The Date? Saturday 24th February 2007. The place? Clapton Village Hall, near Crewkerne, Somerset. The event? My 40th birthday party! I have to just quickly say I had a wonderful evening, and I like to think that my friends did as well. We had about 70+ people turn up for the event, many of them dear old friends who I hadn't seen in years and who had travelled many miles to be there. I was very moved.
We had fine Tudor food (as you can see in the picture) supplied by my friends Tris and Jane Pinkney from the very wonderful Bilby's Cafe which you can find in Ilminster, and also in Chard and Crewkerne. The music was superb coming from the lively folk duo of Morgan Rattler, again highly recommended and really got the evening going beautfiully. And finally there was the World premiere of a new radio play entitled "Henry VIII - A Life" written by yours truly and acted out by a superb cast, some of whom had only known they were going to be in it by a matter of hours. Top honours must go to Matthew Applegate of Barrington Court who ended up copping the part of Sir Thomas Cranmer after my old friend Simon Whittaker from Alsager was unable to attend at the last minute. The rest of the cast were: Me as Henry, Ted Heath as Will Somers, Simon Runagall as Sir Thomas Cromwell, Cathy Martin as Lady Cilla of Ye Black, Ann Turner-Maynard as both Lady Legovia-Crumpet and Princess Voluptua, Alison Barling as Catherine Howard and my lovely wife Amanda as Catherine Parr. Viv Rich jumped in at the last minute as our narrator. Viv's husband John videoed the entire play and has threatened me with a DVD of it.
It was nice to see some representatives of some of the local schools, including Tracy and Sally from Arbishop Cranmer School in Taunton and Alexine and friends from Brookside School in Street.
All in all a very memorable weekend (which had kicked off with a splendid evening meal and drinks over at the Dinnington Docks) which I am still trying to recover from!
Today is my actual birthday, so I am taking it easy with James at home and will be taking him out for a little trip shortly. Tomorrow it is back to being Henry again with a visit to Coalway Junior School in Coleford, Gloucestershire.