Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Coalway Junior, Coleford

Good King Hal on the first day of shooting Guy Ritchie's new movie "Lock Stocks Pillory and Two Smoking Leeches", shortly before getting a bit medieval and "tasty" on Little Danny Dyer. And who can blame him.

Gad, it's cold! Frost on my codpiece and all other extremities are a reminder that the winter has not quite finished with us yet. The week started on a warm note though when I drove down to Southampton on the Monday night with the promise of dinner cooked for me by my old ex-Skandia colleague, Lisa Head. She cooked a fabulous meal and finished it off with home made bizarrely flavour cup cakes. How bizarre, you ask? Chocolate and bacon. Yes... bacon. And do you know what? It really worked! Delicious. Just don't tell my Rabbi, or my dietitian. Tuesday was a day spent catching up on emails and paperwork (and sitting eating a sandwich and watching "Bargain Hunt" just don't tell everyone about my wild and exciting lifestyle).

But today was Wednesday and that meant one thing - up at the crack of dawn on a very crisp frosty morning for a drive up to Gloucestershire and a visit to Coalway Junior School in Coleford. This was my 8th visit to this lovely school, and as ever it was an absolute delight to come back. Coalway is, amazingly, exactly 100 miles from my flat - door to door, and I managed to arrive at their august portals at just after 8am this morning. It was bright and sunny by now, but piercingly cold. I was set up to go in the hall, the main idea being that the children would be sat down with their backs to me when I first went in the hall, then I could shout and make them all jump. And it worked a treat! The morning went swimmingly with a group of about 60 children, all of whom were hugely enthusiastic, apart from one young lady who spent the whole morning either sucking her thumb or with her hands clamped over her ears, but even she perked up a bit in the afternoon.

One of the best things about visiting Coalway is the teachers and staff - they are all absolutely lovely, and the lunch and tea breaks in the staff room are always loud and laughter filled, and today was no exception. The afternoon was even more hilarious and we had a visit from the local newspaper who took a pile of photos of the kids and myself mucking about with the stocks, and another set of me sitting with a little lad in wheelchair as he posed with some of the jousting equipment. As for the joust - rip-roaring stuff! Very loud, but not particularly close. A brilliant ladies team simply blew away the gents team. This makes the score look very ominous for the gents now. It says:


Is there no stopping them? Probably not, but watch this space for more updates and reports.

Finally, on a sad note, I would like to get all my friends and colleagues to send good thoughts and best wishes to my old friend Anne Edwards who I used to work with at The London Borough of Newham back in the late 80's. Anne is currently hospitalised after suffering a stroke and faces a long and difficult path back to good health again, so please if you know her or would just like to send good thoughts and prayers, if that is your bag, then please do. Many thanks.

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