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Subject:Folkin' Classics
Time:12:25 am
Current Mood:soresore
So, yesterday. I was doing the Bed'ff Folk Festival. Full of Bed'ff folk, and me with no idea of what they might like to buy. Probably not my stuff. This thing is on every year and it's quite big, but this year there was !sno! so half of it was moved indoors. Or something. It was tres cold, and I had to wear my spectacular noo red coat indoors, which is dispiriting when you wore your fabulous hand-embroidered blouse specially. Aktually it not all bad, I am sounding mythery, but I probably won't go again. I got talked at by the Mayor, who is the smiliest man ever; he asked where my accent was from. From here, thyworshiffulness, honest. Later his lordship did get dressed up in a velvet doublet and hose, which was quite nifty. I took one of my language books so I could get some srs. studying in but it eluded me. I did get asked what I was reading/doing/making faces at the page for. I sez, I am learning [language], as you do in your spare time; pleasant lady says, 'Oh, nice. Are you English?' Well, if I wasn't, then I would be learning ESL maybe. (Do you ever get this? you are asked if you are from [homecountry] whilst in [homecountry]? You can have it.)
I do have some serious mythering though: the music. And I *like* accordians and fiddles and bashing the floor with sticks. At first I was glad of the tunes 'cos there were a couple of music stalls, and one was very carefully tuning miscellaneous stringed instruments for about three bloody hours it felt like. The noise of opera singers on fire would be a nice break, in those circumstances. Appalachian step-dancing is the coming thing, I gather. Grand for those who enjoy it, and good for them that they have found a non-generic hobby (and an actual dance which is not like made-up and trademarked)... but perhaps all the various groups could confer beforehand, txt each other and discuss who's dancing to what. Avoid repeats. Something like a limit of no more than three performances of 'Turkey in the Straw' per day, that would be nice. See, I like a lot of daft music, but most of the trad. English and yeeha American folk tunes sound... stamped from the same sheet of pastry. They all go 'Nee nee nee, nee nee nee nee nee nee *nee*' and don't have much to distinguish, not even a drum solo. At the third go of The Salesman's Happy Finger or somesuch I would have given 3cheers for a drum solo, no lie.
I like my olde/folksy tunes to come with a large slab of suffering, see. If it's based on a long and terrible journey, or involves murders or secrets or QRV/gin, that's grand.

Altogether I made 31 pounds. I took many of my seasonal maiko kanzashi to show, 'cos they are nice for folk to look at (I gather), with an explanatory paper, but no one asked about them. Many comments of 'aren't they *pretty*!' but that doesn't line your pockets, eh? Trouble is I don't know what you would ideally take to a craft fair. I didn't look around this one (I was on my own except for Ben bringing me a big sandwich) but I remember from going to them that there will be: jumpers, things of fleece, that sort; woodturning, maybe, if it's in summer; hopefully fudge, which is excellent (but there was no fudge); doll's house furniture; misc. stuff with your name on; jewellery which is handmade but fairly uninspired. Possibly dog-coats.
If I were bilocating and both visiting and selling at the craft fair, I'd be more interested in things like mine. Jumpers are great but fair ones are likely hand-knitted, which cost immense amounts (rightly so, but I can do that at home). Craft fairs seem to be the folksy semi-rural equivalent of 'vol-au-vents, chicken legs, cheesecake. One table and a shitload o'mirrors.'

