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Great Cotswold

 
There are those who think Cotswold morris is a bit dull and sedate and that Border morris is far more interesting.

And then there are those who have seen Cotswold morris teams like Berkshire Bedlams!

Just watch. Four dances, all totally different in style.  Look at the way they bounce off the audience!

Great dancing, great entertainment.


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Learning German

 After a break, caused by problems in the way Duolingo interacts with Chrome on my elderly computer, I'm back learning German again.

It's complicated and difficult enough to help me focus on something other than trying to sell my mother-in-law's house and other things with high stress factors.

However, sometimes German can be illogical enough to make even me tear my hair out.

'Ihr' is the most crazy word I've yet come across.  What kind of language has the SAME word for 'she', 'your', and 'theirs' ?

When you're already juggling three genders and four cases, and the fact that a simple word like 'the' can be spelt in half a dozen ways depending on which combination you have, 'ihr' is pretty much the last straw.

Mind you, there are compensations.  Some German words are glorious and just make me laugh out loud.  One of my favourites is 'Krankenhaus' - 'hospital', or 'Schnurrbart' - 'mustache'.

I find transliteration often helps me remember a word - I look up part words in dictionaries. eg. 'Schnurrbart' is nothing to do with snoring in spite of the sound, it means 'string beard', which makes sense.


'Schwiegermutter' is the German for mother-in-law.  It transliterates as 'silent mother'.  Sort of an unseen family member, but one who is still part of the family.  All in-laws are schwieger something.

Although I'm still using Duolingo, I'm branching out into a number of other German-teaching sites.  They all have different pros and cons.  Few of them are good at teaching grammar - I think they're afraid of scaring people away.  I'm using a book from the library as my main grammar guide.

If anyone would like a list of the sites I've found so far, just ask.

BTW, if you're not a native English speaker (and I know at least two of you aren't) do feel free to point out the most crazy things in the English language!

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Heinlein


I've been re-reading some of my Heinlein collection recently.

I still think "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is one of the best SF novels ever written. I've worn out two paperbacks and now own it in e-book format.

Farah Mendlesohn has completed her book about Heinlein and his work and I'm expecting it to be an interesting and thought-provoking read. She's an expert on the subject and the author of several well-regarded literary works on SF and fantasy.

It ended up being too long (500 pages) for most academic publisers, so she's crowdfunding it. I've just pre-ordered my copy.
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Morris first aid

 We were dancing at Swanage Folk Festival this weekend and I had the usual use of our team first aid kit, a child with a scratched finger needing a plaster (it's hardly ever team members needing it).

However, not long after, a dancer twisted a foot mid-dance. He swapped out and tossed his stick to me and we finished the dance without missing a step. After the dance was over, I got out the emergency ice pack and a crepe bandage and applied both. By the afternoon (with the bandage re-applied) he was well enough to walk the procession, but sensible enough not to try stepping.


There are days when I'm very glad that I carry that kit around wherever we go.

(The item that I deliberately included in the kit, but hope never to have to use, is an eye pad. One has to be realistic about the risk of stick injuries when it comes to Border morris.)

Apart from having the right kit to treat the injury, the other big plus for me was that the dancer in question knew I could instantly replace him and we swapped without affecting the dance at all.  I
 work hard to learn every position in every dance (which is not to say that I never make mistakes) and it means that I can fill in almost  anywhere.  Some dancers only ever learn a single position.  They'll dance second in line on the left in dance A and in position 3 in dance B and so on.

I tend to visualise dances from an overhead viewpoint, so I see the overall pattern and that means I remember "First corners cross" rather than "I swap places with Henry". I've also been dancing for most of my life, so half the patterns are second nature anyway.
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Dancing Horses -the one I missed!

 Yesterday at Swanage Folk Festival I was lucky enough to see one of the best dancing horses of all.  The Minehead Hobby Horse is one of a very rare breed (there's another one at Padstow, but that's about it).

It's a wild and energetic animal and it led the Swanage procession and I suspect the young man inside was totally exhausted by the end.  (I gather he had rope burns from all that energetic swinging)

Here's some footage of it from another occasion.  It's the Sailor's Horse from Minehead -which may help to explain why it looks as much like a boat as a horse, but it definitely has a tail!


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Dancing Horses

  Folk traditions throw up some wonderful animals on occasion. There are traditional hobby horses - not the children's toy, but proper hobby horses, like Dobbin below.  they sometimes join in morris dances 






And there are horses that have learnt to dance in different ways!  which aren't always hobby horses, but are definitely folk horses.

Embed is disabled on Wallop, the clog dancing horse, so you'll have to follow the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pStk8Kz8gM4

but we also offer you:

 

Jabberwocky

 Stolen shamelessly from SallyMn

If you don't read her journal, you should.  A source of endless delight.

I can't seem to embed this one, so you'll just have to follow the link to hear John Hurt reciting Jabberwocky.

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Embroidery mottos

 So many great suggestions!

Some favourites:

Desire is the root of all suffering, Roots on the other hand...  (A very strong contender)

Plant happiness   (Love it, but too short for the space)

Wander, ponder and weed - (has a certain charm)

Garden as though you will live forever - I like this one as well.

Still trying to choose between those four...

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Suggestions needed for motto

 I'm nearing the end of a piece of cross-stitch that I've been working on for about a decade.  It isn't that big a project, but I had detours into knitting another other embroideries.  This used to be my 'travel' embroidery, in a case ready to go and easy to take anywhere knowing that I had all the necessary bits to do it.

It had a border of poppies and cornflowers and space for my own text in the middle.

But I can't decide what words to put in the centre.  It can't be too lengthy, a dozen words at most, and fewer might be better.

I'm hunting for something that says we don't need loads of possessions to be happy; that a garden is a great source of contentment; that life is to be enjoyed while you have it and maybe something ecological as well.

Now, clearly one can't manage all of that....


Random ideas have included:


Gardeners live longer

To be content is the key to happiness

We only have one world, treat it gently


Toss ideas at me.  Anything that sounds good.


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Runner beans

 I only used to eat runner beans when cooked, but many years ago now, I observed my mother-in-law's tortoise eating raw runner beans with great enthusiasm.   So I tried one and found that I liked it.

Oswin does too.  Really likes them.  Can eat several in a day.

Today, she was eating a slice of cake.  Grandad came in with fresh supply of runner beans from the allotment and gave her half of a runner bean.

She took it with great delight, ate it at once, and only then went back to the cake.

I love a three year old who appreciates allotment veg!

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Judith
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Judith Proctor

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