My alarm went off at 0400 hours this morning. What does the O stand for? Oh my God, it's early. It was going to be a long drive today up to Kempston near Bedford for a first visit to Balliol Lower School, a new venue for me. The drive was actually quite pleasant as it was before the full heat of the day had awoken and the roads were fairly clear at this early hour. I shot up the A303 and then the A34, before cutting across country and hedging Milton Keynes and then through Buckingham, which seems a delightful little town.
I arrived just before the school opened and so sat in a side road having some breakfast, much to the amazement of an elderly lady taking her dog for a walk. She obviously thought that I was lurking in her side road up to no good as she came past and had a good look at me about four times! The welcome I got at the school was much warmer, and I was informed in great detail by the lady in the office that she had cancelled the fire drill for that day because of me, but if there was a fire alarm it would be for real.
It was a Year 3 group today of about 50-60 children and they were just fantastic! Lively, inquisitive and ready to laugh. They also had some fine Tudor knowledge to share with me. The morning just seemed to shoot by, which is always a good sign that the day went well. I had a lovely lunch of roast beef from the ladies in the kitchens and then it was into the afternoon with all the nice gory bits! The stocks were hilarious and gruesome in equal measure. The joust was a good one too, with the gentlemen winning for a nice change. Balliol Lower was a delightful school to visit and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. It would be nice to go back and see them again sometime.
The journey home was a bit more fraught with much more traffic on the road, especially lorry drivers hell bent on overtaking other lorries at approximately 0.1 nano-mile-per-hour faster than each other. Why do they do it? They seem to wait until you are zooming up to overtake them and then just signal and blithely pull out, and trundle along for what seems like an eon before either completing the manouevre or, more commonly, giving up and tucking in behind again.
I got back in time to sit and watch Rangers being comprehensively outplayed by Zenit St Petersburg of Russia in the UEFA Cup Final, played at the lovely home ground of Manchester City, the finest team in the world with that name.