rowanf: (Default)
9/11 - 4:45pm
This morning after breakfast I finished Nightseer and then took off over the hill and out to the cliffs and on to Peveril Point. Then I wandered back to town and watched various dance sides doing sets near the seaside. The Morris/Stick dancing folks have the coolest decorated top hats with flowers and masks on them. My favorite had a green man mask on the back and she let me take a picture. I hope it shows up! The day was so grey that most of my pictures are probably fuzzy from lack of light.

Morris Hats )
I had lunch at a tea shop and then wandered off to the Conservative Club to hear Sid Kipper. He was really very funny. Although he says humor isn't worth much... you just smile and go on. But a good sulk can last for a week. And a grudge properly fed can last a lifetime. *grin* Nonetheless, it was fun to smile for a couple of hours, having been in such a funk yesterday. He had lots of silly Morris Dancing jokes (his village is hunting Morris Dancers instead of foxes these days). One I liked was "Someone said, 'dance is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire'... what exactly is it that Morris Dancers want?"

I wandered through the festival vendors looking for a tee shirt like the one Margery was wearing last night. I found it and also a colorful skirt that was handmade by "Magical Mackerel" of Cornwall. Most of the booths were selling jewelry or Indian clothes. I can find those at home and more cheaply.

Walking back to the hotel I picked up a pie and one of those hazelnut florentine things. I'm writing postcards and this journal entry and will rest a bit before going back down for the New Scorpion Band concert tonight. I hate to finish the chocolate Russell bought me from Chococo, a local chocolate factory. It is right up there with the best chocolate I've ever eaten. "Luscious Lime: Our origin chocolate slab bar made with Tanzanian cocoa beans, infused with natural lime oil and loaded with organically grown Italian candied lemon peel." Well, I'd have to quibble with "loaded" but still I'd've bought some more if they were open on Sunday (or before I leave tomorrow). They ship in the UK, so I may have to have some shipped to Simon & Mary for transhipment to California.

10:30pm UT

The New Scorpion Band concert was great. They mostly did songs from The Downfall of Pears, their last album before the new Sea Shanty one. (Which I decided to wait to buy later when the exchange rate is, hopefully, better.) I finally found out who The Scorpion Band they're the "New" of was. It was a Puddletown (Dorset) band just after the Napoleonic War. The range of instruments is really something, they said the had about 25 of their more than 30 instruments they collectively play on stage with them. We're talking guitar, madoline, banjo, fiddle and whistles to bassoon, tuba, trombone and other horns. Well played with tight harmonies as well. I'm really glad I got to see them in person. I will add another dimension to listening to their music.

New Scorpion Band )
After the concert I got lost heading the wrong way up High Street from the church. I did find "The Owl Pottery" which I wish I'd seen whilst it was open. Probably just as well I didn't. Between Peveril Point and my nocturnal ramblings I walked over five miles today. Tomorrow I rejoin Russell! Yay!
rowanf: (berries)
9/10 - 4:30pm UT
Russell and I had dinner last night at the White Horse, a pub just down the hill. He had fish and I had a truly wonderful steak and ale pie. They are one of the folk music venues but the music wasn't to start until 10-10:30 and we just couldn't imagine staying up that late. So we came back up the hill to bed.

This morning after breakfast I walked with him down to the station and put him on the bus to Bournemouth. He will meet the Home From Home agent and get the key to our London flat. I miss him already.

I wandered over to the Sandpit Field where the tents were set up for the Festival. They said some Ceilidh tickets had shown up for Saturday night so I bought one. It started raining a bit harder and I decided to walk up to the hotel and get my umbrella. I stopped at a jumble sale and bought a copy of Terry Pratchett's Monsterous Regiment. I stopped in a couple of shops and looked at dancing skirts but they are all "free size" which means too small for me. I feel very disgruntled. When I got to the B&B I sat in the front room and read for awhile and when I went upstairs it was already 11am. Bah! I had meant to go to the RSCDS workshop in town. So I just stayed in my room and read. I heard the music when the massed dancers went by at 2:30 but felt disinclined to go out into the wet to see them. I *hate* grey rainy weather. With all the rain there is no place to sit down outside. So I either have to be inside in my room or pay for food or something to be able to sit in someone else's space. I perched on a bench arm in the park but that is hardly comfortable. I tell myself that you only get out of an event what you put into it, but I just don't feel like trying to become part of this Festival. I don't have any clean clothes, I feel out of place without any friends to hang with. And what's the use of trying make some that I'll probably never see again. And I'm not a photographer to want to wander around looking for dance sides and taking pictures. Most of the workshops require you to have a drum or other instrument (or hankies for the Morris ones). What am I doing here? I wish I was back home with my own waterbed, a nice fluffy feather pillow and a shower with water pressure and really hot water and friends who care about me.

