Thursday 8 November 2012

The Illustrious Order of Fools and Beasts Unconvention 2012

What a time, what a time indeed.

So, your intrepid Apprentice Fool hot-footed it down to Southampton area, leaving at 6.30 and arrived at 9.00. 

Walked into a Scout Hut full of rather odd-looking people looking slightly bleary-eyed.  I grabbed the nearest pesron and he told me to look for Bob, who would help me out.  On spotting said "Bob" I approached him.

"Bob?" I asked.

"Er..Rob" he replied and then took me warmly in and welcomed me to the fold.

We then were gathered all together and given full instruction for the day, with the main proviso being to be as foolish as possible without disturbing the dancers.

We then all boarded the coach and for once, everything went quiet.

In a short time, we arrived at a quiet Wickham Square.  A lovely little town square where we met with King John's Morris Men, Red Stags Morris, Wickham Morris Men and Some delightful Morris Kids of Swanmore Primary School.  Everyone had a dance in the delightful morning sun and much fooling and beastiary was done.

We then clambered back on the coach and various beasts were squashed into the luggage compartment (not to their liking) and we went off to Botley Square, another pretty little square, where again joined by King Johns Morris, Red Stags and Wickham Morris,  we danced under the morning Sun.  We even had our first Fools dance.

Slight walk to the coach again and we ended up at Junction Road at St Denys.  More dancing with King Johns Morris, Red Stags and Wickham Morris, and even a couple more dances of our own with and without sticks.  Not a huge audience for this one, but those that were, were very appreciative.  we then settled down for more liquid refreshment and a spot of lunch.  Particularly notable was the Havant Brewery ale, Stopped Dancing which led us all to some fantastic music and song played by our musicians, making one of those moments that you want to just bottle and keep.

Prised out of the Pub by a very patient coach driver, we headed off to Southampton Art Gallery where we were preveliged to see a specially displayed "The Morris Dancer", portrait of "feathers" Russell, an Eynsham dancer, painted in 1902 by Sir William Nicholson.  Having a quick wander round, lost me a while in the display of some fine Burne Jones paintings.  Meanwhile, some fine Morris Dancing was being done in the gallery.

We then wandered into the Town Square and continued as before with some excellent dances by the Fools and Beasts and particularly noticeable was the sight of Henning (a particularly crazy Dutch Dancer) vanishing off in the distance on a skate-board!

Back to the coach and off to the Horse and Jockey in Curbridge for more Beer dancing, including some more Fools and Beasts dances.  Finally as the light went, we arrived back at The Scout Hut, for a few calm moments before the Evening's frivolities.

Naturally, the best thing I could do was to arrange to stay the night in order to join in!

The feast started and  we had a marvelous meal cooked by some fine Morris Men/Caterers.  Some marvelous beer was quaffed, spirits imbibed and Toasts were made.

New members were inducted, including myself (with a very proud glow! - or was it the ale?)

 The rest of the night was spent watching more dances, a very impressive "Princess Royal" and some brilliant songs were sung.  The rest of the night was a blur and we all carried on until the early hours.

We then slept for a few hours, inbetween the sound of heavy rain, light snoring and various other noises until light.

After another marvelous breakfast, the AGM got underway.  Lots of talking meant that unfortunately we didn't have time for a course, being time to dash off for yet more dancing in the centre of Winchester.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to join, much to my regret, as I dashed off home, a Fool.

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