This weekend was the forest of Dean camping trip. A group of Leeds Morris Men, and Briggate dancers met up and were driven down in a minibus by Rob and Kathy (thank you very much for that). Others went down in cars such as John and Sarah who took down a lot of bags (again…thank you) and some others.
The trip was a long one, and we only reached the forest (near the south of wales) really late. It was raining and it was dark, so a few people just went into the hall to meet old friends, and to catch up with people. As an inexperienced camper, I decided to put up my tent (which I have never put up before, and have no idea how to put up) in the dark and the wet. I couldn’t do it and had a lot of help from a Briggate member (@Leeds_Grub) and the wife of another leeds morris men to put up the outside to leave the inside to dry the day after.
There was a great celebration in the village hall in Soudley, with plenty of socialising and drinking. The next day some morris dancers felt a little bit worse for wear.
Then there was a mass dance followed by the busses splitting off into different teams. Leeds and Briggate joined Anker with our fantastic local host Dave, showing us around the areas we got off at. We passed Chepstowe racecourse a few times, and also headed off to an abbey in Wales. Most of the time the dances were just in turn, apart from certain times, when the teams either split up to dance in 2 different areas at the same time, or when we both wanted to dance the oddington stick dance “constant billy”, we did so at the same time in 2 sets facing one another.
The second night included a hog roast and more socialising. There was a great sense of community, as there was at the Dales tour as well. These weekends are really good and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everyone so far.
The last day was spent packing away. Breakfast was made, bags were put away and tents were packed. One Leeds Morris Member (me), slept in, and when he woke up, wanted to cook his sausages, but since dinner was being prepared it would have been too difficult to move about in the kitchen so used the Microwave in the other room. However, after a few minutes in the microwave, the sausages (not under supervision…as I had left to help someone in their tent) were burnt to a crisp, and the entire hall smelt of sausages. The sausages were as hard as a rock, and couldn’t be eaten. They were as hard as the plate itself. The Leeds Morris man in question was the brunt of many jokes after this.
Dinner was fantastic, and a big buffet was provided. The cheese was the same type of gloucester cheese that was rolled down at coopers hill.