A tense moment during the opening rounds of "Ye Stryctlye Comme Pavanning" from 1538. Amazingly the programme was being presented by Bruce Forsyth even then. And he was still utter crap.
This was my first Henry show back after the long Christmas and New Year lay off. It was a nice gentle re-introduction with just a short drive over to the town of Ilchester just off the A303. Life would have been easier if my pathetic sat nav could actually find the place I was going to. It had barely heard of Ilchester, let alone the road I was striving to find. Somehow, through a mixture of blind luck and asking a startled looking old man out walking his dog I managed to find a school. Not THE school, just A school. It was Ilchester Primary (Infants) and I was looking for Ilchester Primary (Juniors), so with a new set of directions ringing in my ears I was off again, and very soon at the place I needed to be. I was welcomed and let in by the school caretaker, a lovely friendly lady - which was a nice change. The only previous female caretaker I can recall was the one at Boxted near Colchester who looked like Daryl Hannah (the caretaker that is, not the school).
This is a lovely school, I cannot say how friendly I was welcomed or how kind and generous all the staff were. It was as if they had all known me for years which was absolutely wonderful. It was a big group of children today - over 90, but they were all absolutely terrific. Fun, buzzy and ready and willing to laugh and learn, something that always makes my job so much easier. When I was doing the talk about the fate of poor Anne Boleyn, I did my usual thing of choosing one of the female teachers at random to play the doomed Queen. As I approached the bit about the beheading, a small girl in the audience just dissolved into tears - it turned out it was this teacher's daughter and she was worried I was really going to lop her Mum's head off! The teacher I had chosen had the absolutely delicious name of Mrs Custard! I shall allow my hallowed readers to make up their own jokes at this point, but feel free to post the best ones to me...
Lunch was a delicious roast pork and then we were off and flying for the afternoon session. It was a riot, loads of laughs aplenty and much fun for everyone it seems. We finished off with the inevitable joust which went down to the wire before a very competent ladies team romped home to victory. This now makes the ongoing scores:
GENTLEMEN 11-13 LADIES
I headed for home and then indulged in a highly unhealthy Chinese takeaway, but to be honest I couldn't face the idea of cooking. Tomorrow I am up bright and very early for a drive up to Hereford and a return visit to Riverside School, before then driving on from there to visit my parents for the weekend in Wales. There's lovely.