The rather pleasant sunny weather of the last few days was only a memory on Tuesday morning. After finishing at Sudeley Castle on the Sunday, by Monday I was back on the road heading to Kent for a visit to Bishops Down Primary School in Royal Tunbridge Wells on the Tuesday. The Monday drive had been through the same bright but cold weather of the weekend, but Tuesday dawned grey and cold, with threatening clouds overhead. Tunbridge Wells is a very attractive town most of the time, but even it's charms were somewhat limited in the ceaseless, steady downpour of rain.
I had been booked to appear at this school by a lady called Sarah Grimsey, and she was there to greet me when I parked up outside the school's front doors. She shot up in my estimation by first and foremost being very friendly and welcoming, but then did even better by making me a cup of tea. It was a mixed group of years 5 and 6 for today - about 50 children in total, and they were lovely. Full of laughs and, considering I was their official introduction to the Tudors topic, very well informed on all things Henry VIII. The morning finished in their classroom for a very funny question and answer session.
Lunch was a delicious pesto pasta with home made meat balls - absolutely lovely! The afternoon was equally loud and fun, and when we came to the jousting tournament it was deafening. The final got us back to our usual result with the ladies romping to a very competent and well deserved victory. Our score for the year is now:
GENTLEMEN 14 - 25 LADIES
That is a very big lead the ladies now have, and to be honest I can't see the gentlemen catching them, or am I just doing Roberto Mancini mind games?
I was quite low on fuel as I headed back to my sister's place near Detling, but do you think I could find a petrol station between the school in Tunbridge Wells and Stockbury? Could I heck. I saw one on my side of the road the whole way, and so badly positioned was it that you couldn't see or notice it till you were well past it on a non-turning duel carriageway. Finally, I conceded I would have to stop at the little petrol station at the top of Detling Hill... WRONG! I pulled up on their forecourt with my car virtually running on fumes, to be greeted by big signs saying "Sorry, we are temporarily closed. Apologies for any inconvenience." I then had trouble getting back on the road as some tit in a tarmac-spreading lorry had parked on the slip road back on to the A249 and was reading a newspaper, utterly blocking any attempt to rejoin the carriageway. When he finally grudgingly agreed to move out the way for me I cheerfully waved at him, in that time honoured tradition of miffed drivers. My, how we laughed.
A day off today for a flying visit to Essex to see my beloved son, then tomorrow a drive up to Northumberland... ooh! Now, time to find me that long over due petrol.