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Friday, 28 June 2013

Morris Dancing

One evening last week my husband and I drove out to The Bell at East Langton, a village pub in the Leicestershire countryside.



 It was warm (ish!) so we sat outside at one of the picnic tables with our son and a couple of friends. On either side of the path leading up from the road, bushes of lavender alternated with white roses whilst overhead swallows swooped. It was the perfect peaceful antidote to a busy week.

Then the Leicestershire Morris Dancers arrived to liven everyone up. They played music, waved handkerchiefs, banged their sticks and the bells on their legs tinkled away as they danced the Cotswold Morris which is usually performed in the summer. These guys claim to have danced in every village in the county and on a Wednesday throughout the summer they dance at  3 different locations during the evening. It's thirsty work and I bet they get through a lot of beer too!


 
Nobody knows when Morris dancing originated but it was around in Shakespeare's day. Although Morris dancing is thought of as a peculiarly English activity apparently there are 150 groups in the U.S. I remember Morris dancers on the village green in the place where I grew up, usually on May Day and we used to get them in the City too, not far from where I live now, outside the corner shop. Last week the Morrismen were raising money for LOROS which is a Leicester based charity comprising a hospice and day-care centre. So not only does the dancing keep the Morrismen fit and happy but it's all done in a good cause too. I really enjoyed watching them, all the more because it was a complete surprise.
 
Thank-you for reading. I hope that a nice surprise comes your way this week and sending good wishes to all of my followers in the U.S. for a very happy Fourth of July.


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