Some two years ago, for the very first time, I attempted to get to a school using my (then) brand new Sat Nav system in my car. It was a baptism of fire for "Doris" and me! She had a bit of a "bad hair day" and attempted to get me to Downlands School in Blandford Camp, Dorset, via a brick wall enclosed builders yard. Today, for what might well prove to be her swan song, "Doris" (my sat nav) was on board to try and bring me back to Downlands! As I may have mentioned in recent days, "Doris" isn't too well at the moment and is much in need of either repair, or total abandonment. She didn't let me down today though and I arrived bright and early at the security gates at this vast army camp. I was quickly signed in and had a photo pass issued to me (they still had me on record from the previous visit two years back). I managed to even snaffle a car parking spot right outside the front door to the school.
It was great to be back, a really lovely school and some charming teachers, all dressed to the nines in their finest Tudor clothing! The ever helpful caretaker took care of me and helped me lug my Henry stuff into the main hall. The children were all dressed up in some equally fantastic Tudor garb, a lot of it painstakingly home made, but looking wonderful. Despite not having done much on the Tudors in class yet this year the children were eager to show off their knowledge. They had all obviously been reading a lot of books about Henry and his life, though pronunciation of names was proving tricky. One little girl told me that Henry's second wife was called "Annie Boyling". And who knows, perhaps she was!
After lunch we had a smashing session with the crime and punishment talk and a lot of fun with the stocks before we got on to the inevitable loud jousting tournament. The girls won on a "penalty shoot out" today, just managing to snatch victory from the gents on the second re-hooking. Downlands is a fabulous school and my only regret is that as whenever I visit them I do two years at once which means I won't get a chance to see them all again for another two years! So see you in 2010!
My journey home was a little fraught as the Troy Town by-pass was shut because of an accident and "Doris'" batteries were running low - but I made it!
Tomorrow I am off to Chard to lovely old Manor Court School and a meeting with Deputy Head, Lizzie Reynolds.