Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wandsworth and Bishop's Stortford

I always know when it is time for me to visit Finton House School in Wandsworth. There are always certain hints and clues that it is that time of year again. Firstly, it is Wimbledon Fortnight, and secondly, on the drive to the school you will always hear the words on the radio weather forecast "today is likely to be the hottest day of the year so far!" And it happened again this year! With temperatures on Tuesday rocketing to the upper 20's I knew I was going to be in for a hard time of it in the robes, so I reduced my overheating chances by not wearing my Henry "bodice" today and went for the plain shirt and pantaloons look. Much more agreeable. It was a small group as ever at Finton House, but a nice one. About 25 children, all girls bar one lad! Very strange. They were a remarkably quiet group during the morning, but perked up a bit by lunchtime, and the afternoon was a real hoot with some great moments, particularly in the jousting when, unsurprisingly with their huge advantage in numbers, a team of just ladies won. The drive out of Wandsworth and over to my parents in Essex was enough to make you want to chew your own foot off. It was slow, hot, bad tempered and chock full of cars wherever I went. But at last I made it. For a large part of the journey the temperature sensor on the outside of my trust Peugeot reckoned it was 35 degrees outside and I could almost believe it.
Today found me making a first appearance at a new school. I was off to Hillmead Junior in Bishop's Stortford, a really nice school with some genuinely lovely teachers there who were very friendly, especially the charming South African lady who looked after the reception class children. Again it was a small group of about 25, but a much more diverse mix and we had a really lovely day. Lots of laughs and fun and some of the children showing some quite brilliant knowledge of the Tudors. One young lady got a perfect score on my Tudor quiz, not something that happens very often. Well done to her!
After a rip roaring jousting session I was on my way and the journey home was slightly less fraught than the long march back from Wandsworth the day before, despite the A414 being gridlocked in one place.
Had dinner with my parents and my wife and son - lovely fish and chips from the good Fish'n Chick'n Bar in Rayleigh Road, Hutton. And then after watching Andy Murray being steam rollered into submission by Rafal Nadal I was on my way and back home. Ah! Bed!

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