The mighty Morris
Hello again Kiran and all our readers, I hope you’re having a nice relaxing weekend, with considerably better weather than we are having! Although actually yesterday wasn’t too bad – we had a completely blue sky for a couple of hours without a cloud to be seen. That’s nothing according to my brother who lives in Madrid. He claims he hasn’t seen a cloud for over a month! Simon was absolutely right when he said that British weather is interesting because it’s so varied, and you know I don’t really mind it either.
We were lucky that it turned out all right yesterday as we went to a village fete. Village fetes are my new summer obsession… every village in England worth its salt has a fete each year which is basically a small festival and a chance for everyone to get out into the sunshine (hopefully), have a go at a traditional game like skittles* or a coconut shy** and sometimes raise a bit of money for something the village needs, like a new church roof or playground.
The one we went to yesterday was in Nunney, a small village near where we live. Now Nunney is your quintessential village apart from one rather extraordinary feature which I’ll tell you about in just a minute. Nunney has a lovely church with a well-kept graveyard, a village shop and post office, a duck pond, a small market square, thatched*** houses, a fabulous village fete every year and… a castle!! A castle?! Yes, unlikely as it may seem, the little village of Nunney has it’s very own fairytale castle complete with a moat. Here are a couple of photos for you:
As you’ll see in the middle photo we also got to watch a group of Morris Dancers doing their traditional dances. This style of dancing apparently dates back to the 15th century and, in a nutshell, involves a group of (mostly) men dressed in white, with bells attached to their legs, dancing around each other waving sticks or handkerchiefs in the air. Intrigued? Have a look here if you’ve never seen it before.
I’ve love to hear about the traditional dances in Nepal, Kiran, and from any of our readers’ countries. Does anyone have anything similar to Morris Dancing?
* Skittles is a bit like ten pin bowling – you roll a ball down a long narrow board to try and knock over some or all of the nine wooden ‘pins’ that are standing at the other end.
** A game where you have to throw a ball at a row of coconuts to try and knock one of them over – if you succeed you win the coconut!
***If you’d like to know a bit more about thatched roofs, have a look here at a post Jo Kent did about them last year.
Now I hope everyone is feeling fit and healthy on their new 5 a day diets (see my Aug 1 post if that doesn’t make any sense). Today I’d like to briefly look at something that you said in your first post, Kiran. Here you wrote:
“I was born … in a small village … I was grown up there with my parents and two elder brothers”
First of all I’d like to ask you if your village has any kind of annual festival, and secondly I’d like to have a look at the grammar you’ve used here. “I was born” and “I was grown up there” are both in what we call the passive form. As you probably know, we use this when the subject of the sentence is not the person or thing which does the action. So for example:
Paul drove the car. (Paul is the subject – the verb is active not passive)
The car was driven by Paul. (The car is the subject so the verb is in the passive form because obviously a car can’t drive itself).
So your first use of the passive ‘I was born’ is correct, because of course you can’t give birth to yourself! But what about the second… ‘I was grown up’. Who did the growing up? You? Yep! So you can’t use the passive form here, it needs to be active: ‘I grew up’.
For homework, can you write three sentences that start with ‘I’ that correctly use the passive form? They can be about anything that you like. For example… ‘I was born in England’, ‘I was given a lot of presents for my birthday’. Try and use different verbs!
Okay, that’s it from me. Time to wake Oslo up from his nap.
p.s. it’s stopped raining now, hurrah!
Definitions from last time…
To get used to something/someone – to become comfortable or happy with something or someone
To get to grips with something - to learn how to do something or understand something that is quite difficult
To get up to mischief - to do things that are a bit naughty
To get hung up on something - to worry or think about something too much
To get something across - to make something clear so it can be understood
To get the idea - to mostly understand something, although perhaps not all the details.
This blog’s words and phrases…
To turn out all right
To be worth its salt
In a nutshell
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