Good King Hal showing admirable composure after a particularly unsuccessful Temperance Society cheese and wine bash.
The weekend just gone has been very nice indeed. My parents came down to stay from their home at Newcastle Emlyn and we had a fun time. On the Sunday we went down to Portesham in Dorset for the Memorial Service for my cousin Jack. Jack died in May and this was a chance to celebrate the life of a truly exceptional human being. I have so many happy memories of my Uncle Jack - he was a true and proper English eccentric, intelligent, witty, creative and one of the warmest kindest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. We shall not look on his like again. A few years ago when I made a Henry appearance at Abbotsbury Tythe Barn for their "Midsummer Medieval Mayhem", Jack kindly agreed to be a "Heckler" in the audience during my set. He did such a fine job that he got more of an ovation than I did at the end! The memorial service was full of song, poetry, music and happy memories - just perfect for this incredible man. Jack - it was a pleasure to know you. The world is a greyer colder place without you.
This evening, Monday, I was due to give another talk to a Rotary Club, this time Yeo Vale Rotary - their meeting was to take place at a hotel just south of Yeovil on the A37. I noted the name of the hotel but kept struggling to remember it. It's official name was The George Albert Hotel, but I kept thinking of either George Michael or Prince Albert, both of which can be quite hurtful. One is a searing pain where you least want it, and the other is a genital piercing (BA-DOOM-TISH - thank you, thank you).
I drove down in the slowly dimming light of the summer evening. I was due on at 8.15pm so I arrived at the hotel at about 7.45pm and was warmly greeted by the lovely receptionist Louise. I was sent up to a room to use as a dressing room. It was one of the card entry system rooms - I could not get the door to unlock, so eventually I had to come back down to reception and ask the long suffering Louise to get me another card. It was only when I went back up to the room that I realised I had to put the card and then take it out to get the door to unlock, not just leave it in as I had been doing. What a prat. I got in the room and then couldn't make any of the lights work. This was turning into a nightmare. So I got changed into my Henry togs in braille and then went downstairs, but not before I discovered that I could have got the lights to work in my room if I had simply popped the all powerful door card into another slot by the bedroom door. DOH!.
Downstairs I waited to be summoned to the function room. But the wait went on and on and on. Finally I got into do my show at about 9pm. Well it went great - not quite as storming as the show at I did at the Westland Centre a while back, but plenty of laughs and a real long warm round of applause at the conclusion! So I got changed back in my now well lit and air conditioned room and then drove back through thick fog and headed for home. Tomorrow is another early start with a visit to Maltman's Green School in Buckinghamshire.