Rosh Hashana 5778

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:55 pm
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[personal profile] filkerdave

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Rosh Hashanah and the year 5778. May all of you reading this be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

לשנה טובה
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[personal profile] filkerdave

It pretty much kills any real social media time, especially longer-form stuff like DW. I could probably do more if I turned the computer on at night but I really try never to do that when I'm on a project. There's no reason to.

Maybe things will even out a little. I'd made a commitment to myself to write here regularly, and I haven't quite been able to do it for the past few weeks.

On the bright side, Baltimore is a nice town so far. I'm sure there are parts that aren't nice, but that's true of every city, isn't it?

Morris first aid

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:28 am
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
 We were dancing at Swanage Folk Festival this weekend and I had the usual use of our team first aid kit, a child with a scratched finger needing a plaster (it's hardly ever team members needing it).

However, not long after, a dancer twisted a foot mid-dance. He swapped out and tossed his stick to me and we finished the dance without missing a step. After the dance was over, I got out the emergency ice pack and a crepe bandage and applied both. By the afternoon (with the bandage re-applied) he was well enough to walk the procession, but sensible enough not to try stepping.


There are days when I'm very glad that I carry that kit around wherever we go.

(The item that I deliberately included in the kit, but hope never to have to use, is an eye pad. One has to be realistic about the risk of stick injuries when it comes to Border morris.)

Apart from having the right kit to treat the injury, the other big plus for me was that the dancer in question knew I could instantly replace him and we swapped without affecting the dance at all.  I
 work hard to learn every position in every dance (which is not to say that I never make mistakes) and it means that I can fill in almost  anywhere.  Some dancers only ever learn a single position.  They'll dance second in line on the left in dance A and in position 3 in dance B and so on.

I tend to visualise dances from an overhead viewpoint, so I see the overall pattern and that means I remember "First corners cross" rather than "I swap places with Henry". I've also been dancing for most of my life, so half the patterns are second nature anyway.

Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler

Sep. 11th, 2017 09:55 am
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[personal profile] randy_byers
I'm continuing to work my way through Gwyneth Jones' Top Ten novels by Women SF Writers. This was Fowler's first novel, which I read when it was published in 1992, and it's just as rich and strange as when it first came out. To call it science fiction is to acknowledge that it was published as such. It's by no means a traditional genre novel. A strange babbling woman shows up in the Washington Territory in 1873. She becomes attached to a Chinese railway worker named Chin, whose uncle is concerned that a white woman in Chinese company will lead to trouble for the Chinese, so he asks Chin to return her to her people -- a risky business. Along the way they acquire other followers, including the innocent, delusional dreamer, BJ, and the menacing, guilt-ridden Andersonville survivor, Harold, and the crusading feminist lecturer on the female orgasm, Adelaide.

As much a story of the Old West and an American quest novel as a work of science fiction, Sarah Canary features a protagonist who is all thing to all people -- an immortal, a madwoman, an incomprehensible alien. It's full of folk lore, scientific speculation, tall tales, and magic realism. It's an extraordinary literary debut by a writer I haven't kept up with, although she's gone on to great success.

Dancing Horses -the one I missed!

Sep. 10th, 2017 01:41 pm
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
 Yesterday at Swanage Folk Festival I was lucky enough to see one of the best dancing horses of all.  The Minehead Hobby Horse is one of a very rare breed (there's another one at Padstow, but that's about it).

It's a wild and energetic animal and it led the Swanage procession and I suspect the young man inside was totally exhausted by the end.  (I gather he had rope burns from all that energetic swinging)

Here's some footage of it from another occasion.  It's the Sailor's Horse from Minehead -which may help to explain why it looks as much like a boat as a horse, but it definitely has a tail!


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