Thursday, January 31, 2013

Birchfield, Brides and Books.

Anne Boleyn: You are Johnny Vegas and I claim my 400 groats.  Henry VIII:  Anne Boleyn, it is with great regret when I say - you're for the chop.

Snow?  What snow?  Almost as soon as it had come the inclement disgusting white stuff was on it's way out.  And good thing too.  My return visit to Birchfield Junior School in Yeovil was going to be a good one - all my visits there in the past had been equally entertaining.  The main road from Crewkerne to Yeovil is currently being dug up for some reason or other, so I found the early part of the journey involved lots of fannying around in minor country roads.  I arrived at the school under glowering grey skies and loaded my stuff into the hall.  As on my previous visits they have a large "Story Tellers" chair which they bring in, clean down and drape cloth over it to turn into a splendid throne for me.  Smashing.  Well it was, as in every visit I have made to the school, a real rip roaring fun day - a great sparky group of kids and lots of laughs.  The final joust was deafening and ended with ANOTHER win for the lads.  They are really on a roll now and have clawed the scores back to:
By the time I had got round to taking my props back out to the car, the rain that had been falling all day was slowly morphing into big fat round snowflakes that plopped down and refused to melt, the utter gits.  It snowed most of that night and for a good part of the following morning.  With a new covering of snow now in place my proposed visit to Riverside School in Hereford was certainly at risk and after a quick call to that school my visit was postponed until the 13th February.
On the Thursday, in the thick snow, I didn't go far aside from popping into the local Waitrose for some bits and pieces.  There was only one couple ahead of me at the checkout, an elderly couple of right old carrot crunchers.  Their stuff went through and they packed it away in various bags.  She pulled out a bulging leather purse, opened it and immediately a torrent of loose change exploded all over the floor.  Mostly coppers.  Her elderly husband and I then took to scrambling on the floor and picking them all up.  We poured the coins back into her purse which she zipped up.  The lady on the till then repeated their total.  "Oh yes" says the old lady, unzips her purse and.... there is a second explosion of loose change all over the floor.  I have to say that by now I was helpless with laughter and incapable of picking the change up this time.  When they had finally left and I got to the checkout girl she explained that they came in every week and ALWAYS did that.  So if you want a good bit of free entertainment folks, get yourselves down to Waitrose in Crewkerne and look out for this couple.
I drove to Kent on the Friday morning and spent some lovely time with Shelley and Owen.  On the Saturday afternoon I went to Essex and had some quality time with my lovely son James.  On the Sunday a group of us went to Detling Showground in Kent to check out the latest Wedding Fair and see if our proposed Tudor Wedding plan was looking good - and it was.  Michelle and I went in costume and got quite a bit of attention.  The cartoon above was done for us by the Artful Doodler - what a clever chap.  And I do look like Johnny Vegas in my picture, no matter what some people say.
Back down to Somerset and I was interviewed today by the lovely Marion Draper from the View From Crewkerne newspaper about my nearly 10 years of being Henry.  We met at Bilby's Cafe in Crewkerne and over a tea cake and pot of tea we put the world to rights.  I should be in next week's issue, so look out for that.  After bidding goodbye to Marion I wandered down to Gresham Books, a big antiquarian book seller at the head of Crewkerne High Street - saw a magnificent book from 1910 called "C B Fry's Who's Who of Cricket" in a leather bound jacket - wow.  I wanted it so much.  Till I saw the price. £125.  Ah, maybe not.  I'll wait till it comes out in paper back.  I'll get my purse out and release a tsunami of coppers.

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