And so to Eynsham

On the May Bank Holiday we made our customary pilgrimage across Port Meadow, up and over Wytham Woods, across Swinford Bridge, to Eynsham, to see the local Morris dancers bring in the May. After so much rain, Wytham Woods was an almost fluorescent green, the last of the bluebells looking bedraggled and sorry for themselves in the mud.

Though we were quite dry and found a rare pool of sunshine to sit in, our picnic in the woods (and the music of one solitary cuckoo) was interrupted by ominous claps of thunder. When we emerged through Swinford Gate the sky had gone quite black. Forked lightning skewered the horizon and a strange vortex of cloud whirled about our heads as if it were the end of days. Counting the gap between lightning flashes and thunder we worked out that the storm was still a few miles away and but for a few drips it passed us by. Nevertheless, its ferocity earned it a mention in the press.

A storm is probably not the best time to investigate a hollow tree, but Taranis had other things on his mind and we were safe.

Eynsham Morris seemed genuinely pleased to see us. It's a strange thing, but their annual home gig goes almost unnoticed. Only fifteen or so locals assembled to see them. Barely anyone from the Oxford Folk scene was there. And yet, buoyed up by the recent influx of young blood, or perhaps driven by the crackling electricity of the storm, they danced as if their lives depended on it, thumping the ground with their boots and thwacking their sticks together so hard that sparks flew.

Eynsham are the real deal. It's a special thing that they do. Next year, why not come and see for yourselves? Up the May!


  1. I was actually planning a similare tramp, booked a couple of nights at Oxford Malmaison (the old prison!) with the family and then ended up in A+E at John Radcliffe! An old injury flared up and I spent the rest of weekend sick and stoned on Tramax (v strong painkillers).

    I could even see Wytham woods from my hotel room, but it was not meant to be. Nice to see those pics though. Still next May I'll be living back in Devon so not al bad.

  2. Had enough of Boris then? Where you headed? x

  3. Well, Ken is the only politician I have ever voted for! Keeping business running in Ldn and moving back to Totnes for the rural good life and a quality childhood for Oak!



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