Good King Hal, attempting to blend in with the autumnal foliage so that he can leap out on unsuspecting females, whilst clutching a huge ripe courgette, screaming "LOOK OUT MISSUS! THE MARTIANS HAVE LANDED!" It's a hobby, I suppose.
The long week with the never ending coughing fit continued apace with a first visit to the wonderfully named Dr Walker's Junior School in Fyfield, near Ongar in Essex. I think this week was another "first" as all four schools I did this week were new to me - I had never visited any of them before. Quite a rarity these days. My drive over to Ongar from Basildon was not as straightforward as it should be. The usual route would be to cut through Wash Road and Lower Road in Mountnessing - the very road I grew up in! However, halfway down Wash Road they are doing huge great earth moving things, and the road is completely closed. So I thought I would be smart and would cut down through Billericay and go via the back roads round St Giles' Church on the outskirts of Mountnessing (where I got married BTW - I hope you're all making notes about this). All those roads were closed as well. What the hell is going on? Are they extending the Central Line on London Underground? Anyway, I eventually had to drive up to Ingatestone and cut through to Fyfield via Fryerning - all very picturesque and nice, but hardly an expressway. I finally found Dr Walker's School - not a posh private school as the name seemed to suggest, but a very pleasant, relatively modern state school. I was warmly welcomed by the staff, particularly Gemma Smith who had booked me, and was soon in the main hall with the children. It was a small group, only about 25 children, but they were quite a handful - prone to shouting out and getting carried away with the excitement. But they were on the whole very nice children. We had a really fun morning which seemed to shoot past, and the only real headache was my occasional coughing fits with the remnants of my cold. Lunch was a lovely big baked jacket spud drowned in beans and cheese - Nom! Nom! Nom! Had a pleasant chat with one of the senior teachers at the school, a lady who had worked at the same school for the past 30 years. Blimey, she needed either a medal or shooting. There was also a very friendly supply teacher there, a nice chap from Braintree who bore a worrying resemblance to Pa Boswell from the comedy series "Bread".
The afternoon was amazingly loud for such a small group - in fact the group had got even smaller as some of the children had gone off to a cross country tournament. Lucky them... (not). We finished with another amazing jousting tournament, they've all been very memorable this week. This ended with another victory for the ladies. Our score is now:
GENTLEMEN 7 - 8 LADIES
The boys winning streak hasn't lasted long and the ladies are back in the lead again. More to come this week with my next visit being to Dunster School next Tuesday.
I drove back to Somerset this morning after dropping my beloved son James at school. He cuddled up in bed with me last night which was lovely. I know he is getting older so rapidly now and these wonderful innocent times won't last forever, so I make the most of them while I can now, treasuring every second he still considers me cool. He's about the only person who does. He seems hell bent on trying to be a comedian and makes up jokes sometimes. But these are usually jokes utterly devoid of humour - but being a good Daddy I tend to laugh at them anyway. His current favourite self penned joke is: Why did the Alligator punch the car? Because he felt like it. BA-DOOM-TISH! I thank you. And you lot thought my jokes were lame? Now you know who I have passed the genes on to...
Mike Farley, Good King Hal - a singularity in Somerset, News at Ten.