Good King Hal, trying to get Anne of Cleves round the back of the bike sheds. Hampton Court? No, he's just pleased to see her.
Two more shows in the south east. My first visit was to Corringham Primary School in...er...Corringham, near Basildon in Essex. I stayed with Amanda and James the night before and it was nice to see them. The following morning I was up relatively early and drove the short distance down to Corringham. I had no idea how this school had heard about me - and didn't discover until I met the head teacher. He had formerly been the head at Holly Trees Primary in Brentwood which I had visited on two previous occasions. It was lovely to see him again and slightly perturbing to find that he is slowly turning into Sven Goran Eriksson. I won't even begin to tell you who I thought his deputy looked like... The school itself was a delight. We had a great day with some very sparky fun children. They had some great knowledge and loved to join in the fun of the day. After a fine lunch it was on for the afternoon, and inevitably the ladies won the jousting tournament at a canter. This made the score:
GENTLEMEN 6 - 10 LADIES
After the show I drove down over the Dartford crossing to my sister's house near Sittingbourne. She, her husband and I shared a nice take away curry that evening and I was soon dozing off in their comfortable sofa. Time for bed...
The following morning I was up and out early and heading back for a forth visit to Oakfield Junior School in Dartford. The added excitement today was that I had Annalise and her chum from Rochester Cathedral coming along to watch the show and see how my sort of Henry day might fit in at their place. I got to the school to find an enormous building site and nowhere to park. I unloaded the car and then had to park it about half a mile up the road. Oakfield Junior is undergoing a regeneration of Doctor Who proportions. It already looks very impressive, but when finished it is going to be stunning. Sadly, my two friends from Rochester never turned up (there was an email waiting for me when I got home to say that at the last minute something had come up - poor things). We had a great morning with some of the kids in some brilliant Tudor costumes. Some of the children were a little challenging, but the morning went very well indeed. At lunch I changed and walked down to a local sandwich bar. Every year at Oakfield I go to this sandwich bar and every year I forget how unfriendly, rude and terrible they are. I was not disappointed this year. I should have made the most of it as apparently their outlet is closing. What a loss to the world of fine food. Perhaps Giles London should review them? (See Giles London Gets Stuffed at Blogspot!) The afternoon shot past and soon it was time for the joust and, yet again, the ladies triumphed. This now makes the score:
GENTLEMEN 6 - 11 LADIES
I intended to drive to Cath and Julian's again and wait for the rush hour to subside before hitting the road back to Somerset. I had a terrible journey to their place from Dartford as the M2 was closed after their junction, so everything was coming off at the A249. It took me nearly an hour longer than it should have to get to them. We had a nice dinner and then I hit the road just after 8pm. Everything was going swimmingly until I got near Mere as the A303 was closed in both directions and the Ministry of Transport had decided not to put any diversion signs in place. It was just like "this road is shut - find yer own way home!" I eventually drove down the A350 to Shaftesbury and picked up the A30 - a much slower route. I didn't get home till nearly 11.30pm. I have two days to get my flat tidy for visitors coming next week before I am back in the South East again for a visit to Nelson Primary in East Ham on Monday.