This work may be used free of charge and copied, selling without prior written consent prohibited, obtain permission before redistributing, In all cases this notice must remain intact copyright D.W. Bloyce 2012
All characters are fictitious, If a character name is used in connection with a side, it’s just co-incidence if that given name belongs in that side. Insofar as song lyrics being included I don’t know the legalities or etiquette involved, I have given the opening few and last few lines if that is all that is needed or the song in full if the text needs it and credit to the author in either case, traditional songs are treated the same but credited as Traditional.
This is a fiction story, not fantasy and while there is a lot of passion and some very erotic action in later parts and in book two if you are looking for raw action then I am sorry but this isn't the book for you.
......bye faeries, I am again in a very pleasant warm haven, my precious Jenny has hold of my manhood I am very erect, Jenny is stoking me at a very enjoyable pace, I would love to just lie here and enjoy it but don’t want to surprise or freak her out when I come, after another minute or so I hold Jenny’s hand and turn onto my back,
“Thank you my treasure.” I whisper because Chrissie is just behind Jenny
“You didn’t come, flower, I need to finish you off. I want to give you your pleasure.”
“Thanks love, just keep going then, kiss me please,” Jenny comes over to me and I get a slow gentle morning kiss, with enough passion to raise my temperature as her hand slides and squeezes along my length, I turn away from Jenny so that she can rest her arm as she was before upon my hip as she strokes me, making love at this speed would drive Jenny mental.
“A little quicker please treasure, imagine we are making love, what speed would you like?” Jenny speeds up a little, this is nice, it’s better than nice and I am feeling tearful, I am getting closer, I feel the need to thrust, Jenny speeds up a little more, the tingle is beginning and I feel the tension increase, my scrotum tightens, so close, I would like Jenny to slow down, keeping me close to the edge, but it’s too late it’s happening now........ I am pumping, pumping, five or six times before I stop, Jenny hasn’t stopped, I hold her hand still.
“Sorry love,” I whisper, “men are so sensitive just after coming, it’s almost painful, just hold me. Thank you my treasure, that was really nice,” we lay together Jenny gently squeezing me for a few minutes, we then turn over and I spoon with my precious treasure, my half hard penis rests against the crease of her bottom, and my hand goes round to hold her breast and nipple, Hellooooo faeries.......
........Bye-bye faeries, thank you for looking after me through the night, my Jenny is in front of me asleep I still hold her breast and sleepy nipple, a small movement of my fingers reawaken her nipple and Jenny wriggles back closer to me, it is properly daylight, and light levels are good inside the van but I have no idea of the time, nine o’clock feels about right,
“Are you awake my treasure?” I whisper,
“Yes flower,” Jenny whispers back.
“Do you fancy a brew love? Big sis, how about you, do you fancy a brew?”
“Yes please love. Please Bruv.” I unzip my side of the bag and leave as carefully as I can so as not to disturb Jenny. First stop has to be the toilet and then give the old man a good wash and rinse, my hands and lower arms get more of the same. I come out of the toilet and meet Chrissie, totally bare and looking glorious and almost glowing, she looks up to me and putting her arms around my back and the back of my head says
“I have full and proper consent for this from Jenny,” and I get the most fantastic early morning wake up kiss I have ever had, there wasn’t the depth of feeling as when Jenny kissed me after our depression talk of Saturday morning, but there is a lot of controlled passion and gratitude. When we break Chrissie still holds me as she says,
“You can have no idea how much I needed to hold you last night while you were sorting me, just like Jenny did this morning; I hope it was good for you. Now if you will excuse me I have to go in there.” I fill the kettle and put it on to heat, I check the time, eight fifty and open the blind on the door, it lets a bit more light in and I ask Jenny, if Chrissie had asked first, of course she has, she wanted to do something else as well but changed her mind after she started to ask. There is a quiet yippee from in the washroom, and a few seconds later Chrissie bounds out of the toilet, drops to her knees and gives my old man a quick suck, just three or four seconds and just as quickly gets up again,
“Sorry Jenny, I just had to! Now I know why I have been feeling so frisky and frustrated this weekend, I will have to phone Alex after breakfast, did either of you notice anything when you were on my breasts last night?”
“I did sis, just after you squirted, you tasted very sweet when I suckled your boob, why?”
