Lady Katherine and Good King Hal having a quick "Vulture" session at Barrington Court much to the amazement of the people around them.
Just what I needed! After the rigours of the jousting season finally began to recede it seemed only right that I should go back to being Henry in my "Horrid History" show, this time at dear old Barrington Court. The original idea was for me to be joined by a phalanx (or is it a flock?) of Tudor Roses, but initially with poor Emma Fuery sidelined after back surgery, one or two others couldn't make it, and in the end I was accompanied on the Sunday by a Tudor Rose (singular) - namely the lovely Katherine Miller.
My weekend was nice anyway as I had my lovely lady Shelley Hughes staying with me along with her son, the renowned Sir Owen of Leeds Castle and the Broomfield Exit. The Saturday walkabout was very nice as the weather was very kind, not too hot and no sign of any rain. Shelley, Owen and I had a quick picnic in the grounds of Barrington Court before I went off to get changed for my official Royal duties. I strolled the grounds from 12.30pm until 2.30pm, where I then stepped into the Great Hall only just recently vacated by Anthony Gormley and his "Morphs". It was a good show on the Saturday, a nice group of people and lots of laughs. Sir Owen held my cane for me during the show, a very important job! It was also nice to see Russ Wardell and his lovely wife at the end of the show. We popped home to my flat and awaited the arrival of Katherine from London, and it wasn't long before we were down at Crewkerne Station picking her up. She was to be staying at the Duke of York pub in Shepton Beauchamp just down the road from Barrington. We delivered her safely there and decided to have dinner with her at the Duke. We had a lovely meal, but by this time (about 8pm), poor old Sir Owen was done in, and even the temptation of a chocolate ice cream couldn't persuade him to lift his head from the table with barely audible mentions that he was "tye-erred".
The Sunday weather looked a bit dodgy as we drove over to Shepton to pick up Katherine for the second day of the Horrid History walkabout. A spattering of rain as we got out the car didn't look too promising, but in the end we got away with the weather altogether, and I am a poet and I didn't know it. Another picnic in the grounds was followed by Shelley helping to lace Katherine into her dress! Soon we were off perambulating again, and this time the Horrid History Show was transplanted into the old Kitchen where I have done so many shows in the past at Barrington. We had a huge turnout for the Sunday show and, if anything it went far better than the Saturday performance - loads of laughs from the crowd and many handshakes and congratulations afterwards. Matthew Applegate, the Visitor Services Manager at Barrington was delighted, and was even told he was a "poo-poo man" by Sir Owen, which I am sure made his day complete.
We dropped Katherine off at Crewkerne Station after the show and she was soon winging her way back to the mighty metropolis that is London - it was lovely to see her again. She is such a nice lady. Shelley then treated me to a Chinese take away, which was most welcome and we finished off the evening watching Doctor Who (recorded from the Saturday night!) and my favourite movie "The Apartment". A lovely evening all round.
Shelley and Owen headed back to Kent on the Monday morning and I went back to the flat to get everything ready for my next few days away doing shows and visits. I attempted to write this blog up last night, but rather idiotically did it after drinking almost industrial amounts of Burrow Hill Scrumpy. Now this was an incredibly stupid thing to do. I woke up sitting on my sofa at 3am, freezing cold but happy that I had at least not published the rubbish I had been typing. WRONG. I looked at my blog and there for all to see was an entry that started off very lucidly, but rapidly descended into complete nonsense. It was like reading Shakespeare after he'd had a goblet of mead too many. Hamlet's soliloquy starts off all right with his "to be or not to be..." but unfortunately ended with him shouting "Grrrrrrrr.... thnarg bucket banana!" at Ophelia and then passing out on the chaise longues. So kids, if you're thinking of writing a blog under the influence of scrumpy - don't do it! (The really worrying thing is that by the morning 25 people had read it and two people said they liked it.... I hope they like this substitute and sober blog as well!).
Off to Kent now, then Essex for my first school visit of this educational year as I am off to West Leigh Junior near Southend. Looking forward to it immensely. But no more scrumpy....