And so it was time to head back to Hever Castle first of all, for a joust on the Saturday. However, this time there were a couple of differences - one, it wasn't raining and the sun was shining (hoorah!) and two, I had my son James with me, dressed as a sort of cross between a Herald and a cheap version of Prince Edward. I had picked up a costume for James to use from "Dress the Part" - a fancy dress outlet that used to be in the Shereday's Centre in Billericay High Street when I was working there back in the 1980's, but has since moved to much bigger premises at Barleyland's Farm just outside Billericay. We drove down to Hever from Essex on the Saturday morning and met up with Jeremy Richardson, head honcho of the Knights of Royal England as the jousting arena we normally use at Hever still hadn't recovered from the soaking and pounding it took last week, and a new, temporary arena had been set up the far side of the public car park, next to the lake.
Well, we paraded out for the show, and me feeling proud as punch as I had my son James with me in the show for the first time. There was another notable difference - no Michelle Coda today. She and her family were attending a big family event and so her place was taken by the admirable Emma Fuery from The Tudor Roses. She looked after James wonderfully while I was in the middle of the arena doing my patter with the audience. As we sat in the Royal Box doing the commentary, James knelt on the floor in front of me, but I had to keep shushing him as he was laughing at the antics of the Knights too much and occasionally forgetting he was very close to an open mic! It was also nice to see Sir Stephen of Porlock back with the Knights again. It was a lovely day, topped off in marvellous style by seeing Sir Owen of Leeds Castle again, along with his lovely Mummy, Shelley.
James and I immediately left the castle and then headed down to Somerset. We had a fun night playing on the Wii console, but it was time for an early night as we had to be up bright and early for a trip to Sudeley Castle and the latest Tudor Fun day. It was lovely to see Sudeley in the sunshine, we had waited so long to see it that way. There were two Tudor Roses today - Lady Erica and Lady Rachel, plus the lovely Zarrina and Diane from Tudor Gowns. James and I were spoilt for lovely ladies to look at! It was devilishly hot today and the old castle was packed with punters which was lovely to see. It was good to see the lovely Tudor ladies frolicking in the playground, and Rachel and Erica both had fun on the big slide in their Tudor frocks, and then Erica topped that by going on the zip wire in her full Queen's outfit. Not a site you see every day! We wandered and posed for photos for most of the day, but James' two days in the limelight started catching up with him, and by about 3.30pm he was well and truly done in. We slipped away from the throng, he got changed, I got changed and then we were on our way. He slept in the car for a while, but amazingly, one take away curry and some Sponge Bob episodes on the TV and he was virtually bouncing off the walls again.
A few days at leisure and then I am on at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich next Thursday and Friday, before heading back to Hever Castle on the Saturday and Sunday, and then Leeds Castle on the Monday. Come and say hello if you get a chance. And now........... sleep....!