Thursday, May 31, 2012

Prettygate Junior, Colchester

Good King Hal showing off his latest pick'n'mix selection of English Queen's.  There is Iberian Crisp, Six Fingers of Boleyn, Dr Quinn Medicine Woman Surprise, Flanders Mare Fondant, Howard Tart and Parr-line (geddit?).  I'll get my coat...

Back on the road and back to Essex, this time for a trip up to Colchester, fair Camulodunum, and a visit to Prettygate Junior.  Most of my communication with the school had been through a lovely lady called Kim Bellotti and shortly after my arrival I finally got to meet her.  This was a lovely school - two classes of year 4 pupils giving a total of about 65 children.  They had already done a lot of research and work on their Tudor topic and were very keen to get involved.  They had all dressed as Tudor's as well, and for once most of them had decided to dress as poor Tudors.  The costumes were great.  There was one little lad there who was very very thin, and Tudor peasant outfit aside (i.e. shirt, waistcoat, tights, hat etc) appeared to be wearing a loin cloth.  That added to his spaghetti-thin legs gave him the bizarre impression of being a post-medieval version of Gandhi.
This group were really enthusiastic - almost too much at times!  It needed occasional tugs back on the imaginary lead to keep them in check, but they were all mostly very good natured and friendly children - just what you want!  The morning seemed to shoot past - loads of laughs and some good learning.  I was in need of a cool down and some lunch, and rather appropriately I had picked just the day to come to Prettygate - it was a roast.  And very nice it was too!  Several ice cold glasses of water and a good sit down later and I was ready for action again.
Back to the hall for fun with the stocks and then a right Royal Rumpus of a jousting tournament.  I have recently taken delivery of new quintaines for the shows, and they are a lot more easy to knock over in comparison with the old ones, so this means the riders have to be that much more careful as they go - and it showed in the tournament today!  It was exciting stuff and was touch and go the whole way, but finished in a win for the Gents again.  The score then goes to:
So still a commanding lead, just not quite as commanding it was a few weeks ago.  As the end of summer term marches on, have the lads left it too late?
It was a pleasant drive back to see Amanda and James, and then a spent a lovely evening curled up with my little boy watching one of his favourite movies - a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest.  Not my favourite by a long way, but diverting enough.  And it is so lovely to see my little boy laughing so heartily at some of the silly jokes.  Good lad! 
I am in Shepton Beauchamp in Somerset on Monday for the Jubilee Celebration, then up to Sudeley Castle again for another Tudor fun day with the Tudor Roses.  After that the rest of the week will be spent at Leeds Castle in Kent with another jousting tournament.

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