I have a little document that I keep on my computer which I update occasionally. It contains the date and number of every single Henry VIIIth appearance I have made since I went professional in 2004. I realised the other day that I hadn't updated it for a while, so I clicked it open. Every 50 shows I get to I highlight the number - the previous highlight in my list was 450. I counted up to find that the previous show I had done was my 499th, so my next show, a return visit to Finton House School in Wandsworth, was to be my 500th. You then add that to the fact that it has just been Henry's 500th wedding anniversary (to Catherine of Aragon) and the 500th anniversary of his ascension to the throne, then it seemed quite appropriate for me to reach my 500th show milestone at about the same time.
This was my 5th visit to Finton House School, and each time I visit this place it is not just hot weather but HOT WEATHER I endure. This year was no different. I drove up from Amanda's place in Basildon and my sat nav had assured me that going up the A127 and joining the M25 that way would be the quickest. WRONG. The A127 was closed after an accident, so I had to drive down to Orsett on the A128 and join the A13 there, and from there on to the M25. The traffic into London, even at this early hour was horrendous and my mood was not best helped by having a thumping headache, just below the threshold of a migraine. I eventually stopped for some pain killers after I began to feel a little nauseous.
It was only a small group at the school today, about 23 children, mostly girls, but boy were they hard work. Virtually silent in the morning session, despite my best efforts and then wildly challenging in the afternoon. I had earned my corn at the end of that session, I can tell you. The drive home didn't improve my mood with more smacks on the M25 and the A13 to keep me laughing all the way.
I can't believe I used to live, and enjoy living in, London. The place is definitely a young person's haunt and not the ideal place for a King - especially a 518 year old one doing his 500th show.
Off to Martham in Norfolk tomorrow.