Good King Hal, at Downlands School at Blandford Camp in Dorset with six "trouble and strifes". The six are, from left to right: Happy, Bashful, Amnesia, Cuthburt, Dibble and Grubb.
Another trip down to Dorset and another return visit. This was my fifth year in a row to visit the august portals of St Michael's Middle School on the outskirts of Wimborne in Dorset. It was a delightful drive down in the early morning on Wednesday. A piercingly bright cold morning had dawned and I was soon hacking down to Dorchester and all points east heading for Wimborne town. One of my best friends at the school, the lovely Jane Eyre, I only saw fleetingly as she was accompanying a group of year 8's on a coach trip to Hampton Court Palace. I told her to make sure she left the key under the mat when they left.
It was a big group on the day, about 120 children, and we had a fine day all in all! Lots of loud laughter, lots of great Tudor costumes, good knowledge from the kids and as usual, a really warm welcome from all the lovely teachers who work at this cool school. We had a fun morning, finishing with a riotous question and answer session which had me in stitches from time to time. Lunch was a very tasty, if somewhat bizarre combination of meatball bolognese served with cous-cous and sweetcorn! Different.
The afternoon session was equally fun and frantic and finished on a very closely fought jousting tournament which finally brought a long needed victory for the gents in their ongoing battle with the ladies. This now brings the overall score to:
GENTLEMEN 13 - 20 LADIES
I finished at about 3.30pm and headed for home. I was tired out and was looking forward to a restful evening sitting on my bottom and cheering on AC Milan in what turned out to be a fruitless attempt to beat Man Ure at Old Trafford. It wasn't to happen. I was reminded I was due at Barrington Court for Kate Churchill's farewell party. She is Matthew Applegate's assistant and is a delightful young lady who will be sadly missed when she goes. I arrived at almost smack on 7pm for the party, which was to be a surprise, thinking I had missed the actual surprise bit. I hadn't. We were all lurking in the William and Mary Room in Strode House with the lights out waiting for Kate's entrance. And we waited and waited. Then we waited some more. We waited sitting down and we waited standing up, which is pretty much the same only one is taller than the other. Eventually after several false alerts and much snickering, Kate arrived and was duly shocked to find us all there! A fine party then ensued, including some more fine examples of Jay Kay style dancing from Mr Matthew "Liquid Hips" Applegate that induced much laughter from all the people there. It was a fine party and fine send off to a very popular lady. Good luck to you, Kate!