Good King Hal wondering why he is still clutching a gear stick, hours after parking the car. Perhaps he did it manually, perhaps it was just automatic.
Roads, roads and more roads. And Travelodges. When you last read this riveting missive, your favourite mock Tudor monarch was ensconced in a Travelodge near Kings Lynn in Norfolk. It doesn't get much more exciting that this folks. No wonder anything up to six people still bother reading this travesty of the English language. And of those six people, I thank you all and will buy each and everyone of you a beer. But I feel this blog has almost run its course.
Anyway, away from me moaning about people not bothering to read this crap, back to Henry on the road. According to my sat nav, the drive from Kings Lynn to Old Catton School in Norwich should take about an hour and a quarter, so I gave myself and hour and a half, just to be on the safe side. I should have given myself longer. The traffic was bad all round, but by the time I reached the outskirts of Norwich it was horrendous and the journey ended up taking me over two hours and made me a bit late. But there were fun moments. Whilst driving along the A47 to the west of Norwich I drove past the Canary and Linnet Pub where many years ago a whole group of us had spent a mad New Years Eve, with a miserable landlord with a round pool table (yes, round). It was a space saving pool table where you could turn the table round for your shots, but we soon discovered in our drunken states that if you racked all the balls up in the middle, removed the frame and then spun the table round all of the balls would immediately shoot straight into the pockets. Very life affirming.
Old Catton School was a sight for sore eyes when I arrived and I was doubly lucky that they were having a morning assembly before the school day began so I had a bit of spare time to get my stuff in and get changed into my frock. We had a fine morning with a lovely group of children. They were lively knowledgeable and fun to work with. The afternoon joust was incredibly loud and threatened to blow out the windows of the hall. It ended with much needed victory for the gents, who now cut the useful lead the ladies had. Our score after the Old Catton show:
GENTLEMEN 6 - 8 LADIES
And so I was on my way, heading first of all to Essex for an evening with Amanda and my lovely James. We had a fun evening watching a bit of Night at the Museum 2 and eating a very welcome curry. But when they went to bed early it was time for me to hit the road again and head down to Maidstone and see my lovely Shelley again. I had the Thursday at leisure and was taken for a nice shopping trip round Maidstone by Shelley before she bought me lunch at Mexxa Mexxa, a marvellous Mexican restaurant near the Haslitt Theatre.
Friday was Children in Need day - and I was a King in Need. It was too early! And I was driving on the M25 (ARGH!), heading for London (ARGH!) and a return visit to St Matthew's School in West Wimbledon (ARGH!.... no actually, hang on, this is a lovely school). It was lovely to be back and I was very warmly welcomed by one and all, especially the lovely Katie Barnham who booked me there, or "Dear Madam Barnham" as I deliberately miss-spelt her after the XTC song. It was a funny little group today, just 20 children and of them, only five boys. They were quiet to begin with, but soon perked up and we had a great day all round. The afternoon session, including the jousting was very exciting but due to the lack of boys at the school made scoring this tournament an impossibility. As it was a mixed team of boys and girls raced to victory. So no change in the overall score.
So it was back to Maidstone for a long weekend with Shelley, but it wasn't terribly restful as poor Sir Owen was a bit poorly and Shelley didn't get to sleep much. But we had a nice time anyway. It was back to Somerset and a couple of days visiting old friends, and to keep that whole simile going I am off to Southampton today to see old friends at Skandia Life for a bit of lunch. This weekend is the Mistletoe Fayre at Barrington Court, so hopefully I should see you all there briefly. The King will not be staying long!