Sunday, August 28, 2005

Folking Marvellous

I had quite a trip in my wheelchair yesterday as I went up to the hospital, the dispensary at the doctor’s surgery and the back through town. I was, once again, a little anxious about the crowds. This is Folk Week and we’re coming up to the Bank Holiday weekend. However, I can’t think I have had a smoother journey across town, especially not during the season.

[...] warns me to avoid the pelican crossings on the main roads because the cars won’t stop. I ignore this advice but wait until there’s no traffic or else there’s such a crowd of us on the pavement that the vertical types move out into the road, bring the traffic to a complete halt and allowing me to cross safely as well. Yesterday, at both main road pelican crossings, I merely approached the kerb and the traffic stopped in both directions.
Similarly, people moved out of my way. I mean, not just a bit; they actually stopped in their tracks and stood back in order to allow me to pass. There was one exception in the form of a small boy who ran in front of my chair and before I could stop got hit in the leg with a footrest (which I imagine hurt a lot, and I felt pretty bad about it).

The Folk crowd are, I discovered, a decent crowd. They may have bells around their ankles and everyone of them sports a bushy white beard, but they’re a jolly good-natured lot.

I must admit didn’t think this last Sunday night, when they all got very drunk in the Middle Earth Tavern with which we are in close proximity. Early on in the evening, they sang well-known songs like All Around My Hat and Dirty Old Town (they have to be ones that everybody knows the words to). Then later on, their supply of popular folk ditties ran dry and they resorted to none other than The Banana Boat Song. Now, I have nothing against this song, even sung in muffled chorus at half past midnight, but it’s Folk Week - these are supposed to be self-respecting Morris Men!

I was going to publish some pictures on here, but the best one's belong to EFN (Essex Folk News) magazine, who stipulate that whilst non-commerical reproduction is permitted, this is on condition they are used to promote the traditional arts. While I am quite happy to testify to the folk crowd's good manners, I can't even look at these pictures without a bit of a giggle.

In other news my physio appointment was a bit of a disaster. It was my first attendance having had to cancel the first two appointments I was given due to my varying health. My physiotherapist is Asian and not entirely fluent in English. The language barrier would not be a problem if I had a straight-forward injury or the sort of complaint he is coming across all the time, but as it was I felt I was having to work very hard to make myself understood and in fact he wasn’t understanding very much of it at all. It was very disheartening and I’m going to have to work out what to do before I am next supposed to see him. It could be a total waste of time if he doesn’t understand (a) the nature of my condition and (b) what I am coming to him for. Never mind.


Anonymous said...

I did Morris dancing when I was 10/11 years old at primary school ... and it's taken years of therapy to heal the mental scars.

Luke said...

The folk crowd is fab. I am possibly one of the youngest Folkies around - I love folk and folkrock for both the music and the people.

I must recommend Cropredy Festival, which is annually headlined by Fairport Convention - It is one of the friendlyest music festivals around.