What better way to start the start of summer than rising before the sun, and heading to Gorey Castle to join with the Helier Morris Men and the Jersey Lillies as they danced in the dawn.
I think my-friend-T and I may have taken them by surprise, they don’t normally have an audience at 6am! But they welcomed in, fed us with flapjacks and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Unfortunately we did have to turn down the offer of a snifter, not wanting to turn up at work, wild eyed and unable to function. (Same as most days I hear you say).
The dancing was enthusiastic, but it needed to be. It certainly didn’t feel like the start of summer out there on the castle ramparts. Luckily, there were a number of musicians playing accordions and fiddles, and as one would drop out to get some blood back into their frozen fingers another would step up to the mark.
I loved the friendly banter and rivalry between the two groups, but enjoyed most the end of the session when they danced together, and all the musicians played, and the deep voices of some of the men rang out.
Being the colourful personalities we are, my-friend-T and I decided we would form a renegade group so that we could use the vibrant colours like the men, and have LOTS more bells. We were trying to think of what name you would give to a collection of Morris dancers. We think it depends on whether you like them or not and our best attempts were a jangle or a prat. Silly girls.
Thank you, you jangle of Morris men and Jersey Lillies. We had such a lovely start to the day. I took a wistful look back at the castle…
Made a quick detour to wash my face in the dew at the Dolman de Faldouet…
And carried on with the rest of the day. Happy Beltane.