Thursday, December 01, 2011

Dean Close Prep - Cheltenham

Good King Hal showing Jane Seymour an old trick he learnt on the "Mary Rose".

Scene: A sun-kissed tropical beach, cobalt blue waters are lapping on shimmering near white sands. Good King Hal is sitting on a lounger chair in his full Tudor robes, with a knotted handkerchief on his head while sipping a large pina colada and contemplating whether to have the langoustines or the curry pot noodle for lunch. Lisa Rogers, late of Scrapheap Challenge emerges from the water in a tiny white two piece bikini. Rivulets of water cascade down her firm semi naked body as she sashays up the beach with a sensual sway to her step. She stops next to Good King Hal's lounger chair and reaches out her hand. The King takes her hand and kisses it. She leans forward and whispers in his ear those words he had longed to hear....

BEEP-BIDDA-BIDDA-BEEP! Garg-thnarg-wassat? Damn! It was all a fecking dream! And what's worse, it is 5am and pitch dark outside AND it's the first day of December. It must be time to drive up to Cheltenham and visit Dean Close Prep. The previous evening Crewkerne had experienced weather of near Biblical proportions. Rain had lashed at my flat's windows most of the evening and a strong wind had been howling round the eaves. I really wasn't looking forward to the long drive if the weather was going to be like that. As it was the morning was cold, but dry. Added to which the roads were staggeringly empty and I made brilliant progress up the M5 towards Gloucestershire. I arrived at the impressive gates of Dean Close at about 7.30am, so I simply parked up on their drive and waited till things seemed to wake up a bit. It was a group of around 30+ children from Year 5. Some were a little over excitable, but mostly they were a friendly good natured group with lots of laughs among them. After the morning opening talk we then had an extended early morning joust in the large impressive sports hall. We took timings of all the children over two runs and totted up their scores, the fastest three gents and the fastest three ladies would go head to head in the final this afternoon...

Lunch was the usual delicious fayre that you get at most private schools - a warming tasty shepherds pie. I sat at a table with a year 6/7 teacher who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jeffrey Archer, but I resisted any temptation to punch him as he was unlike Archer in that he was eminently likeable and self-effacing. After the feast it was back to the Tudor nonsense with a fun stocks session and then the final of the jousting in which the two top teams fought it out in a lively and loud finale. The ladies swept to another comfortable victory. Latest score then is now:


I packed my stuff away and began the long journey home. My morning drive had mostly been in darkness, my evening drive was pretty much the same, this time with the added fun of occasional squally showers. Tomorrow shouldn't see me in the car for quite so long as I am back down to The Maynard School in Exeter for a full day. Now all I have to do is find that exotic sun-kissed beach again and see if Lisa Rogers is still there. And langoustines it is!

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