And all of a sudden, it was the last weekend of Hever jousting! I couldn't believe it had come round so quickly. The weather had been looking vaguely threatening all week - could our luck of just one really wet weekend hold out? It didn't start well - a journey up to Essex to see my beautiful son was certainly damp, and our shopping trip to Toys R Us was similarly moist. However, James came away with a "Pirates of the Caribbean" Lego set AND a box set of "Pirates of the Caribbean" DVD's (can you see a pattern here folks?). James is now convinced that he is in fact Captain Jack Sparrow, and can even do the Johnny Depp walk/run perfectly. He is also madly in love with the idea of dressing up as Prince Edward to my Henry VIII - should be fun.
Friday at Hever was damp to begin with, but luckily the rain held off for the entirety of the show, which was a real blessing. After the success of handing a glove to Sir Stephen of Porlock as a "favour", Michelle Coda came up with the idea of more gifts for the Knights from Anne Boleyn. This time she had been on a shopping trip to a local charity shop where she had purchased a simply enormous pair of flowery knickers. These were simply industrial in size and probably best described as apple catchers. Somehow Michelle managed to roll/fold these down to a size that she could secrete them between her boobs in her Tudor dress and produce them (the knickers that is) at will when the time required her to dish out the Queen's favour. Once more it was decided that the prize should go to the Knight that won the "Challenge of the Rings" in the arena. This time Sir Jasper de Barry (Jeremy) was the winner and approached the Royal Box with some trepidation. Michelle handed him the rolled up knickers and he said "ooh, socks!" However, just after he climbed back into the saddle of his horse he unfolded them. A huge cheer went up from the crowd as he displayed the passion killers above his head! How on Earth could Michelle top that???
On the Saturday we were back at the Castle and Michelle was there with her daughter Victoria (delighted that Mungo was back in the show after a day off) and her partner Matt. This time Michelle had purchased some large jelly snakes from a sweet shop. She rolled one of these into a ball and once more it was stuffed between her boobs. Again the weather held off for us, despite early heavy rain showers. The show was a good one today - fast and funny, with a brilliantly responsive crowd. The tournament of the rings went down to a ride off between Sir Jasper de Barry and Sir Stephen of Porlock. We were delighted when Sir Stephen won and once more he approached the Royal Box - Michelle managed to make the removal of the snake something of an artwork in itself and there was much laughter from the crowd as Sir Stephen claimed his prize.
It has been a fantastic summer at Hever Castle and I have enjoyed every single minute. So a big thank you to all the ladies who have been Anne Boleyn this summer - particularly Michelle Coda, but also Lisa Hudson, Tamsin Lewis, Zarrina Bull, Diane Collings and Sarah the steward from Hever! I couldn't have done it without any of you. A final celebratory curry was had at my sister's house on Saturday night and I was off back to Somerset on the Sunday morning. I am next working with the Knights at Leeds Castle on the 9th, 10th and 11th September for a tournament. Come along if you can!
All that AND Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 5 Manchester City. Wow.