Life, photos but not the universe

Back again.

Another Bampton weekend has gone by, this time, without storms or gales or flying tents.  Ok, it rained a bit on Saturday (not a problem for me as I had to come home for the night anyway) and again a bit this morning as we packed up but overall, it was dry and there were sunny spells and it was all quite good. Also the coffee shop in Bampton, which opened a couple of years ago is still open and provides an excellent breakfast and delicious coffee. As well as other meals which I’m told are pretty good too.

I’m sorry, I go on about this every year, but there are always moments when you wonder why have you come to this village to sit about in pubs and then trudge around watching men with bells on their legs wave handkies to music, occasionally being rained on and often feeling completely, totally overwhelmingly cold, tired and ready to go home.

And then you see a once-a-year friend and rush over to hug and exchange news and within moments you are hugging the whole family, some of whom have grown so much in the preceding year that you don’t recognise them and being introduced to new girlfriends, boyfriends or  babies.  Proudly saying look there’s Youngest and her family over there, cheerily passing them on to another of our group (which is, for the most part, also a once a year meeting).

Soon after that you find yourself deep in conversation with someone you’ve seen here for years and never got round to meeting properly and you know, for sure, this will be a firm friend, next year.

Then the musicians get sat around in their corner (usually up to twenty or thirty) and everyone squeezes in to nowhere near enough space and you go into a kind of hazy trance listening to old songs and tunes and noticing the appearance of new musicians (Oooh the harp was nice – heaven only knows how she managed to squeeze herself in) missing people who haven’t made it this year, (Norma’s been ill, Liza’s pregnant, Nick’s helping a friend move house).  Later (much later) people gradually set off back to homes or campsite and next morning Barney, Claire and Jenny cook breakfast for anything from fifteen to twenty five on a rickety assortment of camping stoves.

And yeah, the dancing is quite good really.  When you notice the new kids who have made the team this year and you notice how much some of the other youngsters have improved and some of the older guys are struggling a bit and you wonder how many more years they will be able to dance and yet, together, they create a very relaxed, coherent and disciplined effect – not at all like the slightly limp and almost apologetic dancing you sometimes see in revival teams.

So then it was time for packing up and saying goodbye and we came home and set up all the tents on the lawn to dry and washed down all the cookers and tables and gear.  And, curiously, this year, hung the beanstalk on the washing line.  (This was Barney’s idea.  For those of you who don’t camp, a beanstalk is a metal thing that unfolds and clips together into three shelves on top of which a camping cooker fits perfectly).  It’s an awkward and cranky thing until it’s up and the unfolding and folding of it involves many bitten fingers and curses and it does look very odd on a washing line.  (Sorry, it was folded away before I got to it with the camera : )

Anyway, it’s nice to be home : )

And it was nice to be there

Reg playing for the practice.

Ah well.  I’m rambling.  Got to go to bed now : )


June 4, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Tradition is a very cool thing, both in making the journey and in the event itself. I think it’s cool you’ve so many events that are traditions for you and the family. It’s very much a cool thing–mostly cuz we have none of that. LOL Seriously! Well, none that are planned by us–but we do have a couple generated by social events. And geeze, we probably oughta! Maybe I oughta consider that and propose that to himself.

    ……And give it to him to plan and pull off! ROFL

    No dancer pictures?
    We don’t have ’em yaknow…..
    Just sayin’…..

    Ooh Mel, I forgot the dancers – if I have time I’ll do some tonight : ) And the Aunt Sally throwing – I wonder if Himself will know about that! (though I have mentioned that too somewhere about a year ago : )
    It is cool, the trad thing and it’s a bit of extra glue for social togetherness – sometimes it seems as if our world is all splintered apart.

    Comment by Mel | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. I loved reading this

    thank you

    (and, because I was watching a Midsomer Murder the other night – much to the children’s disgust – ha ha ha – I do remember what an Aunt Sally is)

    I always knew the Nettle man would come in handy one day 🙂
    And thank you too for enjoying 🙂
    I )))))))))))))))

    Comment by I, Like The View | June 6, 2010 | Reply

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