“I’ve been taking part in a drug trial for the last ten days possibly taking an unlicensed drug to promote lactation, I have been taking the part of a guinea pig in drug trials ever since I became eighteen; as I am not allowed to give blood because I had a transfusion in two thousand which disqualifies me, being a guinea pig allows me to put something back. This particular trial was to test the effectiveness of a compound related to metaclopromide, against metaclopromide itself, conventional manual and suckling stimulation or a placebo, I have to keep taking the drug for another eleven days, from today and every day thereafter while I am lactating I will be pumped dry on both breasts every four hours, until my production has peaked and then started to decline, if it doesn’t decline, which is the great hope for this new drug I then have a choice of being a cow for the special care and intensive care neonatal baby units at Stortford, taking a lactation suppression drug or trialling a new lactation suppression drug if there is one. I quite fancy the idea of being a human breast milk donor, I certainly won’t object to being one cup size bigger, and if the breast cancer benefits are eventually proven it’s win, win, win all the way, except for sore nipples, apparently a very common side effect of breast feeding and pumping. I do hope Darren won’t mind kissing them better!”
“Chrissie, why would you want to take risks with your health like that? It seems a bit extreme; just because you can’t give blood.”
“You worry too much Jenny, there is more risk having a glass or two of wine with an overnight flu remedy than I am exposed to, the biggest risk in the documentation for this trial is sore nipples and I mustn’t take Ibuprofen or any of its derivatives. Us guinea pigs are well looked after, it would cost more than I earn to get the health care I have access to within the trial at the moment.”
“Sis, what else could have happened in this trial?”
“Lots of things could have happened; if I had taken the placebo, psychosomatic effects could cause lactation but only very rarely, the psychobabblers would study me very intensively, if I had taken Metaclopromide they would want to know why I started lactating at least two weeks earlier than forecast, I know I wasn’t on manipulation and stimulation, that only leaves the new drug, I am not able to say what happens next except that all the milk I produce will be measured and analysed then compared donated human breast milk, and until there is no significant difference with the weighted average it will be dumped, after that I decide what I want to do.”
“Sis, was it the drug that made you frisky, or the changes in your body that caused it?”
“I have no idea and it doesn’t matter anyway, raised sex drive is associated with the whole family of compounds, if it is the drug, it couldn’t be marketed as an aphrodisiac, the lactation side effect would make it unusable, and there is far more money to be made in preion only medicines than in over the counter remedies.”
“Sis I would take my hat off to you if I had a hat, you are doing far more than I, I have just given my fiftieth donation last year.”
“Treasure, you should be out here talking with us, not hiding in bed, come on out love.”
“Come on Jenny, you don’t have to hide that gorgeous red hair of yours from us.”
“Frank, did you tell?”
“Of course not treasure, we could both see it when you came to bed last night.”
“It wasn’t that either Bruv, Jenny left a family photo on her sideboard, aged fourteen or fifteen, she looked stunning, I should imagine that with her green dress she would have them queuing from here to the Cathedral.”
“Bugger, I forgot about that.”
“Don’t worry Jenny, I suspected you dyed your hair the day you moved in, remember I’m nosey not a gossip; if you want to hide your lights under a bushel basket you go ahead, give us dizzy blondes a chance.”
“I might as well surface then, how is the brew going my precious flower?” Jenny comes to us nude and glorious, I get another good morning kiss, after a few seconds our tongues come out to play, after a fair few seconds we break, and Jenny bends low and kisses my old man. When she rises she whispers, “I’ll be better next time my love.” A few seconds later the kettle boils and I very carefully make a pot of tea, “I think, girls that we should think about getting some clothes on fairly soon, we don’t know when Abby and Becky are going to come visiting do we? I assume you have what you need sis, to deal with any leaks from your boobs.”
“Kitchen roll should deal with the drips but I have to drain them first, I may be occupying your washroom for a fair time while I express my surplus.”
“You haven’t been to the washroom yet love your turn if you need it, then we can put some clothes on and I’ll start cooking what we have in the fridge, but first I’ll pour the tea.” Job done, Jenny’s and mine go on the fridge, Chrissie’s goes on the drawer unit, Chrissie and I sit side by side on the bed, she holds my hand and lifts it to her lips, after giving it a kiss she says,
“Frank, when I first met you yesterday, I had you tagged as a proper cradle snatcher verging on being a dirty old man, I have to say I am sorry I thought of you in that way, you proved to me yesterday, last night, and again this morning you really do love Jenny, I am amazed at the changes in her that have happened in just two days, how do you think she will change in the next four or five months or until you marry”
“There won’t be any big changes; I would expect her confidence to improve as we possibly start to sing together, I would love it if she were to learn to play one of her dad’s instruments, I may be able to help her if she wants to learn box or guitar, and finally, although I have agreed not to mention it to her again, I would love for her to return to her natural hair colour.”
