Andy Cutting of Blowzabella by boxplayer

Andy Cutting of Blowzabella

Playing during the dance at the Bulverton Marquee at Sidmouth Folk Week.

Up early for a breakfast of shrink-wrapped croissant, babybel and tangerine and tea with the fresh milk the host had kindly left me.

Walked out about 9ish to find the school where the workshop with Liz Giddings and Roger Digby was happening - learning the tunes of Minnie White from Newfoundland. This was allegedly just around the corner from the Radway near where I was staying but I had to ask. And then when I got there it was also serving as an admin centre for the festival so I had to ask again where the workshop was happening.

Was very good when I finally got there - a few familiar faces too, Sue S and Jenny T. Learned the 2 lovely polkas I like - Green Grow the Rushes O and Coastal Memories - as well as an interesting waltz.

After, I gradually mooched down the High Street doing a bit of mooching round the shops and charity shops. As I neared the front, I started to get hungry so went into Selley's. This is tucked away down the side and used to be relatively quiet as was off the beaten track, but people have cottoned on to it now. Even so, managed to get a table outside and had a very nice Greek salad and tea.

Carried on shopping after and managed to find some very nice Birk-like sandals with glittery bits in Moshulu and a tunic top in Seasalt. Popped in to the craft stalls at Kennaway House and found myself a new bumbag too - my old one's lining is fraying. Met Catherine here and walked back to her place to pick up the hat I'd left in France.

Had a look in the back room of the Bedford and found an interesting-ish session going on so played a few tunes in there before going back to the Airbnb to change. Decided against taking the melodeon out again as was carrying shoes and big bottles of water and was going to walk up to the Bulverton where the dance was happening.

First I popped into the Blackmore Gardens for something to eat and got a tart and salad from the one stall open there. It turned out to be nothing special and I ended up giving most of the over-fennelled salad to a chap I bumped into that I remember from the Leveret weekend.

Said goodbye to him and started the 25-minute walk up the back way to the Bulverton - had looked it up on the map and was fairly sure I remembered the way. Was relentlessly uphill though and I got a bit hot and bothered but eventually got there.

Dance proper didn't start for a while so we were all in the foyer for a bit watching the 12-25 open mic and I had myself a couple of gins. Got into the dance tent after 8 for a fab evening of dances to Blowzabella - lots of people there to dance with and the atmosphere really seemed to build as the evening went on, so by the time they ended with Stoke Golding, the audience were leaping about and demanded an encore despite it being past 10.30. Legs held up even though I danced most dances, very good.

Got the bus back after and walked to the Airbnb from the Radway - the buses run all the way till 2am now. Very good. Bumped into a nice chap who'd recently moved into one of the houses there from another Devon town so had someone to walk up the steep hill with.

Greek salad at Selley's tea room

6 August 2018
Sidmouth, Devon
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