Good King Hal and his Mother, doing the hokey cokey in anticipation of the end of winter. They were wrong.
Ice and snow? More of it? Oh come on! It was nearly spring the other week. I even went into Crewkerne in just t-shirt and jeans. If I tried that today I'd be ripped to pieces by a pack of wolves as soon as I stepped out of my front door. And then to add insult to injury, a UN Hercules transporter would probably drop a large wooden crate full of high energy biscuits on me as a "humanitarian gesture". I dare suggest they might get something similar back from me.
So another week goes past and they STILL haven't formerly asked me to be the Pope, so I shall carry on being Henry VIII until they do. My latest port of call was a return to Leeds Castle for an evening corporate do on Friday March 8th. I drove up from Somerset on the morning of the 8th and spent some of the day with my lovely Shelley in Maidstone. Then it was up to the Castle - and as usual with an evening "do" an air of mild confusion seemed to reign. First they had no idea where they wanted me to get changed - I couldn't use my usual room as it was full of "shop stuff" apparently. Finally they decided I should get changed in the Triangle Room. The next problem was no one seemed to know where it was. By now time was flying and my chance to be changed and ready for when the guests arrived was a rapidly diminishing prospect. Finally, we found the room and I got changed.
By the time I came downstairs some of the guests were already in the Library for their welcoming drinks. Everyone from the company had come dressed in fancy dress - lots of the ladies as saucy wenches, which was fine with me, plus loads of Knights, elegant Royalty, one man dressed as a Castle (don't ask, but he was obviously very proud) and even two dragons, one of whom was the lady who had booked me. I felt quite sorry for her as she looked longingly at all the other ladies in their elegant and sexy outfits, and there was her with a big green head and floppy paws. Bless. One lady in particular was very striking - about six feet tall, in stripey black and white basque, fishnets and stilettos. Trust me, it would have been rude NOT to stare. She was the perfect comic foil for me though - while I was halfway through my pre-dinner routine about the six wives, she suddenly walked in through the door behind me, then stopped, standing right next to me, frozen it seemed by the glare of the audience. I looked her up and down and then said "I told you to wait in the car" which brought the house down.
After processing the group down to the main banqueting hall, that was me done for the evening. So I went back to the Triangle Room, got changed and was on my way. I had dinner with Shelley and then had an early night. On the Saturday I met up with the lovely Annie Lucas, late of Rochester Cathedral, but now living in Cornwall and running her own bespoke wedding dress making business. We met up at Tunbridge Wells railway station in a small cafe next to it and discussed possible future plans for world domination in the wedding market. Some good plans were hatched, and it was lovely to see the wonderful Annie again!
I was due to stay with Shelley for a few days but the weather forecast for the Monday morning was bleak and biblical, with promises of very heavy falls of snow across Kent and Sussex - so being the wimp I was I decided to make a run for it on the Sunday. And so I headed back to Somerset.
It is still ridiculously cold, and there seems little let up in the weather continuing in the same vein for a while, even according to Carole Kirkwood again this morning. I'm starting to go off her, you know. My next Henry engagement is this weekend when I am appearing on Emma Britton's Saturday Morning Show on BBC Somerset from about 10am as one of her Somerset Lives interviews. I am following in the footsteps of Michael Eavis and Tara Newley, so I reckon I should wear slingbacks so I get noticed. Tune in if you can folks! After that it is back to being a King at schools again with a visit too Woodham Ley School in Essex.