Tuesday 3 October 2017


Never having been to the panto, I know just one or two things about our Dick. He had a cat; he became Lord Mayor of London; he nearly didn't make it; the great turn-around came as a result of his hearing Bow Bells telling him: "Turn again, Whittington!" My best beloved and I are hoping that the great reversal of fortune occasioned by reversing direction will apply in our own case as well, as we decided to turn around and return home, to get her dental issue sorted out.

So this morning we went down the last two locks of the Audlem flight to the winding hole conveniently situated just beyond them, did the great turn (and winding was absolutely the correct name for it, given the breeze), and then retraced our steps up all fifteen locks of the flight. The sun fooled us by coming out for a few minutes, and we thought: "That went well. Let's carry on." So we went up the five locks of the Adderley flight as well, and made it all the way to Market Drayton. Dick would have been proud of us!

Coupled with the need then to walk to Morrisons and back, this exercise means today has been the polar opposite of yesterday, when we lazed around for most of the day, and then went to the folk session in the Shroppie Fly in the evening.

This is the only place I've seen a hurdy-gurdy being played in the wild and, not content with one, they have two of them! (I wanted to write that sentence rather differently, but I couldn't work out the plural of "hurdy-gurdy"!) There were also singers of various kinds, guitars, bagpipes, fiddles, recorder, bodhrán, egg shakers, penny whistle and piano accordion.

In fact there were two of those as well, since I took my own and got to play a tune or two. Overall, very good fun, a nice range of homespun talent, good company, the joy of making music together. And with a good mix of contemporary and traditional – some of the songs sounded as though they dated from the time of the original Richard Whittington!


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