The evening before had been pretty good. I had watched with increasing delight as Bayern Munich stuffed Manchester United with virtually the last kick of the game in the Champions League. This is the sort of thing Man Ure do to opposing teams with depressing monotony, so to see them on the receiving end for a change was just a sheer delight. And to see dear old Sir Alex Ferguson going a violent shade of puce at the end was even more wonderful. And so I hied me to bed with a big smile in my heart. That was when I started coughing. I have a cold and a bit of a chest infection at the moment, and I found that every time I laid down in my bed it would induce more coughing. By 2am I was ready to give up, especially considering I was due to get up at 6am to drive to Bristol. I shuffled back into the living room with my duvet and snuggled into my big squashy chair. Luckily I was soon asleep, but before too long the alarm was going.
The drive up to Bristol was fairly easy, but when I got to the proximity of the school the traffic was appalling, added to which with the cold and lack of sleep I was feeling pretty rough to say the least. The last thing on Earth I fancied doing at that precise moment was a Henry VIII show. I had trouble getting into the school as the gates were locked but I was let in by a very nice lady and started unloading the props. However bad I was feeling I was soon very glad I had come all this way. Parson Street School is a lovely place, great kids, lovely teachers and a nice atmosphere all round. We had a great, lively morning session, the only draw back being that the main hall we were in is like a thoroughfare for the whole school and people were coming and going all the time, which proved to be a bit distracting for everyone.
After a delicious lunch and a nice friendly chat with the lovely Joanne Wallace (the teacher who booked me), we were back in the hall (after a slight hold up when a group of excruciatingly cute nursery class children came in for a very short PE lesson - they were doing marching at one point, so I played my recorder for them which they loved!). The afternoon session was even more raucous than the morning, and the final of the jousting had two of the finest teams I have seen in a very long time going head to head. It was finally won by a faultless ladies team who never once put a foot wrong. This now makes our year long score up to:
GENTLEMEN 16 - 24 LADIES
On the long drive home I stopped briefly for petrol on the A37. My God! It was FREEEEEZING! This is supposed to be British Summertime, isn't it? The wind was howling across the station forecourt, and sleety snow was spattering against me and the car. Added to which the guy who served me seemed to be completely deaf. Every time I said anything to him he said "Huh!?", I'd repeat myself and he'd say a sort of vague "yeah...." which didn't induce any confidence that he could actually hear me.
For Easter weekend I am off back to Essex to see James and Amanda, and no more Henry-ing until some possible BBC filming later in April. Watch this space...