Violet to Swans via Susan the Corgi

5 April 2012

Sometimes, as regular readers of my blog will know, life gets in the way of creativity.  This week has been one of those week.  I have hardly picked up a pen or pencil (for the sketchbook work for C&G) but I have decided on 2 of the artists I am going to research.

They are Enid Marx and Raoul Dufy.  But any suggestions for one more?

Meanwhile, this week's lowlights have been
  • long journeys for day job - I feel wiped out now
  • lots of work to do for day job - long days
But as always there have been some delightful highlights
  • Wild violets in the hedgerows (if I did not have Whippet X I don't think I would get out and see this)
  • DERT 2012 - national rapper dancing tournament (Morris dancing on speed)
  • Susan, the papier mache corgi
  • Afternoon tea at the Swan Hotel, Bedford
Let's start with the violets.  Aren't they magnificent. When I was a kid violets seemed to be very rare, but here in Northamptonshire we do seem to have some wonderful spring flowers.

Then last Saturday we went to London to enjoy the fun that is Rapper Dancing - Morris Dancing on speed if you will.  I discovered Rapper dancing last year in Oxford.  It originated in the North East but there are now Rapper teams around the country.  Each year a team hosts the annual championship.  Last year it was Oxford and this year it was London.

A number of teams competed but the pick of the bunch were the Newcastle Kingsmen and Sallyport (and from what I can tell, the Sallyport dancers all originated in the Kingsmen).

The dances usually take place in tiny spaces in pubs - and frankly I am not sure that the pubs of Soho knew what had hit them with a show case at the end of the event (when the teams and their musicians have been going - dancing and drinking - all day).  You might enjoy these samples. 

Which brings me onto Susan the Corgi.  Rapper dancing traditionally includes two characters, Tommy and Betty.  And this year my friend Andy was the Betty for the Kingsmen.  

Andy and his twin brother used to dance with the Kingsmen.  Now they follow, and when invited, provide the comedy element.  It being the jubilee this year, Andy decided to give his Betty a topical theme.  So he dressed as the queen and made Susan, the papier mache corgi. 

Susan worked hard all day and by the end had lost her tail!  Here she is having a short break in the bar of the Soho Theatre.

And finally, to round the week off, we had afternoon tea at the Swan Hotel Bedford to celebrate the birthday of a colleague.  I am stuffed!  


  1. We lived in Banbury, near Oxford before coming to Italy, Morris dancing was big all around that area, especially in a place called Adderbury,I too had several friends that danced, we went to all the events, I loved it. Bring back morris dancing.

  2. Well, I am not sure that you can really compare Morris Dancing with Rapper Dancing - the latter is best described as 'Morris Dancing on Speed'! But all a hoot! What do you think of Susan the Corgi?


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