This was another week away for me with a visit up to Norfolk and two days, one at White Woman Lane School near Norwich and another which was a return visit to Caister Middle School. However, our story begins in dark Somerset...
My car had gone in for it's MOT on Friday 26th January at Popular Motors in Merriott. I seem to spend a lot of time there, and I told Ian Summers who works there that there should be a blue plaque on the wall announcing that it was in this very car repair shop that Mike Farley's bank account died. Anyway, they got my Honda on the Friday but they needed a few spare parts which would not be available until the Monday, which was the day I was hoping to drive to Essex to see my folks before striking out for Norfolk. Sadly the delivery time of the parts was not to be until 2pm on the Monday, so that was lunch in Essex out the window! When the parts were delivered, they were the wrong parts. The proper ones didn't turn up until nearer 5pm and my car wasn't ready until just after 7pm! And then I had to drive to Essex. So though I was due to have lunch with my parents I even managed to miss dinner! Thankfully Amanda and James were there as well, so it was nice to meet and have some cuddles.
I was up at the crack of dawn to head up to Norfolk and my appointment at White Woman Lane school. This was a lovely school. White Woman Lane apparently is so named because of a ghost frequently seen in the area. Get "Most Haunted" up there, that's what I say! The children and teachers at the school were wonderful and we had a really nice day. Lots of laughs and the children had a great time doing the quiz and the design your own coat of arms. The afternoon session was super fun and the jousting a real rip snorter with the ladies triumphing as well. I then had to make a presentation to one of the little girls who was leaving the school on Friday as her family were moving out of the area.
The next day, I found myself back on the road up to Norfolk to visit Caister on Sea Middle School. This was a return visit and I picked the perfect day for it as it was the Head Teacher's 60th birthday and they had laid on drinks and a nice buffet lunch for us all. It was a big group, about 120 children, but it all seemed to go really well. They did a fine example of some Tudor dancing for me, which was much appreciated. During one of my talks in the morning I managed to get a tickle in my throat which I could not get rid of, and spent some time just coughing pathetically in front of the children, which was a bit embarrassing. Also during this point I was giving the children a little talk about writing implements used and I showed them my feather pen and asked them what it was called - the answer I got? A quiff! Perfect... The final jousting session was longer than normal because of the large number of children, but we managed to whittle all the teams down to a ladies champions and a gents, and in the final the men triumphed for once. With some help from some little roadies I was soon on my way.
I had a lovely evening with my parents and my wife, and today I have driven back to Somerset. My mother and father, gawd bless 'em, have bought me the piano I want for my 40th! It should be arriving on Wednesday next week. I can't wait!
Before then, my next Henry jobs are tomorrow at Shepton Beauchamp school and then next Tuesday with the BBC film crew at Riverview School in Gravesend.