After the joys of the Misteltoe Fayre I was up at the crack of dawn on a rainy and wind-blown Monday morning for a journey up the M5 to Cheltenham and a return for the 5th time to Dean Close School. It was good to be back and we had a lovely time. The morning session was full of fun and laughter, and there were some fabulous designs on the coat of arms that the children made. The main hall we were in was somewhat restricted for us by a huge stage poking out into the middle of the hall and a mass of chairs set up for a school production of "Godspell". Lunch at Dean Close was, as ever, wonderful. Pasta Bolognese, which for once with a school dinner was actually very very tasty and more-ish. I wolfed that down and then demolished a nice bowl of apple crumble and custard. Lovely! Because of the lack of space in the hall there was no room for a proper joust so instead I set up one set of quintane polls on the stage and the race was done purely as a time trial between two teams. The gents went first and posted a time of 1 minute and 19 seconds. Then it was the ladies turn. They did well but could only manage a time of 1 minute and 23 seconds. Therefore the score is now:
GENTLEMEN 8 - 12 LADIES
After re-loading the car I was on my way. The journey home was nice and, most importantly considering the recent weather, dry. If it had rained any more I was considering trading the Mazda in for a hovercraft, or even some water wings.
Today was nice and local - doing a talk to a pensioners group at the Henhayes Centre in Crewkerne. They had offered me travel expenses, but as I can virtually open my front door and fall into the Centre there seemed little point. I'd probably end up owing them money. The group was about 20 ladies and gents and they were all lovely and seemed to really enjoy it. I finished there, did some Christmas shopping in town and then headed for home.
Tomorrow I am back at The Maynard School in Exeter. I won't be able to add the result of the joust to the yearly school as, like Godstowe Prep in High Wycombe, this is an all-girls school. Thursday I am in Long Sutton in Somerset then this weekend I have my first appearances as Father Christmas at Leeds Castle - including the dreaded helicopter flight on Saturday. Watch this space for more...