Thursday, April 29, 2010

Haylands School, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Good King Hal gets all arty. This is what the exit from Lymington Harbour looks like at just after 5am. Trust me on this. (But it is a nice photo, isn't it?)

Back to Haylands School in Ryde on the Isle of Wight yesterday, exactly a year after my last visit. I had noticed that from checking on-line with the ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth how the prices went up as time got later, so in a fit of some kind of dementia I had booked myself on the 5.10am ferry. What the heck was I thinking? This meant I had to get up at 3am in Crewkerne and be on my way by 3.30am. However, I made it on time and soon me, my car, one other car and about four lorries were slowly slipping out into the dark waters of the Solent. I went up on to what they laughably called a "Sun Deck" and watched the early morning sunrise. I took a few piccies, as you can see above, and also got waved at by a yacht full of what appeared to be young ladies sailing in to Lymington in the weak morning light. I say appeared to be young ladies as they were all clothed head to foot in what appeared to be full survival suits, so they might have been jolly friendly chaps instead. I wandered back inside and sat looking out of the windows as Yarmouth drew closer.
The two cars were let off the ferry after one lorry, but it was a lorry I ended up following all the way to Newport. My sat nav then had a bit of a "mental-mental-chicken-oriental" moment in Newport and for some reason known only to herself, took me down various tiny back roads and housing estates before we emerged once more on the road to Ryde. I found the school down it's tiny side lane, but found it was a good hour and half before the place was likely to burst into life. I needed some petrol, well, to be honest the car did, but I digress. I soon found myself driving into the car park of possibly the largest Tesco store I have ever seen. This place looked like an aircraft hanger. I kept expecting the whole front to swing open and see the prow of the R101 nudge out. I chose to go to Tesco's as I knew their fuel would be the cheapest around (tight-fisted swine that I am), but I had been shocked by just how expensive the fuel on the island was. Anyway, fully fuelled up I headed back to the school and was soon inside and setting up for the day.
Just like last year it was great fun. A really excitable and bright group of year 3's, some charming lovely teachers and teaching assistants, and just a pleasurable day all round. It was also the first time really in 2010 where I felt truly hot and uncomfortable in the costume - must mean summer is a-coming! After a nice lunch and a chat with a really charming lady who's husband works for the National Trust (I urged them both to visit Barrington Court when they get a chance), it was back for the afternoon session. Again much laughter and fun, and then a truly epic jousting tournament, which once more the gents won! This now makes our year-long score very interesting indeed.
The next chance the ladies get to pull away again is on May 4th at West Pennard School near Glastonbury.
I drove back to the ferry at Yarmouth and was soon back on the mainland. A fairly bother free trip back to Somerset and I was at home. In the evening I think I was supposed to meet Matthew Applegate at the Duke of York in Shepton Beauchamp for a drink. So I went over. Matthew never appeared, so I wondered if I had got the wrong pub. Perhaps we were going to meet at the Royal Oak in Barrington. I drove over there. Nope, he wasn't there either. I went home, pausing only to enjoy the wonderful friendliness and ambiance of Peejays Fish Bar in Crewkerne. And so to bed. In the words of Jane Austen "blimey, Mr Darcey, my dogs are barking and I am totally knackered." That was a long day.

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