Good King Hal asking King Charles II of Spain in drag, to spare him a couple of hundred groats for a cup of Reformation.... TEA! He meant tea.
Honestly, loyal folks out there, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is failing fast. I am slowly losing the will to write this blog to be honest. The worst thing I could do was to publish it on Facebook, as now they send you a weekly update as to how your page and posts are doing. The caption competition? Regularly garners somewhere in the region of 200-300 hits. My little one line updates? Anything from about 80 up to 200. My blog entries? Er.... well, not as many. In fact a recent one which I had written and taken a long time over getting it right managed to only get 19 hits. Now that is not the sort of results you are looking for after pouring your guts out on the page. So despite doing three shows this week I have struggled to find the enthusiasm for writing the damn thing up. Perhaps I should just make it all up, and see if anyone notices. OK, lets do that for a bit.
Ahem, OK, so I was at the "Skyfall" premiere the other night in my full Tudor gear. I had been asked to go along by Cubby Brocolli's ghost and a small bowl of petunias. I was accompanied to the soiree by Cardinal Richeleu, Max Jaffa, The Dagenham Girl Pipers and Dog the Bounty Hunter. We arrived in a stretch limo made out of two off cuts of a Bond Bug and a US Military Hummer. I waved at the crowd and shouted "God kväll mina underbara brittiska vänner! Denna Bygel-BH dödar mig, men tack och lov kan jag skaffa mig en Pimms och saft kort. Toodle pip!" It's amazing where a bit of fluent Swedish can get you - Ulrika Jonsson's house for a start. Just ask Sven. Anyway, I tripped up the red carpet, but didn't spill a drop. Sir Alex Ferguson came to greet me with a big smile on his ravaged red face. I felled him with a swinging left hook. As he struggled back to his feet I once more pole-axed the puce faced thistle arsed Scottish whinge bag with two short upper cuts and a lethal rabbit punch. The crowd cheered tossing marmite vol-au-vonts in the air. Just at that moment I felt a weak pathetic tap on my shoulder. It was Daniel Craig in an I-Zingari romper suit with matching bonnet. He mumbled something in that weak girly voice of his. "WHAT?" I roared back at him, in my finest Brian Blessed. So startled was he that he didn't need Movicol that night. He finally managed to mumble something about leaving his wife alone. I reached past him and grabbed Rachel Weisz, pulled her to me for a vacuum like snog and then said "Don't let's cheapen this, it was fun while it lasted, but you'll get over me..." She fell to her knees, begging me to have her back, but it was too late. I was already halfway up the Shard skyscraper with Fay Wray in my hands, and trying to stop bi-planes shooting me up the arse. But then, all of a sudden, I couldn't have been more surprised when who should open a window on the 126th floor but... (continued on page 96).
There, that should confuse some of my foreign fans on Facebook. Or perhaps I should have shouted in Czech? A teď něco úplně jiného. Zde je Good King Hal obvykle blog. See? I told you.
Well for those who really do read this far, this is how the week has gone. Sunday saw me driving back to the Isle of Wight, one year on from that awful journey (please see former entry about that!). This time around my voyage to deepest darkest Ventnor was most pleasant, and apart from missing the 3.45pm boat I was booked on at Lymington, hassle free. On the boat however, the personal choice Fascists have got to work. No longer can you just kip in your car for the 20 minute crossing - oh no. No, you are not allowed to enjoy that little pleasure. You are forced, virtually at gun point up to the passenger lounge where you are assailed by piped music, advertising video screens and over priced coffee and sandwiches. And if you complain you get keel hauled, which in the Solent is not much fun. I arrived at Hannah Larkin's place (the teacher who books me at St Francis' School in Ventnor) just after 6pm and we went straight out, with a friend of hers to a nice pub called The Dairyman's Daughter at Arreton.
