Sometimes you see interviews with actors, or comedians or even sportsmen, where they talk about being "in the zone". Now this often sounds like pretentious twaddle at it's most bumptious, but occasionally, very occasionally I get a brief glimpse of what they are talking about. Being "in the zone" basically means you are doing everything right without even really having the think about it. Which is about as far as you could possibly get if you are an Australian cricketer recently. Sorry, I really mustn't do that. Gloating is not a good thing to do - but it is tremendous fun. No, going back to being "in the zone", it is like when you are playing cricket and you hit a ball right off the sweet spot of the bat - you don't really feel a thing, all you are aware of is that you timed it perfectly, used very little effort and the ball is now rocketing away towards the boundary. Counter that when you slightly miss-time a shot and catch the ball on the toe of the bat....OW! Your arms will feel like you are having electric shocks passed through them for a few minutes to come! From doing Henry shows so often for the past 6+ years I know my patter and routine virtually backwards, but sometimes, like today, it just flows so much more easily. The jokes in it are timed to perfection, the audience gets it and goes with it and everything just dovetails so perfectly. Days like today don't come around very often, so you enjoy them while you can.
Coalway Junior is a delightful school in the small town of Coleford near Cinderford in the Forest of Dean. This was my seventh annual visit to this school and was far and away my best visit here and most enjoyable. It was a group of about 60 children, all charming, funny and a pleasure to talk to. The teachers were brilliant as well, joining in the silliness in the show with gusto and even chucking in a few heckles along the way, which made it all the more funny. Everything worked like a charm today. The jousting was amazingly exciting and would have been won by a very good Gents team if only their second rider forgot to keep his lance upright and managed to drop all the quoits he'd already picked up. This allowed the ladies to scuttle through and sneak an unexpected victory. This now makes our score:
GENTLEMEN 9 - 11 LADIES
So the ladies start to pull away. The drive back was OK, but through some fairly Biblical weather - howling winds and whipping rain.
Oh, and you know I was getting all celebratory the other week when the BBC finally put Sarah Kennedy out of our misery? Trust me for being cocky. Guess who they are going to replace her with? Vanessa Feltz. Early mornings are going to seem a lot darker all of a sudden... Next Henry show is the much postponed and delayed visit back to Knightwood Primary in Chandlers Ford in Hampshire on Wednesday.