Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nelson Primary, East Ham

Last year, at about this time, I attempted to visit Nelson Primary School in East Ham. I encountered appalling traffic and eventually my car decided to die on me and I never got there. It was a mortifying experience. After letting them down so badly you could imagine Nelson Primary never contacting me ever again, but give them their due they are nothing if not persistent. They booked me again. Determined not to get way laid by appalling traffic and even more appalling cars I vowed to leave as early as possible to give me the best chance of getting there in one piece.

I was driving to East Ham from Basildon (well, someone has to) and even though my sat nav said "only 25 minutes" I gave myself nearly two hours to get there. I am mighty glad I did. The A13 was DREADFUL. Two car crashes along the way, closed lanes and snaking traffic all led up to the actual journey taking me an hour and a quarter rather than the 25 minutes expected. As I was so early I popped into a local cafe near Nelson Primary for a bacon and sausage roll and a cup of tea. Very nice it was too.

Nelson Primary? What a school! Fantastic old Victorian building, massive and intimidating looking but packed to the rafters with wonderful sparky children in some fabulous home made Tudor outfits. The teachers were as ever hugely welcoming and fun to be with, especially the hugely wonderful, but petitely packaged Jo Dalton who was as charming, fun and professional as ever. The day seemed to shoot past in a flash, with lots of laughs and fun and ended early with another rip roaring joust which the ladies justifiably won with a quite brilliant display of controlled skill and speed. We then went for a Tudor banquet after that, complete with tankards of apple juice, apple pies, baked apples and probably even more apples. Wonderful stuff!

This weekend, I am at Barrington Court again for the Mistletoe Festival and then next week I am back off down to Dunster on Monday to see Nicola and co, and then off to the Maynard in Exeter to see Keagh and co. After that Leeds Castle and the spectre of Father Christmas rears his head again...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Website Updated!

WOW! Take a look at the website folks! has been thoroughly "made over" by the very brilliant and talented Liz Bennett from St Albans. I hope you enjoy the new look and the fun games you can now play on line. Your views on the new look would be very gratefully accepted.
Yesterday I was at Broadhembury School in the quaint Devon village of Broadhembury. We had a great day, and the ladies triumphed in the jousting. I have not a clue what the current score is. I will work on that once I get back on line with the internet at my new flat. Thursday I am up at Nelson Primary in East Ham, a place I singularly failed to get to last year due to a broken down car. Fingers crossed for this year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

No New Posts - Sorry!

Hello folks. Many apologies for the long delay in any new posts on this blog. I have a very good excuse though! I have moved house, which was a bigger job than anyone could ever even begin to imagine. I have somehow managed to combine moving house with doing Henry shows as well, which is frankly some sort of insanity on my behalf and not something I would recommend for a long and restfull life.
Another good reason for not posting too many new blogs on here is because my new flat (which is LOVELY by the way) does not have any internet connection at the moment which makes getting on the internet a bit difficult. My TV also does not work at the new place, so entertainment is a bit thin on the ground at present. I am wading my way through my whole DVD collection at an alarming rate. I have opened the fridge door and watched the light come on and off. You name it, I have tried to entertain myself!
School visits have been as Henry to old friends like Ashcott near Glastonbury, St James' in Bridgwater, St Paul's in Shepton Mallet and this week up in White Woman Lane Junior in Norwich. I will do full and proper write ups on all of these when I can. I also did a World War II day as Sergeant Stanley James at Ditcheat School near Shepton Mallet. It went pretty well, but will again give full details when I can.
Anyway, my new phone number is 01460 271623 so should any schools feel the urge to contact me, carry on!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bedford School & Holy Trinity, Yeovil plus No Move...

OK, I'll admit it. I haven't moved. All that bravado in the previous Blog entry about going to Stoke-sub-Hamdon - forget it! Everything went a bit "Pete Tong" on the Friday night when the incredibly stupid woman I was trying to rent the flat through did her best to drive me to a screaming apoplectic rage. She got very close. However, the upshot was, because of her ham fisted incompetence I was left without a house to move into and the real threat of being homeless looming over me. To add to all this fun, I was now back working as Henry VIIIth again, my week off having run out and the moving house problems unresolved.
My first Henry day back was up at Bedford School in, yes you guessed it, Bedford. This day was a bit different as it had been booked for me by Portals to the Past rather than through my usual channels. So I had no clear contact details and not a clue on who I was supposed to meet there. Added to which the journey up was horrendous with a huge hold up on the M3 and terrible traffic on the M25 and the A421. Just as I was getting close to Bedford my mobile rang and I assumed it would be the school saying where the hell are you, as I was pretty late. It was in fact BBC Two Counties Radio wanting to do a live interview with me about being Henry VIIIth and the fact I was appearing at a school in Bedford. I got that out the way and FINALLY arrived at the school, approximately 45 minutes late. But the day went well, it was a fantastic school, brilliant facilities and very friendly teachers, even though they kept chopping and changing as the day went on so I was never quite sure who was with what group! As it was an all boy's school, the joust cannot be taken into consideration for the whole year score. I finished that and began the long slog home, which thankfully wasn't half as terrible as the journey up.
Today I have been at the Holy Trinity School in Yeovil, and a fabulous place it was too! Lovely modern building, very friendly teachers and some hilariously excitable children all up for a fine day's Tudor fun with Henry VIIIth. And we had a great day. For lunch I had to nip into Morrison's for a sandwich, and I discovered it was one heaving mass of humanity, Lord knows why. But I was soon back in the staff room being gawped at by children through the window into the play ground, none of them sure if I really was Henry VIIIth in civvies. The joust in the afternoon was of a particularly high standard, but the ladies came storming through to collect yet another win this season. So that now makes the score:
Wicked stuff! I am off for a World War II day at Ditcheat School near Taunton on Friday.
As for my new home? I am hopefully moving into 8 Dairy Court in Crewkerne on Saturday. I won't guarantee it as we know what happened last time! Thankfully a different and far more competent letting agency are involved this time.