The following day at the school was fun, hard work, but ultimately very rewarding. The jousting session in the afternoon was deafening and culminated in another win for the gents. They have been doing a lot better of late and have managed to claw the score back to:
GENTLEMEN 5 - 5 LADIES
I left Ventnor and drove across the island in beautfiul early winter sunshine, taking in the magnificent views from the old Military Road down to Freshwater Bay. Lovely. I managed to get an earlier ferry than expected and was soon being forced at gun point back up to the passenger lounge. I drove back through Christchurch (for my sins) and eventually found myself at home munching through a very welcome Chinese meal.
I spent Tuesday visiting my old friend Pete Flanagan over at Tatworth where he lives, and it is nice to see him back on his feet again after such an awful injury he suffered in a road accident just over a year ago. Again for details, search this blog. On the Wednesday I was up bright and early for a trip back down to Knightwood School in Chandler's Ford near Southampton. I was warmly welcomed as ever by Lee, the caretaker, who made me a bucket of tea and then told me his latest health problems, which was a bit of an eye opener. Knightwood is such a brilliant school and we had a great day in their brilliantly architectured hall. Even a disappointing lunch wasn't too bad - the dinner staff hadn't been told I was coming so hadn't cooked enough, but they let me have some home made pizza. Now normally cheese at a primary school is as mild as Rowan Williams, but today the cheese on the pizza was more like being shouted at by Rev Ian Paisley. It was CHEEEEEEEEESE, with a capital ouch. But it filled a hole! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves on the Tudor Day and once more the joust went down a storm and we finished with another victory for the ladies team. They now poke their noses back in front again, just holding off the gents. Our score moves on to:
GENTLEMEN 5 - 6 LADIES
It was surprisingly cold down in Chandler's Ford that day and I was grateful for my big coat and heating in the car. The drive home back through Salisbury was just like my old days going back from Skandia Life in Southampton. I also might be startling some other old Skandia chums as the local rag for Southampton came along and did a load of photos of me for publication. It will interesting to see if anyone in that neck of the woods notices.
Thursday was another show day, but a lot closer to home this time. I was off back to the lovely Parkfield School in Taunton and another meet up with the legendary Head Teacher there, the deliciously named Mr Wynford Sides. Parkfield is a delight, and it didn't disappoint one jot this time round. Great fun day, lovely to see all my old friends there, including Christine - Bonjour, mon petit ami français! A group of 60+ children, all very enthusiastic and all dressed in great costumes was the recipe for a perfect Henry VIII day. Even lunch was great - each year the staff at Parkfield insist on nipping out and buying me lunch, which makes me feel very grateful, but embarrassed. So this year, on the way in I had stopped at a Spar store in Ilminster and had grabbed some sarnies and a drink. I told EVERYONE at the school I had done this - everyone that was, except one. And she trudged off to the local Tescos and returned with a lunch for me, only to discover me chewing my way through my own sandwiches when she returned to the school. Bless her, she let me keep the lunch she'd bought, so I had it as a light dinner in the evening when I got home. The final joust was another nail biter and finished with another victory for the ladies. So our week finishes with the score at:
GENTLEMEN 5 - 7 LADIES
I drove home, ate my second lunch and then went out for a drink with Matthew Applegate at the Rose and Crown at East Lambrook. Luckily the landlady wasn't there, so we had a lovely evening.
(cont from page 96)....with thick bleach and an oven glove. But it wasn't enough. Sure enough rivulets of molten magma began seeping under the door of the crofters cottage. I turned quickly to see if anyone had any bright ideas. Bryan Ferry was simply rocking back and forth on a stool in the corner saying "go to a happy place go to a happy place" over and over. Douglas Bader was worried he'd be burnt to the ground (ba-doom-tish!) and Lily Cole STILL hadn't replied to my message on Facebook. Call yourself a cousin??? With a final surge of energy and adrenaline, I leapt out of the window in a shower of glass and landed on the former speaker of the House of Commons, Bernard Weatherall. I said "I thought you were dead." He said "You can talk, dressed as Henry VIII". I cuffed him playfully round the ear with my speaking trumpet and was soon on my Honda Fireblade roaring through the countryside on my way for a date with destiny. But would you believe it, but who should come round the corner on a traction engine, with the Somerset T20 squad, Schnorbitz the dog and Dorothy Squires, but none other than old....(cont. next week).