King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Typical. You wait for one famous historical monarch for days on end, then two turn up at once. Tut.
Early nights. I don't like them. Not on my own, anyway... But then I don't always go to bed alone, no some nights I have Judie Tzuke with me, or Kate Bush. Last night I had all of Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra with me, which would have been a little crowded if they hadn't been on my Walkman. Just don't tell the News of the World or they'll do a shock expose about the King's nocturnal habits. Well, they would do if Rupert "Cover My Back!" Murdoch hadn't sacrificed an entire newspaper to keep Rebekah Brooks in a position so that she shields him and his repulsive son (for now) from being forced to fall on their own swords. But we can live in hope...
Anyway "why the early night?" I hear you ask. It was for an early start to get up to Walsall in the midlands for a first ever visit to Green Rock Junior. I set my alarm for 4am and then did my usual trick of putting my alarm clock the other side of the room so that when it did go off, I had to get up to turn it off. Well I would have done if I had ever actually managed to get to sleep in the first place. My brain decided it was time to start questioning why I was going to sleep so early, what would happen if I slept through the alarm and such things, until my mind was a whirling maelstrom of thoughts, ideas and panics. I lay in the dark urging myself to fall asleep, but to no avail. I even tried the coma chair, but for once it failed me. I probably managed a total of about an hours sleep, but by 2.30am I was furious and ready to give up. So I had a shower and a shave and got dressed. By 3am I was ready, and so thought what the hell, let's go. It was a wonderfully easy drive at that time of the morning and I was soon in Walsall. I won't lie. It isn't the prettiest town on Earth. In fact it probably wouldn't be the prettiest town on Mars either. By 5.30am I had found the school, so I settled myself down in the car, set my alarm for 7.30am and finally, thankfully fell asleep.
The school was a delight - it appeared huge but apparently only had a roll of about 250 children. I was very warmly welcomed by the lovely teachers. It was great - the children were hilarious, very fizzy and full of energy, plus they all absolutely adored the Tudor period. We had lots of fun and laughter with everyone joining in. Lunch was delicious - cottage pie, one of my all time favourites! The afternoon session was incredibly loud and the jousting was a pulsating tournament that culminated with ANOTHER win for the gents! Two on the trot now - but have they left it too late. Our score is now:
GENTLEMEN 25 - 31 LADIES
I am next appearing tonight (Friday) at the Somerton Summer Arts Festival at the Parish Hall doing my Henry's Horrid History Show. Come along if you're in the area. On Saturday I am back at Barrington Court for a walkabout and another performance of Henry's Horrid History at my favourite National Trust property! Next school visit is next Friday at Arthur Bugler School in Southend in Essex.