello to you. I got my photo taken with the Saga Balloon which will hopefully be used on the Saga Magazine at some point. My parents read that! And finally a big hello to the ladies of the Pimms Balloon! I finished about 4.30pm, had a nice leisurely Pimms to finish and said goodbye to dear Darlene and Helen, who have, as usual, been absolute stars. And so was Scott!
I drove back to Somerset and was pleased to see my bed. The following day I get a phone call from the BBC asking me if I'd like to be on "Bargain Hunt". Who am I to refuse such a kind offer! Amanda and I are travelling up to Wells next Thursday (14th) and then we will hopefully be on to Shepton Mallett for some filming on 23rd September and then onto auction on the 1st November. Keep everything crossed for us! Just think, the BBC are getting Henry VIIIth for free almost - now THAT'S a bargain!
Finally, another message from Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire who have booked me for the three days of the 2nd bank holiday weekend in May 2007. It was nice to hear from Danielle there again.