Good King Hal and Sir William of Antioch showing utter contempt for the Red Jousting team by hiding near a castle down the blue end of the arena.
The final Sunday of the jousting tournament at Leeds Castle had shown little promise - weather-wise. Early forecasts indicated that something akin to Hurricane Katrina was going to strike the Maidstone area and reduce most things to utter carnage. Michelle Coda and I kept close tabs on the BBC on line forecasts for most of the Saturday evening. First prognostications indicated that rain was going to be falling by 10am on the Sunday - about an hour later this had been put back to 2pm. When we next checked it was predicted for 4pm - which suited us as that was by the time the second jousting show had finished. Just before we left for the castle on the Sunday morning the rain was not expected until nearly 11pm - so that was all good. Of course as soon as we arrived at the Castle that morning it started spotting with rain, but it didn't really set in.
We had another fine day of fun jousting - lots of laughs, but by the end of the day the lads who actually do the fighting and rushing around were completely bushed, poor little devils. I said a fond farewell to everyone and was soon on my long lonely way back down to Somerset. I got home about 7pm.
After a Monday of recuperation I was up very early on the Tuesday (4am - ARGH!) to drive down to Lymington to catch an early ferry (6.45am - ARGH!) over to the Isle of Wight. I was going over to Haylands School in Ryde for my 4th visit to this lovely school. I was one of the first cars onto the ferry and, overcome with tiredness as I was, I simply stayed in the car for the voyage across the Solent and snored loudly from the drivers seat. I trust the Captain on the ferry didn't do similar. It simply poured with rain as I drove across the island to Ryde - I got soaked after I arrived at the school and ferried my props into the hall. It was a lovely lively group today - about 60 year 3 children, but all very switched on and full of beans. We had a fantastic day - lots of laughs, they were easily one of the most with it and clever year 3 groups I had worked with for a very long time.
After a fine roast dinner lunch (I asked one of the office ladies at the school what the roast was, she told me that it was pork as there was crackling - she disappeared and then returned saying that she at least hoped it was pork as there was crackling involved... Don't worry folks, it was pork, just don't tell my rabbi.), we were back in the hall for the stocks and the jousting. It was a great tournament, something of a riot to begin with as it often is with year 3 kids, but they soon got the hang of it. In the grand final, despite having led nearly all the way through, the gents team managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and the ladies walked away with the title. This now makes our score:
GENTLEMEN 17 - 27 LADIES
I left the school at about 3.30pm and arrived in Yarmouth in time for the 4.30pm ferry back to Lymington. After an uneventful crossing I was back on the road and finally arrived home tired, drained but thankfully paid, at about 7.30pm (ARGH!). I snored loudly in front of the Euro 2012 match between Poland and Russia, and finally gave up and went to bed at 10.30pm (ARGH!).
You can hear Good King Hal again this Friday from 9am (ARGH!) on the Emma Britton Show on BBC Somerset, coming "live" from Barrington Court. Tune in or check it out on line on www.bbc.co.uk/Somerset .