Raffle prize

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You know the world has gone mad when you offer a single loo roll as a raffle prize! That wasn’t my idea but I went out and got a bottle of hand cleanser to go with it.

My hubby has a cold (not The Virus), but I decided to help set up for the Mystery Plays Barn dance tonight. It’s an annual thing we do to help raise funds for the Mystery day in the  summer. However I’m not going to the actual dance because I don’t want to catch anything else after having the cold myself for the last couple of weeks.

I did go to buy toilet roll later, the local shop was empty of it, so I walked round the corner and guess what? The local convenience store is full of the stuff! What a strange world…..

Panto went well!

Oh yes it did! All my hard work seems to have been appreciated with the scenery. The panto is a hoot, with compliments about how good it is. The songs were OK. I almost remembered them! I only forgot one line, but non of us were 100%, but that doesn’t matter as the audience haven’t read the script! We even seemed to dance well. All the cast were enjoying themselves and the audience were appreciative, even with a delayed start due to a parking issue. They laughed all the way through and there was some brilliant clowning about.

Well, only three more performances. I’m shattered, but too tired to sleep.

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More rehearsals

More rehearsals today for the panto, we ran through the whole thing today, adult and children’s cast acting together. We also got to use the stage which was good. It gives you an idea of where you will be. What side of the stage to come on. Whether you will knock into another cast member as you dance across the stage.

Just hang on, yes I did say “dance”. We have had a choreographer involved this year. People are being carried on shoulders and doing knee spins and…. We’ll it’s exhausting to look at. I’m glad I’m right at the back, I’m not nimble on my feet anymore.

Three weeks to go… Help!

Panto rehearsal tonight

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The adult chorus are trying to learn three dances. Don’t stop believing, Spice up your life, and another one about Prince Ali from the Aladdin film which had Robin Williams in. We haven’t started yet.

The Plan is to sing and dance. Which is like that old trick of patting your head while rubbing your stomach. I’m sitting this out as my hip is still sore!

Only five weeks to the show, I’m scared!

Panto rehearsal

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Can’t show you the show, it’s a secret, but rehearsals continue for the pantomime we are putting on in February. (20th, 21st and two shows on the 22nd).

The show is Aladdin, where he has to find an old lamp, which is then taken from him together with his true love by an evil wizard. Fun ensues.

Tonight we were practising the dances (which is why I haven’t posted a photo). It was hard to get right, basically the choreographer is making it up as she goes along and we have to follow her moves. I’m not the most nimble and I can’t keep up. But we’ve got time.

Fingers crossed.

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Northern Soul

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To save my blushes I’ve drawn over a photo my friend took of me today.

After we had sung with the combined choir there was a brief break and then a woman got up and did a quick dance lesson to teach us  Northern soul dance steps. The music is in four four time, so she taught us four steps, stand on your left leg, tap your right foot behind, to the side of and in front of your left foot, then put your right foot down about shoulder width away from your left foot. Then putting your weight in your right leg repeat the moves using your left foot. After we learned to do that and danced for a while to a northern soul tune she added a jump, then jump and cross your legs spin round, clap, and carry on doing the side to side step.

I was jigging along with the rest of the crowd. I loved Northern Soul when I was a teenager.

The only problem? My knees are aching now.

Penkhull Wassail

 

There’s not many places in Britain where you can wander round with flaming torches (but no pitchforks). But today we did just that round Penkhull Village. From Penkhull village hall we walked down the road to a garden with an ancient apple tree. The Domesday Morris danced and poured cider over its roots, Wassailing (shouting Wassail) to bless it and get it to flourish in the coming year. Domesday Morris danced, the Clay choir, which I sing with, sang Wassailing songs such as ” The old Cornish Wassail” and “the Penkhull Wassail” ( written by Duncan Bourne). Penkhull village brass band and the Penkhull Ukelele band also played.

Once we had drunk warm cider down at the garden we walked back up the hill and on to the local pubs, the Marquis of Granby, the White Lion, which was closed for some reason. We then went to The Beehive pub on Honeywall which had laid on some sandwiches. Then back across the hill to the Terrace pub and up to the Greyhound pub and Manor Court ale House where we finished singing and dancing. The Morris group were brilliant with their decorated hats, bells and boots. When they start dancing their sticks fly and swirl and clash together in time with the music  So exciting to watch.

We went over to the village hall for hot soup. Some people stayed for a barndance, but as we were tired out we came home to get warm and have a hot coffee.

No monsters or zombies were affected by this Wassail.

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Wassailing

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Wassailing is a tradition to celebrate the New year. People would go from door to door  knocking on them to rouse their occupants.

The local Morris Dancing troupe started to organise Penkhull Wassail a few years ago. Our Choir joined in and now quite a lot of people walk around the boundaries of penkhull with lighted (flaming) torches. We visit an ancient apple tree in a garden nearby, the Morris dancers dance and we get a drink of hot cider.. Then we continue around and sing and dance outside the local pubs.. . Just for fun. We end up at the local village hall for soup. Sometimes we stop for a barn dance afterwards.

We sing various songs including the Penkhull Wassail and the Gower and the Gloucester Wassail.

I guess some of the songs will be on YouTube.

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Dancing trees

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I thought they were holding hands but my friend said dancing. Imagine the branch in the middle is two arms entwined, clasped hand to elbow  Then the branches on the other side of the trunks are like outstretched arms, and the other branches higher up are like hair flying outwards as they spin each other in a dizzy whirl of autumn leaves..

An idea for a painting. I also like the way the hedge cuts between them and splits the composition.

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Barn dance

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Just back from our local barn dance to raise funds for the Penkhull Mystery plays. What a blast! I danced and laughed more today than I have done in ages.

It’s great when you get the dances right, but hilarious when you get them wrong! I started with one partner and ended up with someone else. No one knew how to heel toe then do split the willow or something. Talk about confused, the other groups got it fine but could we? The more we tried the worse it got.

Now I’m shattered but happy. During the evening I also won the raffle 4 times so I didn’t take two of them. Madness, then my partner won a bottle of whisky.

The band were great and the caller was patient with us. But we were awful.

Great fun.