Well, there it is. By 4 when it finished I was thinking, I never want to hear any accordian music ever again. But! we were then going up to Leeds to see Gogol Bordello, so you're out of luck there. But that's a different class of accordion altogether. So we go to Leeds. As you kno it's been snowy, and was all the way up to the Yorkshires at least. I hadn't been to Leeds before, and now I've only been to a tiny bit of it in the dark, but it has a lovely Union building (Warwick u suk) and the whole campus looks nice and together. Heartening to see lots of agitatey posters about the govt. cuts and associated bastardry. Anyway, I don't need to tell you that the band were spanking great, that's to be expected, and I am all glad Ben got to see them too 'cos last time I had to go on my own. And there were a few songs he'd not heard and it's quite something to be introduced to new tunes live. (Minor bother: room was very narrow, so you have to compress more to see owt, and so there was more squashing. We ended up about a 3/d of the way back but at least had room for some proper dancing.) Excellent support act also- The Skints- who were all entertaining and had great hats and a really gorgeous and multi-instrumenty singer. Good times.
I had sort of a deep thought, that it must be incredibly gratifying to get your audience singing along in a language that was once as good as outlawed.
Anyway, there it is. Tiring *afterwards*, and why aren't motorway service stations properly open late, and cats' eyes don't work in heavy frost apparently, and I am quite comfortable in snow if I wear the new coat with the fur collar, muff, and ushanka. So it is a pity that I have no toboggan.
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euphoricstimuli
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-11-29 12:42 am (UTC)
I've been asked am I english and where my accents from by quite a few people recently, but then I live in an area where most people aren't, so you can't expect them to know. The nice thing is they usually like it. & I usually speak bbc far too fast, and that doesn't usually get on the telly these days, so I really can't expect other...
But it does sound unusual getting that response out of london.

Edited at 2010-11-29 12:44 am (UTC)
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stockingshock
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Time:2010-11-29 12:50 am (UTC)
Well, Bedworth, which is even more provincial! People seem to do it for small talk. I'd rather they just stick to 'the weather' but there it is. Maybe I am extra-aware of it lately (I get the 'are you from x' questions all the time, but no two people can agree on the same place). It's ok until you tell them you're from 'here' and they insist that you're not.
It is nice to be told you are well-spoken, certainly.
Sometimes I talk in a strange way depending on who I've been with, I've one friend who I do a daft Yorkshire/Welsh/generic Old Man voice with and it lasts the rest of the day. That might be peculiar for anyone not expecting it.

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euphoricstimuli
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Time:2010-11-29 12:57 am (UTC)
It can be anoying, I get asked where I'm from, and I'm like 'aargh!', I was born in essex, went to seccondary school in warwickshire, my parents live in glocestershire, I've lived in Cardiff and Hertfordshire and now I live in London, but 'I'm English' doesn't seem to do it for some people.
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stockingshock
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Time:2010-11-29 01:12 am (UTC)
I'm quite impressed that you've lived sort of all over- I do really, really want to get out of Bedworth though. (I don't know Alcester, was it tolerable? I never seem to go to south Warwickshire. It's like three counties away in my head).
It worries me a little when people keep asking like they're trying to get you to justify your presence here. Ok, I'll show you my papers- just leave me the feck alone!
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euphoricstimuli
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Time:2010-11-29 01:18 am (UTC)
Alcester is ok. Its small, rural and really boring to live there from what I've heard, its not on a train line or anything, but bizarrely it has 3 secondary schools!
I never went to north east warwickshire much when I was in the south of it. Its a very big county!
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stockingshock
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Time:2010-11-29 01:20 am (UTC)
Lots of places like that here, it seems; like Atherstone, which has a whole grammar school.
I suppose it is quite big; it's that odd shape which makes it seem like up here is an outpost. There's quite a divide in character (of places, not people), from industry etc. I suppose. Get below the funny narrow bit and it seems much more Oxfordshire-y.
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euphoricstimuli
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-11-29 01:24 am (UTC)
yeah, you get lots of sulks from people down in the south about being part of the west midlands when they'd secretly like to be cotswolds lol!

