After all that 50th wedding anniversary celebrating etc., it was nice to get back to being a Tudor despot again. I was back in Thundersley, sandwiched as it is between Southend and Basildon in south Essex, at Thundersley Junior School for a 4th annual visit. I drove to Essex on the Thursday and firstly joined Amanda and James at SNAP in Brentwood. SNAP stands for Special Needs and Parents and is a charity based in Brentwood. It is a voluntary organisation supporting parents and carers of children with any special need or disability. James attends as he has recently been diagnosed with autism, and he absolutely loves going there! It is a wonderful place and they do all sorts of fun and educational things with the children. James spends an hour there playing with his friends he has made and gets so much out of it. The parents and carers can sit and chat with each other over welcoming mugs of tea or coffee. I really can't praise this place enough and the wonderful work they do!
On the Friday I was down at Thundersley for the Henry day. This is a fantastic school, great kids, very friendly teachers and always a good laugh. It was a full and exciting day that we had and about 99.9% of the children had dressed up in terrific costumes, as had all the teachers. The morning went swimmingly and we were soon back in the hall for the afternoon session. We had an absolutely deafening jousting tournament which culminated in yet another victory for the ladies. They just keep on winning! This now makes our year long score:
GENTLEMEN 21 - 27 LADIES
Closer than I would have expected, but I don't think the ladies can be caught now. I got the children to roar their support for England for the match against Algeria in the World Cup that night. After the show, Amanda, James and I drove down to Kent to see my sister Cathy to watch the England match on her big TV. To be honest I wish we hadn't. England were appalling and could not have hit the backside of a cow with a banjo from now till Doomsday. Professor Stephen Hawking on a space hopper would have had more control of a football than these overpaid embarrassments.
We had a nice Father's Day weekend including lunch at Pizza Express on the Sunday for which Amanda had found an on-line voucher that allowed Dad's to eat their pizza for free! Sounded good to me! Eventually I set off for Somerset on the Sunday evening, but with it being the late last knockings of the 20th June it was obvious that Stonehenge would be a no-go area (I think Doctor Who might agree with that having seen what happened to him there on Saturday night's episode!) so I did a dipping detour, down the A343 into Salisbury and then back out again onto the A303 much further down. It worked a treat and I was soon home.
I have a meeting with Matthew Applegate over at Barrington Court this morning, then on Wednesday I am down to Southampton for a Skandia Life lunch with Sue Marsh and Ruth Le Mesurier, then back to Southampton again on Friday to pick up my parents from their Queen Mary excursion to the Norwegian fjords!