Before I beging this addition to the Blog, can I just put it on record that I adore my job. I am very very lucky to be something for a living which is fun, silly and allows me to act like an 8 year old. However, it does have one enormous draw back - the travel and distances that are sometimes involved. I normally try to negate this problem by ensuring that I have all shows in the same, roughly geographical area. So, if at the beginning of term I get someone booking me in Broadstairs in Kent, I will endeavour to push any other school from that same general area towards that date when, and if, they show an interest. However, it doesn't always work that smoothly, particularly if other people get involved in doing the bookings for you! I had already been booked for a little while to appear at Modbury Primary School. Modbury is a small town sort of half way between Buckfastleigh and Plymouth in South Devon. While I was away in Essex recently, my wife had taken a call from Hadleigh School in Southend-on-Sea in Essex who wanted me to come and visit very soon. Amanda had a quick look at my wall planner and managed to decipher my childish scrawl on the various dates. Sadly, for Modbury in Devon, she read Danbury in Essex. Therefore, to cut a long story mercifully short, instead of doing the show in Modbury and then heading home for an early night and a lie in the next morning, I had to leave Modbury, head for home, pack a suitcase, throw it in the car and then drive to Essex, then get up at the crack of dawn and head down to Hadleigh. In the end it wasn't too bad and both schools were so lovely it was well worth the mileage!
Starting at Modbury, I drove down the A38 and was delghted to discover that Modbury wasn't nearly as far west as I had been led to believe. It was a charming little town, quite hilly and the school was delightfully old fashioned and creaky! The children were fabulous, very keen to learn and full of enthusiasm for all things Tudor. I did the whole school in one shot, which basically means I won't be going back to that school as Henry for a few years as they have all seen the show! After a lovely lunch of gammon and roast potatoes it was back for the afternoon and the usual noise and nonsense. For a nice change the boys won the jousting, and this after I had predicted to the teachers that the girls were bound to win! I packed up and headed for home. When home I got a suitcase together and struck out for Essex at about 6pm. I arrived at my parent's house just after 9pm.
The next morning I was up and off to Hadleigh Junior School. This was another fine day, very kind friendly teachers and some challenging, excitable and bouncy pupils. I even had a nice chicken sandwich bought for me by my most charitable hosts. After a slightly fractured afternoon (we had to break for an afternoon break as well as a morning break) the day culminated in a great jousting tournament that the ladies simply walked away with. The gentlemen proved themselves to be true gentlemen by congratulating the ladies on their victory and shaking hands afterwards. Well done gentsI have had a couple of days off now, but I will be back as Henry on Tuesday next week, beginning with a half day at Tatworth School near Chard. Then I am up to Essex again for a visit to Boxted near Colchester, a quick visit to Leeds Castle for a fitting of my Father Christmas costume and then on to East Ham and Nelson Primary for a Tudor Banquet! Lovely