I didn’t mention the Binghamton Men’s practice on April 21, did I? Given that I don’t expect another practice to occur until maybe March 2008, I probably should. We did mostly Bampton and Ducklington, including Dave Stryker’s Duck-style “Gallant Hussar” (a.k.a. “Dave’s Dance”), and one Bledington — Peter’s “Donkey Riding”. I’ve never done much Bledington; I’ve practiced it a little with Thornden, done the very occasional massed dance or pickup, and once did “Trunkles” in public at the Toronto Ale at the insistence of a couple Thornden members in a motley set. And Salt Springs Morris rehearsed a “Saltington” version of “Donkey Riding”. So it went more or less okay for me.
This past weekend was the event we were practicing for, Gilbertsville. As in recent years it was just the Toronto Morris Men and us, with a few extras — John Dexter and New James up from New York in American Travelling Morrice kit. The weekend was notable for not being quite as rainy as the past few years. We managed to avoid having to move any of the outdoor stands inside. “Dave’s Dance” was performed twice, after having been taught to the TFMM on Friday night. I did “Donkey Riding” and didn’t get killed, though I didn’t anticipate the call of a whole hey at the end and mucked that up. Generally I didn’t think I was dancing my best, though not my worst either, and more than one of the guest dancers went out of their way to compliment Binghamton’s dancing, so we must have been doing something right. The food was as usual plentiful and excellent (with double the devilled eggs at the Tunnicliff Inn, the last of which was auctioned off for $1.51). Likewise the beer. The singing at the Tunnicliff was even better than usual. The Canadians gave cricket lessons on Sunday morning, following up on last year’s ringette and curling sessions. Jim Carnwright says he considered giving up morris dancing 15 years ago, but changed his mind after going to Gilbertsville. That’s about right.