|Jane Seymour, bursting into tears when the blindfold falls off and she finally see's her new husband...|
So with the dust barely settling on the Holy Family School in Benfleet, his Royal Sagaciousness was up at the crack of dawn and out of the front door of Amanda's house and on the road to Norfolk. I had mentioned to some friends that I was in the South East for the week for shows in Benfleet, Norwich and Wickford, for which my friends had snorted and said, since when was Norwich in the South East? Well, when you live in Somerset, everything to the east of London appears to be the South East. Sort of... Depends on which way you face and where you start from. Oh shut up. I don't care. I knew what I meant. And anyway, it wasn't even in Norwich, I was returning to Martham on the outskirts of Great Yarmouth. Yes, Great Yarmouth, or how I still refer to it - AAARGH!!! Not my favourite place on Earth. I am not a big fan of seaside resorts, and let me tell you, Great Yarmouth is THE last resort. Anyway, it doesn't matter as I was in Martham, which is a lovely little area and nothing to do with Great Yarmouth at all. Norfolk has this reputation for having a population full of people dressed in smocks throwing turnips at old ladies that they think are witches, to paraphrase Charlie Brooker, but the children and staff at Martham are always really on the ball, and this year was no different. It was a big group as ever, well over 100 children, but we had a fantastic time, great response and loads of laughs from all the children and staff. It's a long drive to Martham, but days like this make it worth it. The jousting was deafening, unsurprising considering the size of the group, and ended in a massively important win for the Ladies! And so the score clicks over to:
GENTLEMEN 7.5 - 8.5 LADIES
So the ladies strike back after a good recent series of wins for the gentlemen.
I got home to Amanda's place and had lots of cuddles from my lovely son, James. Always makes the day worthwhile when that happens. The following day, the Thursday, luckily I was much closer to Amanda's place with a return visit to Wickford School in Essex. Wickford is a lovely school, and is always a delight to come along to. Yet another warm welcome and yet another group of fabulous kids. All the teachers were great fun as usual, except for one very dour Welsh male teacher who spent the entire day with his arms folded, a resigned look upon his face somewhere between pain and utter disinterest. This was a challenge, and so during the afternoon stocks session when my shows get incredibly silly, I kept haranguing him and dragging him into my routines. But I'll give the old leek muncher his due, he resolutely refused to raise a smile for the entire day. I was for once, defeated. Diolch yn fawr, as they say in some of the more refined sheep shearing parlours in upper Gwent. I prefer O leiaf yn ceisio gwenu, rydych yn ddiflas git Cymru. But please yourself I say.
Another fabulous jousting tournament in the afternoon culminated in a stunningly easy win for the ladies, again! This is much more like last year! Our score goes on to:
GENTLEMEN 7.5 - 9.5 LADIES
So daylight once more splits the two teams. And this is our score as we moved into the half term period of this scholastic year. Any thoughts of an evening of rest was soon scuppered as I was asked to go along with Amanda and James and see their latest rehearsal for the play they are appearing in - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". James is playing the street urchin that Scrooge encourages to go and buy the big turkey for the Cratchitt family at the end of the play. He has learnt his lines brilliantly, and just needs to slow down his delivery a bit and he will be a big star. Amanda is playing an old hag who pilfers Scrooge's belongings after he has died. I refuse to mention the words "type" and "casting" at this juncture as I rather like my cobblers where they are at the moment. All in all, the play itself looks like it is going to be a stunner, and speaking of stunners, so is the lady playing the Ghost of Christmas Past. I must go to the first performance and sit in the front row.
Half term saw James and I head down to Wales for a few days in the pouring wind and rain that appeared to be Newcastle Emlyn and my parents house. To be honest some of the weather forecasts we got at the start of the week were a tad biblical, but the plague of locusts and boils did miss us on the whole and we had a lovely few days away.
Next stop for the King - an appearance at Hampton Court Palace on Monday doing a corporate event for BP. My first Hampton Court show - I can't wait! Watch this space for more.