Yesterday was an “Open Day” at Venetian Marina (Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union, Cheshire), and there were many fine experiences to be had.
I had a pootle on and a steer of Venetian Hire Boat’s new baby “Day” and “Weekender” boat, Barcarolle. More of that in a post soon. Most splendid, most splendid indeed.
Narrowboat Glass were there (they are based in the marina, so it would be peculiar had they not been there). More of that in a post soon, too.
The bunting was out, the weather played nicely – a surprise in itself, after the previous day’s wind and rain and coolth. The Doggie boat was there, the Rag boat was there, the Pirate boat was there. There were wood-carvers, jewellery-makers, canvas cover repairers, River & Canal Rescue, local radio and all sorts of weirdos, myself included.
The day was punctuated by live performances of various sorts.
Cheshire is not New Zealand, so we made do without the Haka.
Cheshire isn’t Polynesia, so we made do without the Hula.
Cheshire is, though, in England (which is quite near to Scotland, is still affiliated to Europe and is now wholly-owned by the U.S.A.), so we did get the Morris.
This ought to tell foreigners all that they need to know about England.
The Morris form of dance has been performed here for at least six hundred years (not continuously, that would just be silly). This is the Kinnerton Morris group (side?) and they dance in the Cotswold style.
There are several different styles, and this website will explain all of them to anyone who remains curious. The Morris Ring.
There is little so terrifying and conquest-enabling as an Englishman waving a white handkerchief at you. If the white handkerchief doesn’t do the trick then we can also tap sticks together. Morris is our official National dance.
There are some slightly more butch styles of Morris than the one we were treated to yesterday. Border Morris is more to my tastes. Did I just say that out loud? Mind you, like all kinds of everything (Dana reference – the original Dana, not the more recent one, naturally), it has been politically correctified into a different form from the original.
Whichever style you choose though as your absolute favourite, the Morris is awfully English, and it’s absolutely rotten to the core with history.
I just wish, well… no, I’d better not say it.
I suppose that it could be worse, I mean – consider the Welsh clog-dance, the Scots’ Hghland Fling and poor bloody Ireland’s The Riverdance-esque nonsense.
Mind you, it must be said that at least in England we learn our lessons. After centuries of lousy dance we came up with Pan’s People to substitute on Top of The Pops where either there was no accompanying music video or the BBC wouldn’t cough up the royalties required to show it…
This sort of thing used to be my cue to turn up the volume on the telly and nip out to the kitchen to make a pot of tea, sometimes to bake some biscuits or a cake or something.
Philosophical, existential, navel-gazing note: is it possible that “things” are getting both better and worse at one and the same time, as the years go by? I have no idea, I lost my grip on reality years ago – and I don’t think that I’d pick it up again even if I tripped over reality now.
I think that I’ll just eat Fig Rolls, drink sherry and wait for it all to end.
Ever have one of those days when even if the secret to Life, The Universe, and Everything were to be laid at your feet you couldn’t work up enough “meh” to poke it with a stick?
Nanny, my mojo is missing.
On a domestic note, these moorings are now filthy with boats and boaters. Oh how I love each and every one of them. There’s nothing that I love more than being cheek by jowl with my (putatively) fellow humans.
The (seriously lovely) “shag-pile-hearth-rug/mop-head” hound from – one of the nice traders boats – was kind enough to take time out while his owner/keeper was otherwise distracted to leave me a steaming pile of sh*it just to one side of my step-off this morning. Personal social commentary from a dog, who would have thought it, eh? Must be a reader of this blog. I used to be quite popular with dogs, but something’s obviously changed.
At least though the batteries have run down in the smoke/CO alarm of the boat that some kind twonk abandoned inches away from the Cardinal’s stern yesterday (when there was oodles of room to choose from). Mind you, it did take all of last night before the damned thing fell, finally, blessedly, silent.
Chuffing heck, I’m channelling Grumpy Hector again, aren’t I. No question mark; that was a purely rhetorical spoon, I am well aware of the answer.
There were, it must be said, millions of fantastic hounds to be fussed over at the Open Day. I am seriously considering some sort of “Dogs of the Canal” website. No grumpy, moaning text from me, just photos of the dog population of the canals.
Here’s a couple to be going on with.
Here’s a photo of a shag-pile-hearth-rug/mop-head hound who does steaming social commentary. I’ve blanked out enough detail so that he can’t be identified… 😉
You can see that the little bugger is just sitting there, churning his guts and cooking up a steaming great one, can’t you?
Chin-chin for the mo, Muskies.