YMM ABOTS 290519 Four Seasons, Dogmersfield
An invitation to dance for the worldwide GMs of this prestigious hotel group, would there be invitations to us to perform at exotic locations worldwide? We’ll see….
Paul arrived early to suss the evening out, the rest of us (and there were a lot!) straggling into a tucked away room. We all eyed up the hot buffet before being swiftly told ‘it’s not for you!’. Kebabs later then…
Unusual nervousness as we fidgeted away before heading into the magnificent dining room to perform. Not even the Fool’s best bellowing could make an impact on the deafening noise of chatter! The Beast (aided and abetted by the Fool) made plenty of impact though as it visited each table, invited or not. Was he propositioned or was it just a transatlantic misunderstanding….?! We gamely danced (Sweet Jenny, Black Joke (Ad) and Vandals) on with kind comments and many selfies. Our final dance was an inspired Ilmington ‘morris off’ with all the (many) dancers through the restaurant thus ensuring that even the far corners got to see the morris close up.
Our hosts ‘Would you like a beer?’ Us ‘Oooh yes please!’. Buds in an ice bucket arrived, with a welcome bonus cone of fish and chips! The kebab van would be out of luck tonight…
YMM ABOTS 050619 Overton & N Waltham with Winchester MM
Guests of the ever spritely WMM in lovely locations at the edge of our range tonight. David and Sheila arrived in style in something old and magnificent, but not easy to parallel park…. Overton spot, was technically dry, but a great local pint (Golden Biscuit?) was had enroute. Small but enthusiastic crowd enjoyed some jolly good dancing from both sides (we rather liked WMM’s ‘Mrs Casey’) – and got to see two rather magnificent beasts. Plenty of nos in the YMM contingent, Feathers looking good. A good finish with keen guests in Bonny Green Garters.
Onto North Waltham through proper ‘Ampshire lanes to the Fox. Our good numbers increased as Dennis & Gunther arrived. We visit some great pubs and meet some great landlords, but surely this must be one of the very best. Immaculate pub & garden with views, welcoming & generous landlord. Lovely beers, the pick being local ales from Longdog (delicious), West Berks Brewery (delicious) and Little London (delicious). Some very good dancing followed (altho’ not our Millies Bequest), much appreciated by a good, encouraging crowd many who had specifically come to see the dancing. Two birthday parties (Hannah & Pat) as well. A big round of applause for Dennis & Mike, our audiences love to support new dancers learning the art of the morris. The Beasts spent ages playing with the genuinely amused crowd, much shrieking & chasing…..
A good apres morris session followed with some lusty singing and lively tunes, our Ian NOT leading ‘Home lads, Home’ for once. Much good morris chatter – news, recruitment, music, beasts and history. The Fool presented one of the YMM keyrings to the landlord as a small ‘thank you’, he laughed, looked delighted and then got his keys. On the pubs keys was an ancient YMM keyring (15+ years?) ‘used every day’. Lovely little moment.
Lovely little evening as well – great venues, good audience, good company and good dancing. Thank you Winchester!
Andy Pobjoy, Andrew Armitage, Peter Stapleton, Mike Clarke, Steve Betts, Chris Chapple, , Baz Crossman, Dennis Hausen, Gunther Clasen, Phil Goddard, Ross Healey, Ian Sutherland, Ian Young, Andy Young, Rod Crane, Robin Acreman in civvies, WFYH,