I can really see why folks who are refugees and otherwise ripped from their own place can become disoriented and lost. If a day without moorings on holiday can throw me into melancholy how much greater must the loss of home overset one.

10:30pm
I finally threw off my ennui and wandered down to Masala's for dinner. The duck tikka was nice but the cauliflower bakti had too much cilantro taste to be edible. I am now reading Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton.

I got over to the tent at the Sandpit Field by 7:30 and was told my ticket was for last year but someone remembered them selling it to me this morning and the let me in. Mawkin was just starting up and Gordon Potts was calling the first dance. I had sat down next to a group of local folks and I asked if one of the gentlemen would like to stand up for the dance. Eddie obliged and off we went. Most of the dances were very easy and most of the folks knew enough country dancing that there weren't any real blunderers. It was fun. I stood up with Eddie several times and once with a woman called Margery. About 9pm the Bismarcks came on but I was starting to yawn and I wandered off to bed. I still don't feel all that connected with the Festival but I did enjoy the dancing. I would really like a cider though. Can diet coke really be that much better for my liver?
rowanf: (Default)
This morning we got up late since the B&B doesn't serve breakfast until 8:30. Nevertheless we were down at the Info Center by 9:30 only to find it doesn't open until 10am. *sigh* We sat in deck chairs and looked at the mist on the water. It was really peaceful and I didn't mind waiting at all. At 10am I found out the Folk Festival was sold out of "all weekend" tickets two weeks ago. *sigh* I did get one-off tickets for Sid Kipper and New Scorpion Band at least. All the Saturday acts were sold out. *grumble* I shall just have to wander around and watch the dancers and otherwise amuse myself. There are "over 40 sides" of dancers... from Morris to Bellydance evidently. The latter being quite unexpected by me anyway. Or perhaps I can get into one of the pub venues which are sort of a fringe to the main festival.

Then Russell and I took the steam train to Corfe Castle and toured the Castle which has been a ruin since 1646. In 975 King Edward (the Martyr) was killed which made way for the succession of my 32nd great grandfather, Aethelred II (the Unready). Funny how so tenuous a connection gives greater interest. *laugh* I wonder how many thousands are descended from Aethelred?

We came back to Swanage and grabbed pies and ate sitting on the sea wall. Lots of families had taken over the beach which had been empty just a couple of hours before. We wandered around town and out the pier. There was a great exhibit of pictures of early postcards of Swanage in the pier shop. I love looking at "then and now" shots. They have lots of that sort of postcard here and I think I'll buy them to paste in my paper journal.

Russell found (via our landlord) a gallery that has internet access (I'm on ethernet... now quaint ;-) and so I'm posting these notes. It seems like we must have done something else today since it is after 4pm but I can't think what it might be. I guess we did a lot of wandering!
rowanf: (Default)
9/8 - 5:40pm UT

We had a last breakfast at the Queens Hotel and headed off to the railway station in York. We spent the entire day it seems getting to Swannage. We got to Bournemouth about 3:30 and caught the 4pm bus to Swannage. And we just arrived at our hotel! Not a lot of report of the day. There was a fire in one of the connecting train stations which caused a lot of people to be re-routed and we got stuck behind a slow train that made us 10-20 minutes late at various stations but since we didn't have connections to make we were fairly sanguine.

When we got to town we found no cell connection downtown. Eeek! Our landlord isn't sure there is an internet cafe in town. He says Dorset is behind the times... "we're barely on the electric let alone the internet". Double Eek! But sitting in my hotel room I was able to get two bars of service and phone Kurt, so I'm not as isolated as i feared. OTOH, we are isolated enough that I am goihng to have to stay another day if I want to see the New Scorpion Band as their set isn't until 7pm on Sunday. And there is no way to get back to London at that hour. From my computer in San Jose it seemed insane to book an extra night when we're paying for an apartment in London... but here it seems silly to have come this far and fail to see the main band I wanted to see. (Sid Kipper is on at 1:30pm and I wouldn't have any problem seeing him.) Gah. This really is my last extravagance of the trip! Jet earrings and extra hotel nights. Really.

Russell is off taking Golden Hour photos at the end of this beautiful sunny day. Which, as I mentioned, we spent travelling after suffering entirely grey days until now. *laugh* England! I am exhausted. I know I should go walk around but, as is generally the case in a coastal town, it is all hills and though I've done nothing but sit on a train all day I'm just that tired. I think I'll put the computer down and take a nap.

7:35 UT

Russell came back from his wanderings with Indian take-away. I am full of a lovely lamb koorma but still quite tired. He's wandered off again to chat with Erika and I'm going through Purbeck guidebooks. Life is good.

May 2015

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