( DERT practice )
( DERT practice )
Errr, ooops. At various times I have said to people "I'll let you know if my team is dancing in your area". And, as I get up nicely and early to hop on a train to Peterborough, it occurs to me that some of those people are in Cambridge, and that that is quite close to Peterborough. And thus it would have been useful if I'd mentioned this somewhat before this morning[*].
So! I imagine this is far too late, but if anyone is wandering the fens wondering what to do with their Saturday, then I shall be dancing at the Havest Festivaltoday. I have absolutely no idea what it's going to be like, or how it's all going to work :-)
[*} I went to Whitby for the festival in late August, went to my parents' house, came back to London for three days, and went off on holiday with ChrisC for nearly a fortnight. I am thus massively disorganised. Even more so than usual.
So, yes. Last weekend was DERT, and I took myself of to Bristol to compete, drink beer and catch up with friends. Disappointingly, by the time I arrived at the main venue some other blighters had drunk all the beer, but I managed to do some catching up.( The Competition )
( The Rubber Hand Incident )
( Pictures )
What with all the organising, planning and general cat-herdery of getting two rapper teams to Brussels (and back without mishap or arrest) last weekend, DERT has somewhat crept up on me this year. For those who haven't been listening to me bang on for years, DERT is the annual competition for the kind of sword dancing (rapper) that I do.
We're a bit under-rehearsed. If last night is anything to go by, at least some of us will be a bit hungover. We are (it turns out) almost old enough to compete a veterans.
But never mind... Wish us luck!
Life isn't half getting in the way of this LJing lark. In summary, I have been to Belgium with Mabel Gubbins and North British Sword, and had a jolly nice time. As noted before, the Belgian public is extremely polite and will form an appreciative circle the moment you break out the swords and give notice that you are going to do A Thing.
Sorry, not swords, but "Morris dancing staves". This, after much thought, is what we call our sprung-steel weapons whenever we take them through security. The idea is to make them sound so fantastically boring that no one could possibly want to ask about them, for fear we might tell them.
Anyway, in easily digestible form:( Opinions of Brussels )
My dance team are organising a trip for ourselves and another team there next Easter (location chosen mostly for presence of Belgian beer, and ability to get there on the train).
Right now we're at the planning stage, and looking for things to do, things to see and places to dance for a group of ~30 people. Also a (cheap) place to stay, and places to eat. I'm sure the internet, and the research trip Sally and I are planning, will turn up plenty, but if you have any special recommendations, I'd love hear them!
At the beginning of September, I went away for the weekend with my occasional dance team, Boojum.
Note for new(ish) readers: I do a form of traditional English folk-dancing called rapper. It looks a bit like this. It's from the north-east, and no one has ever heard of it. It involves short, bendy strips of metal which we (inaccurately) call swords, and usually happens in pubs. I belong to a team called Mabel Gubbins, based in Oxfordshire. Since Boojum formed in 2001 - of people scatted from Newcastle to Canterbury - I've also danced with them.
Boojum have always gone in for meeting up at odd times, in odd places, dancing wherever anyone would have us. We've had a lot of fun. But... we've decided to call it quits.
( We've travelled the country for pleasure )
Of course I have, I just haven't found time to write it up here. Regular readers may assume that it was quite a lot like last year. Only a lot, lot windier. Dance displays at Capt. Cook's monument were all about trying not to get blown off the cliff and out to sea.
Unexpectedly, we managed a whole four days of dancing without injuring anyone seriously (unlike the Wallingford festival this weekend where our very first dance failed so badly someone ended up concussed).
However, as anyone who's ever been to any kind of festival knows, it's not a terribly restful sort of a holiday. Since getting back, I've mostly been either at work, asleep, or one-but-wishing-I-was-the-other.
Normal service will be attempted shortly. (This is also the first entry I've attempted on a phone, so humorous typos are Swype's fault. Anyone know a decent Android app for LJ?)
This year it is also an unexpectedly big deal for Mabel Gubbins. Firstly, we're in Premier.
( Aaaargh! )
Secondly, as of this moment there are no takers to run DERT next year.
( Aaaargh! )
Anyway, if you're in or around the Leeds area, there will a range of opportunities for watching sword dancing in pubs a week on Saturday. You can watch the finest teams in the land, nay, the world! Or, of course, you could watch us (but only if you cheer violently and help increase our buzz score).
Which also brings me to my other question: I shall be free of swords and other such things by Sunday lunchtime, does anyone Leeds-based fancy meeting up for a pub lunch, beer, coffee, or other social engagement? strange_complex, maviscruet, nalsa, any others?
Practices are Tuesday evenings 8pm - 9pm for beginners (hardcore Mabels stay til 10pm), in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.
[*] If you're male, and in Londonish, try Thrales. They're very welcoming of beginners. I can try and offer suggestions of other teams if neither of these suits.
[**] Where by "we" I apparently mean "I" - think I blinked at a critical moment at the AGM :(
( Flash clog dancing, the generalised idiocy of rapper teams, and a surprise from Coventry )
( Carrying on in Kirtlington )
Having arrived the recommended two hours before flying, we queued for two and a quarter. Fortunately, it seems the plane was queueing somewhere as well.
( Then it was off to Lower Saxony )
( Going for a Burton )
Leodensians! People of Leeds! The dance extravaganza, beer bonanza and all-round travelling circus that is DERT rolls into your city next year. See you there ;)
Having been caught up in the heady excitement of my rapper team's Facebook page, I have accidentally agreed to make someone a cake "made out of beer". I have remarkably little idea of how to proceed.
A quick google suggests that recipes for chocolate and stout cake exist. My mum makes a Guinness cake, but (although it's lovely) it tastes more of fruit cake than of Guinness. I'm currently inclining towards this Spiced Beer Cake recipe - though again I'm worried that the spices (while nice) will detract from the beery flavour.
Any advice? Please note I don't want a cake that looks like a foaming tankard, or is iced to resemble a bottle... I want a cake that contains and (preferably) tastes noticeably of beer.
I need to bake my cake next Thursday (to be delivered on Friday), so not a lot of time for experimentation...
Don't forget that tomorrow afternoon is an ideal chance to get your annual dose of sword-dancing in pubs. And cake, if you turn up at the KA around 4pm.
Full details here: http://mabelgubbins.co.uk/mabel13.html
We're expecting ten guest teams this year, so it should be a busy 'un.