"And that" said Good King Hal with a certain glint in his eye, "is when you know you have the woodworm completely surrounded. Now release the hounds!"
Ah, dear old Knightwood Junior in Chandlers Ford. Chandlers Ford? Why would candle makers want to have a ford? Answers on a post card please to: Candle Makers And Their Ford (Not a car), Good King Hal, c/o Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Palace Road, Near the maze, London. Anyway, whilst pondering that, dear reader, also ponder on this - today's visit was my 7th appearance at this lovely school. SEVEN? I can't believe it. The drive down was, in comparison with the forced march to Ventnor on Sunday evening was a doddle. I arrived at about 7.45am and was soon inside and re-introduced to the caretaker of the school, the highly esteemed Lee. This gentleman is a real gem (I have to say all this as I know he reads this blog - hello Lee!). As ever he warmly welcomed me and soon had a welcoming cup of tea in my hands. What a star.
It was a lovely group again today - about 60 kids, the vast majority of them in fabulous Tudor costumes, and though they had only recently started their topic there were some real gems of Tudor knowledge out there already. True, there were also subtle moments of gob-smacking daftness as well. For instance when I was explaining about Henry and other rich Tudor's eating habits, I mentioned about some of their nasty habits of over-eating and then...er..."purging" themselves by forcing a long feather down their throats. I began this innocently enough by just showing the children a long feather and asking them what they think Henry did with this long feather half way through a meal. There were the usual answers such as "write a letter" and "tickle his tummy", but I told them he tickled something else with it. One little girl then shouted out in a triumphant voice that she knew the answer - Henry very obviously stops a heavy meal to nip outside and tickle a horse with a feather. It was so blatantly obvious I was amazed I had never thought of it before. The genius of children.
The afternoon session was a pleasure and ended with an inevitably loud jousting tournament that ended with another victory for the gentlemen. This makes our latest score:
GENTLEMEN 5 - 6 LADIES
The drive home was frequently threatened with lumpen grey skies that promised vast amounts of rain. But there was the occasional downpour, but nothing long term. Eventually the weather cleared and my journey was rewarded with a quite stunning sunset as I drove along the A303. A lovely end to a good day.
I am up to Essex on Sunday to see my lovely son, James, then I have shows at Royston, Norwich, Harwich and Fyfield on the Monday through to the Thursday. I shall be rich and exhausted.