June 22, 2006

With a hey nonny no and a raggle taggle gipsy-o, and all that jazz.

What better way to celebrate the solstice (avoiding Stonehenge) than to join a bunch of Morris Men and Ladies dancing down the sun on top of the Sussex downs? Well, there isn't one that I know of, so that's what we did.

BishWife dances the Morris throughout the summer months and her "side" (Sompting Village Morris) were joined for the event by Ditchling Morris and another side whose name escapes me. The routine is to meet at the Spotted Cow pub in Angmering Village at the foot of Highdown Hill at about eight in the evening, have a beer and do a couple of dances each, then walk up to the top and dance there until the sun goes down. At this point flaming torches and a token fire are lit and a final dance is followed by a hazardous journey back down in the darkness.

And boy was it cold! Such a wind whips across the top of the hill that even on Midsummer's day the miniBishes and I were wrapped in travel rugs and huddled together for warmth. We were ready to warm our hands on that fire, I can tell you. They eventually got to bed at about half past eleven and we followed very shortly. Don't tell anyone, but they had the morning off school to recuperate.

It was another busy day any road. Before the solstice jollity, we had attended the funeral of BishWife's great-aunt who died recently. She was a lovely lady (I'm not even going to call her an old lady because, although she was 81, she never seemed old to me) and we will sadly miss her at family get-togethers in future. I shall always remember her and my mum performing as the "Cheeky Girls" at Christmas one year after a sherry too far. Goodbye Joan, it was a real pleasure to have known you. I hope you've found the peace and happiness you wanted and deserved.

No time to lose! After that it was a quick change of clothes and off to miniBish1's sports day at school. The boy done good; came second in his running race and helped his team (come on you yellows!) to a second place as well. Sadly I neglected to put on my sunblock and am suffering a little soreness round the neck today as a result. Serves me right.

Oh, and I joined and released my first book (or was that the day before? it's all a blur).

So, solstice over, we are looking forward to a good summer as both miniBishes have birthdays coming up.

Let me leave you with the Sompting Village Morris motto: "May you live as long as you want to, and want to as long as you live!"


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