Good King Hal trying to sell the title deeds of Nonesuch Palace to an impressionable dwarf and her chum.
Thursday evening and I am driving over to Barrington to go to the Village Hall and watch their local Am Dram's latest offering - a variety show called, of course "Show Time" featuring musical numbers, comic sketches and... other things. My old mate Matthew Applegate was working on the ticket sales as head of front of house, while his wife Sue and their two very cute young daughters were starring in the show itself. This was wonderful local village entertainment, of the sort so richly described by Laurie Lee in his book "Cider With Rosie". Fluffed lines, wobbly sets, curtains opening and closing at the wrong time, a sweating compere in ill fitting tuxedo verbally fighting with a crowd full of people who know him very well and enjoy barracking him at every opportunity. Great stuff. One of the opening numbers in the show is a medley of songs from "Grease". Fine, except of course this is an English village amateur dramatic society and the only men in the cast are aged either about 12 or 75. We are therefore treated to the sight of six 30-something women in bobby socks and neck scarves, singing about "Summer Loving", while two chaps resembling their elderly Great Uncles sing the accompanying lines of the teenage boys in the Thunderbirds gang. Surreal. One of the old chaps was wonderful. I couldn't take my eyes off him in the whole cast numbers - he clearly had no idea what the words were to most of the ensemble numbers and was placed very firmly at the back of the stage, but I could still see him opening and closing his mouth with not a vestige of a normal word escaping him. Just like watching the Tory MP John Redwood, when he was Welsh Minister, desperately trying to look like he knew the words to "Land of my Fathers". There was a fairly amusing 'Allo 'Allo skit, an excruciating Abba medley and a quite staggeringly racy version of "Hey Big Spender" from "Sweet Charity". Just a wonderful evening. I laughed like a drain.
On the Friday I drove up to Bristol to the Felix Road adventure playground where my friend Holly Crossland, and her cute daughter Isis, frequently meet up with their home education group. I had been asked to come along and do a Henry presentation for them. On the way up a warning light appeared on the dash board of my car. I wasn't sure what it was but the car seemed to be going OK, so I pressed on. I found the playground quite easily and was soon saying a big hello to Holly and Isis, and Holly's mum who had come along for the show! You can see Holly and Isis in the picture above when we first met at the North Somerset Museum in Weston Super Mare back in 2006. Isis is now 8 and is a charming young lady. And you can see why I am always pleased to see Holly... I set up and was soon on in front of a group of about 25 families. Some of the children were a little...ahem...over excitable shall we say, but they all seemed to enjoy the show and the music. I finished off with a brisk jousting show which was won by a gents team, but I can't really count it in the overall score for the year as it was just a bit of fun really. After getting changed and a quick cup of tea, I was back in the car. The warning light was still on, so whilst trapped in non moving traffic on the M5 south, I decided to have a look in the car manual as to what the light meant, hoping against hope it wouldn't be anything major. The warning light actually meant "get your engine looked at". Oh, conkers. When finally back home in Crewkerne I phoned up Popular Motors in Merriott and booked the car in for a check up on Monday morning. Of course today, the light has gone out. Typical.
I had a meeting with Matthew Applegate at Barrington Court today about a possible Tudor Banquet at the Court House sometime in December. It is looking promising.
Tuesday I am up at Broughton Astley in Leicestershire for a first visit to the school there. Should be a good one.