Cough. Cough - wheeze - splutter. Gad! Will this horrible chesty cough EVER finally clear off? I have no other symptoms of a cold now - not a thing. But this cough... If I try and laugh at anything I end up hacking away as if I am about to barf up a lung. But all that aside I was in good heart for an early morning start and a drive over to Dunster near Minehead. This was the eighth year in a row I had visited this fine school and as ever I was really looking forward to it. The weather was bright and clear first thing and I made good progress even through that perennial bottle neck called Taunton. As I approached Dunster itself the elegant castle perched on it's rocky outcrop above the town was being picked out, spotlight style, by the first rays of the morning sun - it looked beautiful. As I pulled up at the rear entrance to the school I was greeted by three of the teachers I had seen over the previous years. Coming to Dunster is like coming back to an extended family - everyone is so welcoming. I got set up in the hall, got changed and then awaited the children. It was a small group today, just about 25 of them, all year 4's, but impeccably behaved and some of them showing a very good knowledge of the Tudors. Lunch at Dunster was, as ever, a real treat - home made lasagna with crusty bread and a crisp green salad on the side. I sat with the head teacher, Mr Hoyland, and we got on like a house on fire as we always seem to, even if he is an Arsenal fan.
Back in the hall after lunch I had invited the year 3 group to come and watch the jousting as I would be seeing them the following year. This injection of more children and the appearance of several more teachers managed to push the volume level up through the roof and we ended up with a brilliant tournament. Honours again went to a very fine ladies team who galloped away to a deserved victory. Our score is now:
GENTLEMEN 7 - 9 LADIES
Normal service is now resumed.
I drove back in a fairly easy untroubled way and then spent the evening with Matthew Applegate at the Duke of York Pub in Shepton Beauchamp being told various ribald old jokes by Geoff the Builder. Splendid! I shall be going to visit my friend Pete Flanagan today to see how he is getting on recovering from his car accident. Perhaps like Stan Laurel I should bring him hard boiled eggs and walnuts.