Tuesday, May 07, 2013

From Basildon to Blenheim.

A big fat ugly single ginger bloke, in a dress.  Try and spot the enamoured lady, hugely attracted to the man in this picture...*

Hello sensation seekers.  Last time you read this pulse stopping blog (pulse stopping, in much the same way a massive dose of beater blocker drugs would be pulse stopping) I had just finished a desperately exciting trip to Radlett in Hertfordshire for an appearance at Newberries School.  Now, contain your excitement folks - weak bladders should be emptied before reading further.  Such extracts of this Earth moving and heart warming blog might be enough to cause some ructions in certain places.
Being Henry in a school is what I do most often, and my second port of call this week was to Lee Chapel Primary School in Basildon in sunny downtown Essex.  This was a return visit to this lovely school after my visit the previous year - I remember it being a very friendly open and fun school with some great children, and this year was frankly no different.  My arrival was not my finest moment - the car park at the rear is tiny and space is at a premium.  As I parked a lady in a large silver car which had just parked in a space behind me should out that I couldn't park where I was.  When I exasperatedly gestured round the full tiny space she yelled aggressively "well, we have to work here you know!"  At this point I was ready to chew the head off a recalcitrant Great White Shark, but I walked into the school to announce myself and let the office staff know I had double parked in the tiny car park and if anyone wanted me to move the car I would be happy to shift it.  Apparently the space left in the car park was for the accounts lady who bore a stunning resemblance to "Mad" Frankie Fraser if her parking space was in the slightest bit compromised. Not wishing to witness this for myself, I surrendered and just parked badly out of the way.  I was now warmly welcomed by Hayley McCechnie (I think you spell it something vaguely like that) and got ready for the Tudor Day ahead of us.  It was a superb day as ever at this brilliant school.  Piles of laughs and contributions from these smart sassy kids!  Everybody but everybody seemed to have a good time, which is fine by me, and after a lovely lunch we soon found ourselves in the midst of the jousting tournament.  It was loud, it was frenetic and it was good fun.  And of course the inevitable happened!  Yet another win for the ladies!  They simply annihilated the lads in the final.  Our score goes to:
It was time to get back to Somerset, catch my breath for a couple of minutes before on the Saturday morning, heading up to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire for three days of jousting on the Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.  As you may recall, on our previous jousting jaunt to Knebworth House in Hertfordshire over Easter weekend, we had all frozen half to death and some of us even vaguely beyond it, but thankfully this weekend the weather was gorgeous.  I even got a sunburned nose on the Saturday.  It was so nice to be back with the Knights of Royal England team again, and all the usual fun and larks ensued.  The first night with them was too much for a tired and shagged out me - we finished the shows and I made my pathetic excuses and made my way to my luxury Travelodge near Bicester.  I went to bed and slept soundly for nearly 10 hours, which was exactly what I needed, and I found myself the following morning up, bright, rested, alert and ready for action.  Which I am sure was a ghastly site for most sane normal people. Well all three days were fun, packed and very warm, particularly the Monday where the staff of Blenheim assured us this was their biggest ever turn out for a jousting event at the Palace. I do wish some of the punters who come and see these shows could think of some more original questions to ask you as you pose for photos after the show.  Virtually every other question was "are you hot?"  Hot?  Me?  This towering lump of lard, in three layers of heavy satin with about 2 cwt of fur draped round my shoulders on what is the hottest day of the year so far, with my bright red face with several gallons of sweat pouring down it?  Hot?  Whatever gives you that idea?  Tish, it's nothing!
During the weekend it was the birthday of Lucy (Jeremy and Kim, who run the Knights of Royal England - well, their daughter) aka "Bob" and on the Sunday evening we all went out for a meal at the White House Pub at Bladon near Woodstock.  It was so nice to be amongst close friends and have such a laugh.  It was also nice to meet Frank, an old friend of Jeremy's who looks like being one of our regular riders this summer.  He is a tall striking looking Frenchman.  I asked him where he lived - and he is now in Birmingham, having surrendered to the brummie charm enough to re-locate from the Burgundy region.  He wants locking up.  But a very nice chap indeed and fun to work with.  And so we finished and headed off our different ways.  The jousters off to Sweden to do some shows, and me to head today off to Coventry for a visit to a new school tomorrow.  After that I am back at Bathampton on Thursday and then leaning against a sideboard and gasping for breath on Friday.

* There isn't one.

No comments: