Thursday, June 18

Eynsham Folk Festival

One of the many things I like about living in Eynsham, is that people get off their backsides and organise things.

Last weekend was the 2nd Eynsham Folk Festival, organised by, amongst other people, our friend Larry Poole (Larry is such a happy chap, that 'Happy as Larry' really means something round here).

On Sunday, five morris sides, and some clog dancers descended on the village.

These chaps are Bampton Traditional Morris, one of the three Bampton morris sides: Bampton Morris, Traditional Bampton Moris and Bampton Traditional Morris.

Bampton is quite a small place, and morris dancing is taken seriously there, leading to family feuds about steps (allegedly).

These ladies are from Mason's Apron (so named because they used to pactice at the Mason's Arms in Headington Quarry). Clog dancing started in the mill towns in the 19th C, and is apparently the parent of tap dancing. It seems strange to find it in the Cotswolds until you realise that most morris sides exclude women (don't want the crops to fail do we?).

Beer is common denominator though.

This is the fantastic Armaleggan, an unashamedly non-traditional Border morris side from Cumnor (look wimmen!)

"See little girl, you too can dance with the morris...and have a big stick, not a silly hanky".

I was rather taken with these customised boots.

Eynsham Morris order their beer by watering can, not pint.

Thursday, June 11

Alveston - May 2015

On a beautiful day at the end of May, my folks and I went to visit Alveston (in Warwickshire), where my Ma was brought up, and where one of my uncles still lives.

It's a pretty little place, and we had lots of happy holidays there when we were children.

We had a lovely wander down to the chancel of the old church... has a beautiful peaceful churchyard.

Back in my uncle's garden...

...I had huge aquilegia envy. I must ask him for some seeds.

There's something very special about a garden that's been tended for a long time.

I feel very close to my late grandmother, Gertie, here.

The house and garden are on the top of a cliff above the river Avon. Beyond the river is Charlecote Park and the village of Hampton Lucy. When I was little, I used to get into Gertie's bed in the morning for a cuddle, and look over the fields to the church (which goes by the wonderful name of St Peter ad Vincula).