Good King Hal starring in the latest blockbuster "Babe 3 - Pig in a White Wine Sauce, with shallots, aubergines and potato rosti, all served with a nice chilled Chablis". Certificate 18.
My son has a certain temper with inanimate objects, when they won't do what he wants them to do. Sadly, I can hide this no longer - he gets this from me. And with me it isn't even inanimate objects. If anything isn't doing what I want it to do, it is in danger of being smashed to pieces or thrown across the room. I am usually this same intolerant idiot when it comes to being ill. Now I have just finished my week long run at Leeds Castle and it is usually when I am there that I fall ill with a bad chest - but I have waited until the week after to get all yukky. Now, whenever I lie down my chest goes bubble-bubble-wheeze and I begin coughing and sometimes can't stop for several eye-watering minutes. This is where my temper with inanimate objects goes to a new level, as I get so angry with my lungs for not working properly I just want to rip them out, squeeze them dry, run them through a mangle and then stuff them back in again. As I can't actually do this for real (please, children at home - DON'T try this) it means I have been having terrible trouble sleeping of late. So the night before I was due to drive to Hazlegrove School near Sparkford in Somerset I gave up on my bed after a couple of wheezing coughing filled hours and headed instead for the warm comforts of my almost world famous "Coma Chair" (C) Mike Farley 2010. Now I knew not to sleep with my feet on the floor as this could bring on such horrors as deep vein thrombosis, scurvy and Mongolian Luirghi Fever of the Fallen Arches (or something like that). So I dutifully stuck my legs up on a stool, stuck on the latest recorded edition of Neil Oliver's "History of Ancient Britain" and as predicted I promptly fell fast asleep.
I woke up at some damnably early hour and found that my feet had at some point in the night fallen off the stool. I was now blessed with ankles that felt remarkably like over ripe cantaloupe melons. I still felt ill and my chest burbled away merrily as I drove up the A303 to Sparkford, pausing only to cough alarmingly and wipe my watering eyes. Hazlegrove School is in a remarkable old house that apparently, I was informed later, was once slept in by Catherine of Aragon... or was it Katherine Parr? Well it was one of them. Mind you, the amount of places I have been in my time as Henry VIII and been told that one of the six wives once slept there, or that Mary I slept there, or Queen Elizabeth had eaten a Ginsters pasty there etc. The other one I get all the time is mostly American women coming up to me at events and telling me they're related to Anne Boleyn. Well so am I - we're both mammals for Christ's sake. Anyway, I am getting off the subject.
Hazlegrove School was lovely, the teachers were unbelievably friendly and helpful and very sympathetic to my burbling chest and frequent Krakatoa cough explosions. The kids were great and called the usual private school names like Hector or Ned, or Jensen or Barry (not really). The lunch was lovely, a very tasty roast pork with veg and roast potatoes. The afternoon session went very well and finished with two of the finest jousting teams you will ever see, but ended with the Gentlemen's team just sneaking a narrow victory over a very good ladies team. This makes our score:
GENTLEMEN 16 - 19 LADIES
I felt totally wasted after the show. Just exhausted and burnt out. All I could think of was that I was due to get up at 4am the next morning and drive three hours up to Shrewsbury for a visit to Mereside School. To be honest I just couldn't face the idea. I needed rest and lots of it. When I got home I called Mereside and they were lovely - they said it was fine and the show has now been postponed back to the 14th March. Phew. This meant I could have a lie in this morning and get better, and you know what? I feel much better for it. Therefore the next Henry day is now on Monday at The Hills School in Bedford.