Me jumping in Chilham, Kent, June 1993

Whilst at the University of East Anglia I spent a fair amount of my spare time indulging in the ancient, though still commonly practiced, art of morris dancing! It did take a little persuasion to get me to join but it was great fun and we traveled all over England dancing at all sorts of occasions. It's certainly an unusual hobby and provided a great escape from the stress and strain of studying for a degree. Many people regard it as 'ritual' aerobics and it is indeed a good form of exercise. All you really need is the ability to count to 4, a lot of enthusiasm, confidence and a pair of handkerchiefs (you can probably borrow a stick and some bells from the side you join).

It is amazing how quickly you can pick up morris dancing. I joined 'Yare Valley Morris' in October 1989 and by the middle of 1992 I was promoted to the position of 'squire', basically the person that runs the side.

Here's a couple of links that are well worth trying out if you want to find out a little more about the morris!

John Mayer's page with links to all morris sides on the Web
Kemp's Men, Norwich's all male morris side

I guess that I have a small confession to make. When I made a relatively recent house move to Devon in October 2003 I started a little morris again with Beltane Border morris who are based in Stokeinteignhead twixt Teignmouth, Torquay and Newton Abbot. Nothing too serious, just a little light Thursday night exercise. It's a bit different that the old Yare Valley Morris days, black faces, stubby sticks and a absence of white handkerchiefs thereby removing the need to constantly be removing beer stains and ironing the things.

AJ and I, Wallingford BunkFest, September 2004

My true passion with music has to be 'folk' - defined by Ralph McTell as 'the music of the people.' Most view folk b