Good King Hal singing "I'm puttin' on my top hat. Tyin' up my white tie. Brushin' off my tails!" Unfortunately in the entire song there is no mention of any trousers and consequently he was arrested for indecent exposure.
I was due to visit Blundell's Prep School in Tiverton last Monday, but due to family committments I had to postpone the show for a week. Therefore I was back bright and early on the morning of the 24th. My sat nav has this almost obscene dislike of going the most direct route to some addresses. Blundell's Prep is a prime example. As soon as I come off the M5 at junction 27 she goes beserk, desperately trying to get me to drive down tiny back roads, whereas I know that if I stay on the big main roads I will be there before you know it. I ignored her yesterday and arrived embarrassingly early at this lovely school.
I sat in the staff room sipping tea until my contact arrived - the gloriously named Stef Jeffs. She has been an ever present since I first went to this school about six years ago and it was known at St Aubyn's. Well she might be departing soon as she is contemplating going to theological college - good luck to her, I say, but it won't be the same without her. Similarly on their way out is the head of Blundell's Prep, Nick Folland, former Somerset batsman and a font of cricket knowledge. I chatted with him during the morning break. I asked him who was the most difficult bowler he ever faced - he couldn't name a particular one, but cited, among others Malcolm Marshall, Curtley Ambrose, Michael Holding, Patrick Patterson, Ole Mortensen et al. It made me facing Jim Hawes whilst batting for the Hoop Cricket Club a bit tame to be honest. But Nick has been an ever present again since I began at Blundell's and it really won't be the same without him, but I wish him well at his new position at a school in Chepstow.
The day itself was fun, but hardwork! Being a private school the morning session ran from 9am to 1pm with only a 15 minute break at about 11am. But then conversely, after lunch I had only just over an hour to do before closing down and heading for home. The children were fantastic and laughed a lot at the silly bits, but some of them also showed some brilliantly aquired Tudor knowledge. I also kept jokingly flirting with one of the young TA's, much to her giggling, red faced embarrassment! The final joust was a belter with, yet AGAIN, the ladies storming to an impressive victory. This now makes our score:
GENTLEMEN 9 - 13 LADIES
The ladies are really now starting to pull away again. My next two Tudor shows are in the South East this week, firstly back at Tolleshunt D'Arcy near Maldon in Essex on the 26th, and then at Ware in Hertfordshire on the 27th. This should bring about lots of laughs - where are you? Ware. Yes, where are you? Etc etc. This could rival Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" routine in the years to come.
But probably not.