Friday, 28 April 2017

Five on Friday Morris Dancing


Thanks for visiting, lovely tosee you especially as today we are linking up with the FAST blog for Five on Friday.

As one of the traditional days for morris dancing is 1st May, which is amazingly just round the corner, today my five is all about this English tradition.

One - What is it?

Morris Dance is an English folk dance accompanied by music.  The earliest record shows it taking place in he reign of King Henry VII in the 1500s as part of court entertainment but it then spread to large houses and village entertainment.  Today most Morris clubs are revivals and at the turn of the Millennium, there were 800 clubs in the UK and 1000 worldwide.  The dances are based on rhythmic stepping and choreographed figures, often with bells, handkerchiefs and implements waved overhead.  A band of musicians accompanies the dancers as does a fool or a mythical beast.

 Two - Types

There are several different types of dance coming from different parts of the UK:  Cotswold, Border from the Welsh Borders, Molly Dancing, Rush Bearing,  Rapper Sword Dancing, Longsword Dancing and North West Dancing.  Each with different origins and using different types of costumes and equipment.  For instance the Border type usually blacken their faces and Molly dancers have at least one man dressed as a woman.

Three - Costumes

My photos are of the Barley Brigg Morris Club that are based in Suffolk.  They dance in the North West Morris tradition.  You can see that their costumes consist of red socks, colourful flowered hats, with blue and white skirts for the women and blue breeches with a red sash for the men.  They use a variety of implements from ribbon or plain sticks, short sticks covered in bells to heavy wooden bobbins and cotton rope slings with weighted ends.

Other forms of Morris have other traditions, some wearing costumes of rags, others are all in white with bells below the knee, some have black breeches and a white shirt covered in rosettes with flexible swords. Some look quite scary all in black.

Four - Music

Originally the dancers would be accompanied by pipe and tabor but these days you see fiddles, accordions, concertinas and tambourines with drums, even brass bands in the North West.  Tunes played can be quite old or from the music hall era with songs adapted to fit the dances.

Five - The Morris Ring

The Morris Ring is the National Association of Morris Clubs which promotes Morris dancing and maintains its traditions.  Have a look at the website to see much more about each type of morris dance.

If you'd like to see them dance, have a look at this YouTube video.

Many thanks Carly and Tricky.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017



Nice to see you.

Street artist Stik comes from Hackney, East London and is well known for his large stick figures which can now be found, all over the world.  We came across the ones below in London's East End and I think I'll keep a look out for others as I rather like them.

Have a look at the website where there's a handy map for Stik spotters.

Here's a couple of photos from the internet.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Geffrye Museum


Welcome to the blog.

Whilst we're in London, we're off to visit the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton which started life in 1714 as almshouses built by the Ironmongers Company using a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, a former Mayor of London and two time Master of the Ironmongers Company.  For two hundred years, homes for fifty poor pensioners were provided.  When the area declined, the almshouses were relocated and the Council opened a Museum in 1914.

You wouldn't think you were in the middle of a busy, bustling area as soon as you step into the front garden.  In fact the back garden is equally beautiful but not visited this time as it hadn't yet opened after the Winter.

I expect you are wondering what's inside!  Well, you enter at the left had side of the building and are able to walk all the way through the almshouses viewing room settings from the 1600s right up until the turn of the century.  Here are a few to give you an idea.

Hall 1630

Parlour 1745

Parlour 1790

Drawing Room 1830

You get a glimpse of the garden through the window of this room which has painted murals on its curvy walls.  This room bypasses a library with many reference books.

In the middle of the building, is the old chapel, the memorial to Sir Robert Geffrye on the wall gives details of his life and achievements.  He died aged 91 in 1703, no mean feat.
Drawing Room 1910

Living Room 1935

Living Room 1965

Loft Apartment 1998
Having reached the 2000s a modern extension gives extra displays plus a shop and cafe, which provides scrumptious home made fare.

I always mean to visit at Christmas as each room is decorated as they would have done in the period.  I bet you have all spotted something from your past, maybe from the 60s rather than the 1600s! Ha Ha!

Have a look at the website for more details.  It's a great place and free to visit too but for a small charge on certain days you can see an almshouse restored to how it would have been.


Friday, 21 April 2017

Five on Friday - Bees without Bees


Welcome to the blog for Five on Friday with FAST.  Don't the weeks just fly by!

As we have spent our time up in London with the last few blog posts, I thought we needed to get back to nature with five things beginning with B.

One - Butterfly

Here's a Peacock butterfly sitting on the grass.
If you would like to make a butterfly, here's a link to a website if you feel like making one like this:

Two - Bluebells

There's nothing like a carpet of bluebells beneath the trees.

Follow this link to make a crochet bluebell like this.

Three - Blooms

These particular blooms are auriculas which come in many beautiful colours.

How about being inspired to make some felt ones like the Linen Cat, have a look here.

Four - Blossom

Always a treat to see the blossom knowing that it will be replaced by apples later in the year.

If you can't wait, how about making some felt fruit, like these by Bugs and Fishes.

Five - Birds

A colourful mandarin duck on the lake, what wonderful colouring.

How about a crocheted one?  Now there's a challenge I'll leave up to you!

Many thanks Tricky and Carly.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Cereal Killer Cafe, Shoreditch


Lovely to see you.

Doing a bit of research before my trip to London, I came across the Cereal Killer Cafe.  What a name, especially in the area where Jack the Ripper killed some of his victims. This needed a bit of investigation.

The colourful displays as you enter the shop showed you exactly what was on sale.  They stock over 100 different breakfast cereals from all over the world and you can add to this a choice of 30 different milks and 20 different toppings.  Certainly the place for the cereal connoisseur if not the person seeking a healthy diet.  My coffee was great and it was interesting watching people call in and order their breakfast.

Here's the cafe, no glass in the windows!

You never know what you will find in London!


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

more street art


Thanks for popping in.

Are you ready for a bit more street art?

We've made it as far as Shoreditch now and still the art continues.  Some buildings completely covered in vibrant swirls, others completely black with reflective windows.  Camera crews and foreign students buzz around, taking it all in.

Across the street, an enormous ROA hedgehog peers round the lamp post in Chance Street.

We've heard there's a Banksy on Rivington Street heading to the Old Street tube.  There's all sorts to see on the way

Ben Eine

I like these bright simple shapes by Thierry Noir. We've missed the Banksy though and turn back.

No wonder we couldn't see the Banksy, a van is parked right next to the glass covered work. No chance of a proper photo of Guard Dog, a poodle. Fancy parking a van there, you can't do that at the National Gallery!

We've missed the vast majority of the streetart but then tomorrow it could all be different again.

If it wasn't such a pfaff to get to, like Arnie, I'd be back.