Good King Hal sings "Only a Nose - I Picked It For YOU!" before being rendered unconscious by a large truncheon twirled by a member of the constabulary.
It had been a busy few days, up and down to Essex to see James and Amanda, and down to Leeds Castle in Kent for talks and other things. One of the main reasons to visit Leeds Castle was to say a fond farewell to Helen Budd, Darlene Cavill's wonderful assistant. Helen began at Leeds only a few months before I did my first show there, and has been an ever present since. She is taking up a job with English Heritage based down at Dover Castle, so hopefully we can work together again. Darlene, Helen and I went to a small cafe in Bearsted, a village near the castle for lunch, and were joined by Scott, another long time worker at the Castle who won't be around any more. We had a lovely time but sadly it was soon time to go. Leeds just won't be the same without Helen.
After a few more days with James and Amanda it was back to Somerset and a visit to me from my parents, down from Wales for the weekend. We had a lovely time including a particularly fine evening meal on the Saturday night at the Dinnington Docks pub.
Monday I was back on the road again for a third return visit to St Michael's School in Twerton, near Bath. One maniac VW driver aside (some complete tit in a black Passat who thought winding roads and traffic behind slow moving lorries was an excuse for suicidal over-taking procedures on bends, hill summits etc.) the journey was going swimmingly. I had even timed my journey to begin just as stark raving bonkers (and jolly thirsty) early morning DJ Sarah Kennedy was signing off - always good news! However, all of a sudden, with no prior warning whatsoever, three quarters of the way up the A37, the road was suddenly shut. I followed the diversion signs and the words of wisdom from my sat nav but soon found myself crawling along down tiny one track lanes, however I eventually arrived at the school. As ever at this wonderful place I was very warmly welcomed and we were soon underway. We had great fun and the children showed some very good Tudor knowledge. Some of their coat of arms designs were looking pretty good as well! A delightful lunch of minced beef fajitas and a green salad was rapidly followed by the mad afternoon session. It went fantastically and culminated in a very cocky and certain Gents team being well and truly trounced by a more than capable Ladies team! This now makes the score:
GENTLEMEN 20 - 25 LADIES
Still too close to call at the moment.
When I finished gigs in the old days, I always used to fight like hell to get away from the school ASAP so I could get home to my wife and son, and cuddles and welcomes. But nowadays, now I have no one waiting for me when I get in, I don't feel the urge to get away as before. Why go home if there is nothing worth waiting for you when you get there?
So bearing this in mind I was initially not that bothered about the south facing A37 likely to be a pain again. But it was for more of a pain than I had bargained for. I followed the diversions again, only this time for some reason about 6 miles up the road, they just stopped! I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, and just at this moment my sat nav decides to go "mental mental chicken oriental" again, and locks up solid so that I can neither switch it off or on. And I was not the only one with the same predicament. Small back lanes around the Shepton Mallet area were gridlocked with irate lorry drivers and people with huge caravans, but then they deserve to suffer. I finally managed to coax my sat nav back into life and found my way home. The empty flat just served to bring my mood lower, and so I decided a Chinese takeaway would cheer things up. Wrong. Local Chinese is shut due to "short staffing". A lack of Chinese workers? But there are BILLIONS of them!? They could have found just one person to cook me some crispy beef and noodles, surely? I ended up with distinctly underwhelming fish and chips from a very underwhelming chippy.
Tomorrow evening I am giving a talk at Norton sub Hamdon for their local ladies group - should be fun. Then on Wednesday I am off down to Brent Knoll for a first Henry visit to the school down there.
Right just time for some Mighty Boosh to try and cheer me up, and then bed. Night!
P.S. And England THRASHED TRASHED AND CRUNCHED the Aussies out of sight in the final of the World Cricket T20 tournament. It always a delight to watch the Aussies take a fearful biffing in any sport, but when it is us dishing it out - even better!