A couple of weeks ago we visited my dad for the weekend. It’s always hard to get a date in as they’re so busy at weekends, but this time we went for the ‘if you can’t beat em join em’ strategy and arranged to meet them at Chippenham Folk Festival, where he would be dancing with the Icknield Way Morris Men.
I’m fully aware that at this point you’ve probably either rolled your eyes so far up in your head it’ll take a crowbar to get them back out or fallen off your chair from laughing uncontrollably at the very mention of morris men. Either way, no one is left reading this post by now so I’ll feel free to wallow in self-indulgent nostalgia.
You see, a fair amount of my childhood was spent trailing in the wake of my parents’ involvement in the folk scene; bands, ceilidhs, folk festivals, morris dancing, men with hairy beards drinking from tankards, the works. While I found the music and singing a lot less interesting than the lemonade and crisps I would be allowed in the pub gardens where these events usually seemed to take place, the morris dancing is my most sentimental memory so I was looking forward to it even if Nick and the girls weren’t quite as keen.
Half-term holiday traffic meant that we didn’t arrive until the team’s last ‘set’, but it also meant we missed the heavy rain they’d had earlier (and satisfied my reminiscence just enough without testing its limits too far). We even had some time after they had finished for the day to wander round the craft tent (I’ve always been a sucker for a good craft fair), that requisite element of any self-respecting folk festival.