Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Unashamedly Off-Topic

Morris dancing, eh? Watching this lovely Guardian slide-show brought it all flooding back.

I remember our school May Day celebration - it was usually at the beginning of June because it always rained in early May. I was the only kid in my class with English parents, and most of the other classes had a similar make-up. I always found it so embarrassing to have to say, "My mum comes from Shepherd's Bush and my dad comes from Acton." All the other kids got to go to exciting places, because their parents came from Kenya or India or Holland or French Guyana or Turkey or Trinidad or Australia. Even Ireland was more exciting than Shepherd's Bush.

So there we were, all the shades of the rainbow, prancing around a maypole, looked upon by a benign May Queen and Jack in the Green. The oldest kids got to do popmobility to the strains of ABBA's Waterloo. It was already fairly ancient back then but Mrs. Salmon had worked the routine out once and she jolly well wasn't going to change the music, thank you. The Jehovah's Witnesses and Plymouth Brethrens weren't allowed to join in the fun, even though Alison was one of our best dancers. The year before, we'd still been wearing school-property red polka-dot skirts for our country dancing number - stripping the willow and dosie-do-ing with the boys in white shirts - but this time around it was shorts and T-shirts because we were so grown up - nearly teenagers!

Then Joanna's dad and his pals did some Morris dancing - also in white shirts, but with bells and hankies.

Of course, May Day in Berlin is slightly different.

No comments: