Monday, June 25, 2007

Sheltered Housing in Notting Hill

It wasn't a very promising evening, with rainclouds threatening.

And when we got to the first stand they turned out to have got their wires crossed and had all waited for us the week before. (I've been on Jury Service so communication has been difficult.)

So we decided to repair to the pub before the next engagement, which turned out to be a good idea as the rain poured down just as we got there, and in the time that we would otherwise be walking between the two places.
"It never rains on the Morris" - "because they're in the pub"

We danced inside, even though it had by then stopped raining. As you can see, there was just about enough room for us and our audience.

Afterwards we joined the residents for Sundanese food laid on by one of them, Eh'san Khogali.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Lensbury Club Summer Ball

We danced for the Lensbury Club's Summer Ball, a very prestigious do; with guests in DJs etc. (photos from the photographer for the evening, Chris Bissell)

They'd decided on a "Home Nations" theme this year, so guests were greeted by Pipe Major Roger Huth, us dancing on the lawn, the London Male Voice Choir and then irish band Waggle Taggle playing.

It was a lovely evening. Roger turned out to be a good sport and we persuaded him to play a couple of morris tunes on his pipes. When I looked him up later I found he's actually the "Pipe Major" of the Piping Society of London. I wish I had the time to take him up on bagpipe lessons.

When we got in I was surprised to see that the Irish band included my old friends Mick O'Connor and Mick Bailey. The pair of them for many years have done a spot at my work for our Sheltered Scheme's Christmas Party.

Mick O'Connor turns out to have a presence on You Tube

The evening all rounded off with fireworks over the lawn leading down to the Thames.

There are more photos (but not such good ones) later in this blog.

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's the sound of bells that I remember from Thaxted

There was a jingling of bells all day. Continually. It only stopped at night, to be replaced - in the school room where I slept - by the sound of exhausted, replete men snoring.

I enjoyed it mightily.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thaxted Ring Meeting 2007

It's 80 years since Conrad Noel, the vicar of Thaxted, encouraged the formation of the Thaxted Morris Men. He turns out to have been quite a colourful character

We had more than a complete side, and enjoyed touring the countryside, the feast, dancing at the Guildhall and (as above, over the door of the pub we were visiting) disobeying "keep out" notices!
The sermon on Sunday was about David dancing naked in front of the ark of the covenant, followed by a warning that whilst Morris dancing was welcome in the town, we should keep our clothes on...

It's also 60 years that they've been doing the mystical Abbots Bromley Horn Dance:

(rather shakily filmed in 2006)

Kensington Tour

The power of the morris kept storm clouds at bay, and it was another lovely evening.
Ezra and I cycled up on our tandem.

Only five dancers plus John on his concertina, but still a decent, and apparantly well-appreciated show.
We entertained the folks outside the Elephant and Castle then clanked through Kensington to theUxbridge Arms , as welcoming as ever, with an interesting audience including a witch straight from the Festival of Mind and Body.

One of the things I like about tours is the walking through the streets in kit with bells ringing etc. Putting kit on transforms you from a mere mortal into a morris dancer and it's the most natural thing in the world to be there. (I'm not sure how much that makes sense)

Cecil Sharp House May Fete

Peter J had a call along the lines of:
"Hello we're having a May Fete the weekend after next, and the Morris Men we had have let us down can you step in...?"

Which turned out to be the English Folk Dance and Song Society's at Cecil Sharp House

We were honoured to be able to go and help out, and it was charming. Nice to join in some of the other dancing that was going on too.

More about the show, including photos in this blog now.

Islington Tour

This didn't seem like it was going to happen, as quite a few men had last minute problems that stopped us getting there, but too late to actually cancel.

Reassuringly, the men that did turn up still had a good time ("A rather boozy night" was one report). I had the sticks and couldn't go, but John turned out to have something like pick-axe handles in his car...

The dancers from Clockwork Morris that Jeremy have been teaching turned up and made a complete side for a Balancy Straw and a Bampton Side-step.