|Ronseal. Just don't try this at home.|
If it's a weekend in August then it must be time for some jousting at Hever Castle in Kent. As usual a fun weekend was had with the Knights of Royal England, and it was as ever a delight to have Michelle Coda with me as Anne Boleyn. We love doing the shows and despite moaning about how long it takes, we really enjoy our walk back from the jousting arena to the Castle. We get stopped virtually ever two or three paces for photos with groups ranging from family groups with loads of children, to hen parties and bewildered looking Chinese tourists. We also tot up how many times we get asked if we are hot in our costumes. To save you time, everyone who might come to see us joust, yes we are hot. Very very very hot.
James, my lovely son, is always at my side as the King's herald, but on the first of the two weekends, on the Sunday, his Mum Mandy came along and accompanied us after the show back to Somerset for a few days. Somerset was where James was born back in 2002 and I always enjoy taking him for visits to his old haunts, keeping the memories alive for him. We had a lovely time over the three days they were down, none more so than when we took James down to West Bay in Dorset, where the TV series "Broadchurch" with David Tennant was filmed and he enjoyed himself immensely catching crabs (steady) down at the harbour. His patience, not good at the best of times, was tested severely. We recommended that he should put his net in, leave it for at least five minutes before checking it. His net was barely in the water for more than 30 seconds before he was hauling it out and cursing his bad luck without a crab in sight. We finally persuaded him to leave the net in slightly longer and he promptly pulled out a crab of Brobdingnagian proportions, much to the chagrin of the other children similarly fishing around him. The rest of his catches didn't really live up to that opening promise, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself. We crowned a fine morning with fish and chips from the wrapper while sitting on the front. Lovely.
We met up with Sue English and Ian Weston from Portals to the Past who were having a little holiday in Somerset. We had a fine dinner with them at the Duke of York Pub in Shepton Beauchamp, which was just like the old days. The next day we headed back to the south east so we could prepare for yet more jousting at Hever Castle. We were lucky with the weather again and the shows seemed to be getting better and better.
And so this week I am down at (you guessed it) Hever Castle filming a quick promo video for them, then on the Friday and Saturday I am back at H***r C****e (fill in the blanks yourself) for more jousting before then heading up to Essex to visit Castle Hedingham for the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday for the final two jousting days of the season. It has been terrific fun, hard work and I can't wait till next season.