Saturday, November 07, 2009

Canterbury Cathedral

Good King Hal, mere nanoseconds before being savagely hoofed in the shins by another delighted fan.

Visit Kent came calling again! They have been very good to me of late with them using me at shows at such diverse places as Dover Cruise Terminal, the ExCel Arena in London and the Kent County Showground at Detling. Today was another new place for me to visit for them, and that was Canterbury Cathedral. It was a promotional reception for English Teachers based in the Calais area of France and encouraging them to bring school visits to the county of Kent for their pupils. I had been requested to be at the Cathedral by 11.30am for a photo shoot at 12 noon. I duly arrived just after 11am to be told that things were "over running a smidgen" and that the photographer for the shoot had already come and gone. I got changed into my Henry gear and was then taken to a "Green Room" to sit and wait to be called. I had a small speech they wanted me to give, welcoming these people to Canterbury, and then the idea was that each of the 150 or so teachers would be given a number, there was a number of stalls advertising different attractions in the Kent area ranging from Chatham Dockyards, Charles Dickens World, Hever Castle, Penshurst Place etc. to apple orchards and Kentish websites, they would have five minutes with each stall, I would then blow a whistle and ask them to move to the next stall - a sort of business expo version of speed dating really. Finally I was informed that I wouldn't be needed until 1.30pm. So I sat down for a rest only to be called outside for a photo shoot with a different photographer. With that I went back to the Green Room to find some food had been brought for me. It was smoked salmon and cream cheese on half a bagel. I HATE smoked salmon, but it seemed the only thing coming so, through gritted teeth I ate it. I had just finished the last agonising mouth full when another bloke came in with another plate of food for me. Doh! This was all very nice and I scoffed that quite happily.
Finally I was brought into the main hall area, but there was no need for me to do announcements and blow a whistle or two as, after their lunch, most of the French teachers had decided to go into Canterbury for some retail therapy. Eventually a load of them came back and wandered round the stalls and I did my usual circulation of the room, chatting, flirting, having a laugh or two with them. It was nice to see some old friends from Hever Castle and Penshurst Place, plus also Anna and chum from Rochester Cathedral. However by shortly after 3pm most of the French folk had wandered off. By 3.30pm stall holders were putting things away and it seemed time to head for the car. I drove to Cathy and Julian's for a couple of hours, so the rush hour could die down, and then after that it was up to Basildon to see Amanda and James again.
Next week I am off to Norfolk on Tuesday for a school at Gorleston, then on Wednesday I am up to South Witham in Lincolnshire for a visit to the village school there. It will also be a nice chance to see Agent 99 again!

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