Apple a day

Apple found in our garden in December. I wrote about it in a blog about Wassails. We joined in a virtual Wassail at the weekend and drank too much cider. People posted photos of previous years Wassails when they walked about with flaming torches around the boundaries of the parish. No threats were made but there were so many of us we had to have a police escort and cars were stopped as we wandered down the road to the Penkhull apple tree. A few jolly hours to beat back the cold and the dark. In some places in the past they used to shoot shotguns at the trees to make them flower and bear fruit. There are other traditions where they beat the trunks of Walnut trees to get them to bear fruit. We’ve never had that problem with ours. The squirrels always find enough nuts and then we have to find places far away to plant the saplings, we’ve already got too many!

Remembering Barndances!

They were a hoot! Loads of people trying to dance square dances, making arches with their arms, swirling in circles round the room. Passing behind a line of people (casting) then dancing up the middle with your partner holding hands and twirling round and round. Crowded round tables around the sides of the room. Alcohol was for sale and they sometimes ran out of drink! I loved trying to capture people’s positions as they danced. In aid of Penkhull Mystery plays. I miss them.

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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