Meanwhile, back on the shelf, demon plasterer, Hank Corkpopper suddenly devised a whole new version of "University Challenge" for use in zero-g situations. Erroneous society hostess, Hortence Mouth-Breather is on the far right of the photo, brandishing the all leather boil lancing kit she won at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival. When suddenly...
I must definitely still be in a post-Andy Partridge interview fog, as for some reason at the end of the last blog entry I stated I was going to a banquet in Awford in Hampshire. What a coad of lobblers, as the Rev Spooner might have put it. There is no such place, as far as I know. I was actually going to Awbridge, near Romsey. I left with plenty of time to spare, but I got stuck in that famous bottle neck known to all and sundry as Salisbury. So as it was I actually arrived about five minutes late at the school, but it was OK, they all seemed very laid back about it! I got changed and was ushered into the hall where I was confronted by a big group of teachers, school children AND their parents! I was heralded in by two trumpeters and then greeted all the children in their Tudor finery. Next, after taking my seat at the head of the table I was treated to a fine example of Tudor dancing. We then ate a fine Tudor meal of pottage, ladies fingers, marzipan treats and lashings of home made ginger ale, which unfortunately tasted rather a lot like cold lemsip made up with cat urine, however everything else was delicious. I did a small Henry talky bit about the six wives, was then serenaded by a recorder trio, then a flautist, then a violinist, and then we had some study of a big painting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and almost as soon as it had started, it was over! It was a lovely little interlude at a truly wonderful school.
Early on the Saturday I drove to Wales to spend the weekend with my parents at their lovely new home in Newcastle Emlyn. The weather was mostly awful, but it was lovely to see them both and I ate and drank far too much, so Henry is back on his diet with a vengeance today! We had dinner on the Saturday night at The Daffodil Pub in a village I can't even spell, let alone pronounce. And then on the Sunday, after a nice bracing walk in the morning we drove to Cenarth and the Three Horseshoes Pub where we had a gorgeous roast beef dinner in wonderfully old world surroundings, and all with good beer, bizarrely Christmas carols on the sound system, and a gigantically chested waitress. What more could you ask for?
I drove back to Somerset on the Monday morning, and took the day relatively easily, before meeting up with Matthew Applegate from Barrington Court at the Duke of York pub in Shepton Beauchamp for a wee beer or two. Today, Tuesday I have been back to Trull School just outside Taunton for my fifth annual visit to this lovely school. We had yet another fantastic day, a very small group, only about 28 children, but in superb costumes and all very knowledgeable and excited about the day. Just before lunch we de-camped to the ancient church opposite the school for some suitably silly posed photos of Henry with the children. After lunch we whipped through a fine, fun afternoon that culminated in a very exciting jousting tournament that went to a sudden death race off in the final, which resulted in that rarest of things this year - a win for the gentlemen! This now makes our score:
GENTLEMEN 14 - 23 LADIES
Not quite respectable for the gents yet, but it is slowly getting better. Just watching Wolves take poor old West Ham to the cleaners tonight, then later this week I am back off to Little Parndon School in Harlow on Friday and then back to Wickford Junior in...er...Wickford on Monday. All should be fun. We are also editing the Andy Partridge interview (keeping everything crossed) next Tuesday.