Archive for music

A Square with Four Sides

Posted in Music, out and about, shrewsbury with tags , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by suetortoise

Ironmen 4
August Bank Holiday weekend, Shrewsbury Folk Festival is on. I am supposed to be busy packing my bags for my holiday and tidying the Tortoise Loft. (No more posts from me for a while, but watch out for pictures and a report when I get back in September.)

But knowing there was folk dancing going on in The Square, and that the sun was shining, I allowed myself one hour off, and took my camera with me.

The first of the four sides I saw were One Step Beyond, doing Appalachian step dancing. They moved fast, and it was hard to catch them on camera.
One Step Beyond 1
Next up, Crook Morris, a mixed morris side: white shirts and hankies, amazing hats and high-energy dancing.
Crook Morris 1
Two East Shropshire sides: The ladies of the Severn Gilders dance in clogs, while The Ironmen keep up the wild Border Morris tradition, with wooden staves, blackened faces and tatters.
Severn Gilders 2
Ironmen 3
Severn Gilders 4
The beautifully decorated Square makes a fine setting for morris dancing. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the hats from the hanging baskets!
Ironmen 5
And on that happy note, I’ll say farewell for now. See you back here in the second half of September, if I don’t see you in Melbourne.



Posted in books, everyday life, museum, shrewsbury with tags , , , , , on June 6, 2010 by suetortoise

Yesterday I did something that I haven’t done for several years: I got a couple of books out of the library.

The Library from The Castle

Sounds odd, doesn’t it, coming from someone who so fond of reading – let alone someone who lives almost within a stone’s throw of the library? But it’s true. I’ve been into the library quite a few times, researching this and that, but it’s many years since I have wanted to take a library book home with me.

The main part of Shrewsbury’s library is housed in the old Shrewsbury School building. With a fine statue of Charles Darwin outside – educated here. The music library is housed in a room which still has the old panelling on the walls, covered in schoolboy names and initials, cut deeply into the wood, usually in rather fine handwriting.

It was the music section that drew me this time. I tend to get most of my fiction reading from charity shops – much of it returns for resale – and since I’ve had Internet access, I have found less and less need to go across the road to look up facts. However, the guitar occasionally needs feeding with new songs, and I thought it would make sense to see what could be borrowed, before I get tempted into buying new songbooks or waste more hours chasing things down on the web. And once I’d had my elderly library card replaced with a shiny new one, I came out happily clutching a couple of collections of tunes with a few ‘possibles’ in each.

(Much of this afternoon has vanished in transposing and getting to grips with ‘Carolina in my Mind’. Which turns out a great deal less daunting than I expected, once I’d rescued it from the key of F and put it safely down in G to get rid of the flats. I flatly refuse to play flats, except B flat. One has to draw a line somewhere. I will put up with a modest number of sharps.)

One advantage of not having borrowed from the library for so many years is that they may have had some turnover in the fiction section since I stopped bothering to look at it. Maybe there will be some new non-fiction on subjects that interest me? Who knows? I may have been lured back into library usage by the demands of a hungry guitar, but there’s a lot more than music in Shrewsbury Library (quite apart from the joy of being inside a lovely and historic building). I’m looking forward to my next visit….

May Contain Nuts

Posted in everyday life, Family and Friends, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by suetortoise

It’s May. Time For another update on recent activity. First up, on May Day itself: Eric, my father had his 90th Birthday. Here he is on his special day:

Eric Jones - 90th Birthday Portrait

My sister was visiting from London. So along with my mother and I the whole family were together. Friends kept turning up with presents and cards, relatives phoned. After lunch – Dad’s birthday choice of sausage, mash and peas, cooked by my sister – he found it a bit overwhelming. So he went off to his den for a spot of quiet computer programming.

‘Tis of a fair young maiden, and she lived down in Kent,
Arose one sunny morning, and she a nutting went….

You can’t have May without a spot of morris, can you? So I’ve been adding The Nutting Girl to my guitar repertoire. I am enjoying learning new songs and tunes, especially when I have worked out the chords for myself, as I did with this one. Thanks to inspiration from Graham Higgins, I’ve been tackling La Mer – now that’s tricky to master! But I am getting better at it. I started with chords off the web for La Mer, but Lady Franklin’s Lament is another one I have worked out for myself. It’s a real joy to have a guitar on hand again.

Shropshire Community Flickr Group are doing a ‘Photo a Day’ challenge for May. (Last year we did one in April.) I’m not always remembering to take a photo until the light is fading, but so far I’ve managed to keep up, although they’re not all quality shots! Here are a couple of them.

Another everyday drama
Duckling in the Dingle
The rest are accumulating here.