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stockingshock
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-11-29 01:26 am (UTC)
Oh, bless them! They've got the stone for it, maybe.
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euphoricstimuli
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Time:2010-11-29 01:33 am (UTC)
not even! lol!
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boykitten
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Time:2010-11-29 06:38 pm (UTC)

People ask me where I'm from and I always feel a little daft saying 'Coventry' because people always seem disappointed (or they say where's that and I say near Birmingham and then they say oh and then get disappointed).
Sometimes they go on to ask where I'm originally from (same answer, same disappointment) and I've taken to sometimes adding that I'm part Jamaican, part Canadian, part Scottish, part Irish, part Slovakian, part Mongolian as this seems to sate them - but I'm really only a quarter black, an eighth Canadian, negligibly descended from the other parts and none of it actually bears any influence on my accent as I've never lived out of England. XD
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stockingshock
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-11-29 10:38 pm (UTC)
Heh, I usually use the Coventry cop-out; though here's not technically, just near enough to be absorbed. At least people know where Birmingham is.
Is it prompted by clothes, in your case? I've been asked at least once if I was Dutch 'cos I had wood-based shoes on.
For sure, if they keep on about it, give 'em a full list.
I'm not super into genealogy- the way some people get so absorbed in it and I think ok, but what does it prove about those alive *now*? but I do have some curiosity because parts of it are murky. Even when I was at school though people thought I sounded odd. If I've been practicing xlanguage I sometimes absorb the sounds of it for a few hours, like your mouth changes shape, but I don't notice a difference otherwise.
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boykitten
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Time:2010-11-30 10:21 am (UTC)

I have many people comment on my RHS but not in relevance to my race. XD
It's prompted by the accent, and I guess my skin colour during a decent summer.

I know quite a bit of my family tree, at least up to great great grandparent level, and I do take note of my heritage and consider myself mixed race even though most people would say I'm English because both my parents were born in England because I don't really feel English nor do I want to.
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stockingshock
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Time:2010-11-30 10:47 pm (UTC)
It was daft, as if every Dutch person even wears the wooden shoes, and clings to their stereotypical national costume even when they're settled elsewhere.
To me you just sound well-spoken, rather than anything specifically regional. Well, more Midlands than RP or Southern, maybe.

'English' is awkward for me. I like living here (not that I have lived anywhere else) and the actual geography of the place, the landscape and wildlife/flora/settlements fascinate me. (It's not the only country for which that's true though.) But when people talk wank about English/Britishness- the latter usually just shorthand for the former- or patriotism, they never mention the land itself, just some imaginary wodge of cliches. Stuff like the Queen, made-up pageantry like that, or nebulous issues like 'sense of fair play' which is not unique to here (and in fact is pretty lacking here, for the most part). The impression is that if the place was nuked they would not be saddened as long as there was still some fool trogging about in a Union Jack Mini.
And when you look deeper it seems that there is always some catch meaning that these tenets of Britishness do not apply to everyone. Like when the Daily Mail talks about 'ordinary people'.
That's something I want no part of.
Additionally, it is absurd to be 'proud' of an accident of birth.
As heritage goes, there are things I think do influence you and even if you are not resident/born in one nation. Culture comes through. And there are things which I will latch onto, because they are despised by the type of people I consider antagonists. For example, re: social strata, I'll identify as working class partly because it's true (and irrelevent in that sense) but also as an ideological position because it pisses off my 'betters'. I don't think I'm superior because of it, that would miss the point, but it has influenced me.

Same as with family origins. I won't claim to be '_-ian' personally as I have been raised in a necessarily different culture/environment, and those people do not claim me. But there are things in your upbringing that come from the same place your forebears do; that might sound the opposite of what I think about being proud of accidents of birth, but you can make something of your heritage (whereas most of those 'proud to be English' do not seem to even know which way's north). It would be strange to me, if you had a grandparent from X, to claim X for yourself yet stay ignorant of it. A lot of people are content to do that, it seems. Or they talk absolute goldplated bollocks- "Don't swear around the children? I have to, I can't help it, I'm half Glaswegian!"- or like the trappings, not the reality. (i.e having Gypsy ancestry is so romantic and free-spirited and carefree! yep, carefree until someone sets you on fire.)
We did a quick family tree at school. Did not get far. I'll look up the census at some point, but once it moves overseas I don't know if it will be all there. Records is flammable. I want to know where these people were from, what those places are like now, the history. Which nationstate now owns what land. Visit if possible. Look through a fence if not.

