Norwich's most famous export apart from Delia Smith, Mustard and Jeremy Goss with that volley against Bayern Munich! Did you see that? He must have a foot like a traction engine!
I was up for two days in sunny Norfolk at two brand new schools for me. So to begin with I drove to Essex to spend some time with my son James and his Mummy, but it involved the next morning getting up at 4.30am to drive up to Gresham village, north of Norwich on the way to Cromer. It was a cold icy morning and the thermometer on my car never rose above minus two for the whole journey. As the sun began to bleed it's light from the horizon the verges by the road appeared bright white, as though dusted with snow, but it was just a very thick frost. Despite these low temperatures I was making excellent progress and my destination grew closer and closer. Suddenly the sat nav chimed and announced I had arrived. I stopped the car and looked round. I was by an empty open field. A bemused looking pheasant cast a beady eye at me and then sauntered off. Great. Where the hell was I? I re-programmed the sat nav using the name of the village rather than the post code as I had been using. The machine almost seemed to say "what the hell are you doing in this field? Your destination if over there!" and so off I went. I eventually managed to locate Gresham Village School in a very nice area of rural land and red brick Victorian country houses. Extremely attractive. As I was unloading my car another vehicle pulled up next to mine with two long haired Tudor be-decked figures. "Ah!" I boomed, "Two lovely wenches!" One of them had a beard. Bugger. These were the fellow re-enactors I had heard about. They played music and taught the children Tudor dance and etiquette. I began the morning wandering around to the nursery and reception class to meet the children and talk about Henry and Tudor times. They were really diddy and cute, all in fabulous costumes. I began by asking them how long ago they thought Henry had been around. One little chap ventured five years. I told them it was longer than that, so he guessed six, and then seven. This could take a long time I thought. Later on in the morning I was in the main hall with years 3, 4, 5 and 6, and we had a really good time. Lots of laughs and great knowledge from the children. Lunch was a fine Tudor banquet seated around long tables, with yours truly on the top table with the teachers. This soon led on to more talk and music stuff from me and finally a grand jousting tournament that culminated in a win for the ladies. This made the score now:
GENTLEMEN 8 - 8 LADIES
I presented the winning certificates in an end of day assembly attended by some of the parents. Great stuff. I loaded up the car and then headed off to Acle and my luxury Travelodge abode for the evening. It was, as any Travelodge, a bit spartan but warm and comfortable, and I slept very well.
In the morning I was up and out the door to Old Catton School in north Norwich. This was another new school and I had been recommended to them by the good people at White Woman Lane School. The teachers were a lovely lot at this school and we had plenty of laughs. It was a big group of children and sometimes they were a bit difficult to keep under tabs, but it all turned out fine in the end. The jousting tournament was another loud and fun affair which ended with ANOTHER win for the ladies! They had completed their come back from being so far behind. The score is now:
GENTLEMEN 8 - 9 LADIES
I drove back to Essex after the show and took Amanda and James out for a curry at the star-studded Bas Vegas. James has announced that he wants to be an actor when he is older. He then got a bit confused as he stated he'd rather be an actress than an actor. It appears he would give his all for his career. What a hero!
I am down to Kent tomorrow and then on Friday at Leeds Castle with the BBC for the Children in Need evening. Keep watching!