Good King Hal and his Mother, at Hever Castle this weekend. I said, Mum, tell me what you want, what you really, really want. And she punched me in the Adam's Apple and broke my camera.
So after finishing at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich, it was back to the jousting cavalcade and back to Hever Castle for the Saturday and Sunday, and then a Monday at Leeds Castle. At the Hever jousting arena the ground was a lot dryer, but it was still too churned up from the quagmire show a few weeks back, and so we were on the temporary arena down near the lake again. My son James came along and was dressed as a Herald in borrowed gear from the Knights of Royal England, and he looked absolutely splendid. Michelle and her daughter Victoria were in attendance as well and so we began our long trek across the grounds of Hever to the jousting field. When we arrived at where the Knights had set up their horse box and HQ in the corner of the field it was rumoured that we had a "celebrity" in for the show. It turned out to be Geri Halliwell, formerly Ginger from the Spice Girls, along with her PA and her two daughters. They had been brought over after having had a personal tour of Hever Castle itself and were sat on chairs provided for them by Hever management which some twit had placed far too close to the edge of the jousting arena. It was hardly surprising that they first moved back a bit, and then Geri ended up joining me in the Royal Box as I continued my commentary. Sam of Hever came up with a great joke, when he came to challenge Sir Jasper du Barry he rode up to the tilt and I asked him what he wanted, and he said "I'll tell you what I want, what I really, REALLY want..." and luckily Geri laughed at this. Later when Sam and Dan engaged in a bit of sub-macho chest barging I commented that it was nice to see the "two become one", which again elicited a minor chuckle from the ex-Spice personage.
That evening after the show there was my sister Cath's annual barbecue and vast drinking session at her home in Stockbury. It was good to see all my family there and lots of old friends, including dear old Ian Weston from Portals to the Past, plus Darren and Emma from the Tudor Roses and their kids Johnny and Matty. Sir Owen of Leeds Castle's lovely mummy Shelley was there also. So all in all, it was an utterly splendid evening with lots of laughs and the finest of company.
Back at the Castle on the Sunday there was a multitude of Spice Girls related jokes in the show - Sir Stephen of Porlock was dubbed Old Spice, Ashley of Hampshire was Posh Spice and Sir Jasper du Barry even became Fifty Shades of Grey Spice. And amazingly a copy of Geri Halliwell's autobiography had been delivered to the Castle with a personal dedication inside it from Ginger Spice herself, declaring her undying love for Sir Sam of Hever. He was delighted with his present and has declared that it is something that he will never part with for the rest of his life. Both days at Hever were lovely and it was good to see Sir Owen of Leeds there for both shows as ever.
On the Monday morning James and I were back over to Leeds Castle for two shows - both of which were packed out. Sir Owen of Leeds was inevitably on hand to enjoy the shows, though my parents were due to come along but sadly my Mother didn't feel so well and so they reluctantly had to cancel their visit. It was good to see Darlene and Becky back at the Castle, and the entire jousting group had a fabulous day. And not a Spice Girl in sight. Perhaps we'll get Liam Gallagher next week, or remaining members of B*Witched. Who can tell...