Do you know what areas your Jamaican/Canadian folk were from? or are, if they're still there?

Hmm, long. This has been in my head a lot lately.
Also: it was nice to see you again, especially with the sparkly jumper.

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boykitten
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Time:2010-12-01 11:52 pm (UTC)

My Grandad (Dad's dad) is Jamaican but left there when he was a young man to seek his fortune in England, partly because he was quite badly abused as a child by his father and the family priest. So he hasn't much contact with any of his family there and hasn't been back for a long time.
I know very little about it aside from one anecdote I heard last year or so at a family dinner, I was told when I was little it was because Jamaica was too far away and expensive to get to but thinking on it I only remember one visit happening and no letters or phone calls otherwise.
He also disgraced them by marrying a white woman (after getting her pregnant out of wedlock) but not as much as that disgraced my Grandma who was sent to a convent and was abused by the nuns, so needless to say there's not much contact on that side either.

My Canadian rellies I know though, they're via my mum's Grandma and come over reasonably frequently. There's a clear family resemblance even though we're down to third cousins and cousins of cousins.
I've been over once and we had people to stay with in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, etc but my Great Grandma came from a tiny one horse town near Red Deer where the train only came once a week.
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poison_taffeta
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Time:2010-11-30 06:11 pm (UTC)
I like accordians innit. And folk, particularly involving harps and/or references to Plato. Am jealous of your GG Bordello-ing. Stop going to see bands what I like but who are too odd for me to drag other people along to. Also, as someone teaching ESL and battling everyday with French-SL I sympathise, albeit from t'other end of the spectrum.

Am glad to hear mayors still wear doublet and hose, a costume I once wore in primary school when I played the Mayor of Hamelin. I seem to have written this in a semi-archaic and generally atrocious fashion, oh well.
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stockingshock
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Time:2010-11-30 09:15 pm (UTC)
Accordions are the business (for vague buzzy tunes and getting your finger trapped. Possibly. I think of them as being like big Mexican finger puzzles, but I've never been near one so that's probably wrong.)
Come next time! I had to go on my own in May cos I am surrounded by dirty splitters. That was not unfun, but it's best to go as part of your own clique. Then you can co-ordinate the dancing.

Initially he was wearing a suit and without the Chain of Office, but changed. Maybe he just wears it for fun, I've never seen any of the previous lot got up in hose.
I have *this* much (lots) awe for you teaching ESL. Something I would be doing if I had had no commitments when I came out of uni (oh look, an excuse). I can't get down with French though, the sounds don't come naturally from me. We never got taught anything about pronunciation for it at school, not even which diacritical mark was which. I have a few French acquaintances and it's my most-visited foreign place, but we've got along in basic shopping French and their English so far.

Hamelin, eh? what could that possibly have been about... (my school did the musical version, 'Rats'. I wasn't in it but the songs stay with you, rather.)

I promised you some wagashi recipes, I think. I will dig them up.

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poison_taffeta
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-12-06 08:06 am (UTC)
Airing his filthy tights fetish in public? I suppose Mayor is one of the few jobs you could tie that into. Ironically, French used to come naturally to me.. then I moved to France and it all started to go a bit wrong, which is extremely frustrating (unless you happen to enjoy sounding like an imbecile and giving everyone the impression that you're generally a bit simple).

Recipes, yes please, though God knows if/where I'll be able to find ingredients over here, but they can always wait 'til I'm back home. I actually saw mochi in a shop here t'other day - overpriced and probably extremely stale though. Humph.
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scrabblemouse
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Time:2010-12-08 12:23 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an action-packed day!

In regards to the 'where are you from?' thread - I often get asked if I'm from Australia. Very odd.
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