Monday, May 01, 2006

Boghoppers and Bushbeaters...sounds dirty, doesn't it?

One of the better things about living out in the sticks than in the city is that, in Britain, every flyspeck of a village has an annual fayre, fete, or people-chasing-cheese-down-a-hill. Today was the 16th Annual Georgian Fayre in Blandford, so M and I wandered down to have a look. Having been told by both M and his dad that there were loads of people in Georgian costume, I was disappointed to find the town centre over run with those stupid portable carnival rides and screaming children. As a person who really, really, really doesn't like things like rollarcoasters and amusment park rides, I was really looking forward to the people in costumes! I think that maybe about three people were in costume, but then we saw these people.

They're Morris Dancers, a bizarre bit of British history that is pretty fantastic. The gentleman in the front is announcing them...in a very painful way. He kept telling really bad jokes, and no one would laugh, in a west country accent so strong you almost couldn't understand what he was saying.
A group of middle-aged women happily jingles (they have bells on their shoes) their way to the middle of the open space, and the guys with the fiddle and accordian in the background just started pumping away. I don't know if I have ever seen anything as...I don't even have the words, as a group of grinning middle-aged women jumping around with bells on their shoes, sticks with bells on the end, hopping around in horribly clashing colours in front of the town hall.
The best thing about it though, is that these women were loving every second. They thought that their name was great (Boghoppers and Bushbeaters), they thought that the band was great, they thought that their costumes were great and they thought that the dancing was great. I must admit, I don't think that I'd want to dress up in bells and red and purple and hop around madly in the middle of a fair, but these guys loved it. So, rock on Morris Dancers.

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