October 2004

Another fine session last night at the Canberra Irish Club – good music, good songs and of course there’s the Guinness.

A friend of mine managed to track down the words to song I have been trying to find for the past several years – the Bell Ringers Competition – about teams of bell ringers in various parts of Devon in the UK. I heard the song about 20 years ago in Perth western Australia and the tune stuck, along with the chorus – but the words proved elusive the song started off:

In the month of October, neither drunken nor sober
On Broadbury Down I was wending my way
When I heard of some ringing, some dancing and singing
I ought to remember that Jubilee day

CHOR:In Ashwater Town, the bells they did sound
They rang for a belt and a hat laced with gold
But the men of Northlew rang so steady and true
that there never was better in Devon I hold

The tune could almost be sung as a round – anyhow, many thanks to Sandra for tracking this one down when my own net searches had proven fruitless.

Click here to hear the tune

Can’t play .mid files? Here it is in mp3



Actually the start of a four day weekend for me wooohooo! Up at the crack of 8.30, leisurely breakfast of cereal and coffee, then a browse through the latest Australian Woodworker magazine – good piece on Egyptian lathes and the questions over evidence they had them, and a good article on Angel Polglaze – a chainsaw sculptor. Also a good readers tip on converting a jig saw to a scroll saw.

While my partner busily packed for the Southern Cross Crazies quilting retreat, I put in a bit of practice on some strathspeys – now have Monymusk down fairly well – though probably still too round and Irish sounding for the discerning Scottish ear.

Second breakfast: Apricot lattice (or Danish as we call them) and coffee

A quick bound out to the shed to cut a length of rod for a quilt, and put a couple of grooves in the ends to stop the hanging string from slipping off, then back for more tunes – damn need more waltzes too…

Lunch – some cheese and honey on crusty bread, and coffee

Then late afternoon expedition to cart stuff to the quilters retreat – held at GreenHills at Birragai on the Cotter Road (a beautiful location, even better on the motorbike). They seemed pretty well set up there for the weekend.

Back home, polished the fiddle (it really needs stripping back and re-varnishing – maybe after the China tour), hammered out some more tunes (repaired my old shoulder rest – now about 28 years old and the rubber feet had perished, so I did a quick repair using old bike inner-tube rubber. It’ll do the trick. I use another one on the hardanger fiddle, but it’s convenient to have one on each fiddle because different tunes sometimes demand different instruments.

Prepared some satay and rice for dinner – I love the Pataks simmer sauces – they make life so easy: just chop up an onion, some capsicum, a potato or two into cubes, add some Chinese stir-fry vegies throw the lot into a pan with the sauce and a half-sauce-jar of water and simmer for about 20 minutes (meanwhile dump a couple of cups of rice, dash of salt and a couple of cups of water into the rice cooker and set and forget). The smoke alarm tells you when it’s ready 😉 …er actually no, you remember to stir the satay occasionally and cook until the spuds are no longer crunchy, and serve when the rice is cooked – easy!

Then off to the bus depot to collect my daughter from her trip to Sydney where she is appearing (briefly) in a movie being filmed there – the “Mary Briant”. Eve was most appreciative of a hot dinner after a week of 4.00AM starts and a long cold and wet ride home on the bus. We shared a cup of tea and a exchanged news – her costumes look fabulous… but what have they done to her hair!! I guess the 1780s were a time for big hair and bustles…

Otherwise just a normal day really