“I heard that flower”
“Stop eavesdropping, I didn’t mention it to you, my promise is still intact” Jenny comes out of the washroom and hoists me up away from Chrissie,
“Come on chef, start doing your magic, we burnt off a lot of calories last night, and we will soon be having visitors.”
“Ok treasure, I hope I don’t have to keep on persuading you out of bed today.” With a wink my Jenny replied, “But I liked the way you got me out of bed yesterday.”
“We will have to try and arrange a repeat performance some time love.” I suppose I had better get some clothes on, I am running out of tee shirts, I only have my Span Fest tee left, I don’t want to risk splashing it with fat or oil so I have a delve in the wash bin and use a lagerboy tee to cook in, I fill the kettle for another brew, we have five sausages, they will take longest so go in the small pan first over low heat, I have a look in the freezer section of the fridge and there is a small box of hash browns and a couple of mine left from Saturday that makes six, half a dozen rashers of bacon, one piece of black pudding and Jenny’s eggs, the hash browns and the black pudding start next, in medium pan low to medium heat. Jenny and Chrissie are kneeling on the bed sorting out what to wear; neither seems to be making much progress, not one item has been donned by either.
“Having problems girls?”
“Yes flower, as you probably noticed, neither of us wears a bra, we don’t know how to save Chrissie from embarrassment if or when her boobs leak,”
“I know next to nothing about that, I know Lynda used to tie her blouses under her breasts to give a little support and to bare her midriff, any help?” I turn the sausages and shake the hash browns about
“That’s a fair idea, come on big sis, try my white blouse.” Chrissie gets into Jenny’s blouse; it’s a little snug, and a lot too transparent but a few pieces of kitchen roll are folded to make pads and cones, the blouse is lifted and tied, and one of Chrissies sweatshirts goes on top, she looks quite good and is comfortable, the blouse knot isn’t visible under her sweatshirt. The sausages get another turn and I flip the hash browns and black pudding; the kettle boils and I make a brew then refill it and put on again to boil, all the cooked items go in the ten inch, it’s a bit crowded in there but never mind, Time to start on the bacon, I can only get three in at a time so will have to do two batches, now that Chrissie’s boobs have been sorted the girls are making much quicker progress getting dressed, a pity that, Jenny has her work trousers from Friday and has a liberated Circle Master organic ale T worn loose.
“Three minutes girls, could one of you lay the table and the other pour the tea out?” Both girls start, Chrissie does the tea as Jenny knows where more items are stored in the van; I start the second batch of bacon, turn on the water heater and then take my pills and potions out to the table. Chrissie takes the teas out and I make a fresh brew for seconds; Jenny comes to me and gives me a cuddle, I turn and kiss her cheek, “If you would care to cook yours and Chrissie’s eggs I will abandon the van to give you space, could you just keep the cooked stuff moving so they don’t stick?”
“Of course my flower, would you like me to do you a piece of fried bread?”
“Please treasure, if you have the space, but I couldn’t work out how to free a ring up.”
“Ah yes, I see the problem, looks like you will have to go without.”
“I don’t think I will die for the lack.” I say as I wobble my jelly belly.
“Out you go flower I will finish in here and bring the food out.” I go into the awning, Chrissie is radiant, that is the only way to describe her, I don’t like to think it but she looks more alive and beautiful than Jenny did when she came out of the van fully made up and in her green dress yesterday morning, the thought doesn’t diminish my love for Jenny, it just means that I can appreciate beauty when I meet it, I don’t think Jenny would mind. Chrissie and I small talk about the weather and the plans for today. I am not looking forward to later on, telling the twins and the ‘engagement lap are no problem at all, neither is the packing down of the awning and putting the caravan in good order for the trip home; will I be travelling alone? Jenny going back to hers with Chrissie, or will she come home with me to meet Sarah and Robert? The thought of being apart depresses me; I know I don’t own her, think positive. Jenny comes out with the breakfasts plated up and ready to eat.
“Thank you my treasure.” Jenny and I sit side by side and Chrissie is facing us.
“Do you normally eat like this Frank? It’s not good for you, you know; I do have to look after Jenny’s interests.”
“No, as I told Jenny when she asked the same question on Saturday, a fry up is normal when we were in the van at festivals because we knew we wouldn’t be eating again until the evening, it’s the breakfast like a king, supper like a pauper thing, although there aren’t many paupers eating like Jenny and I did Saturday evening. When we were away with the children it was the same as eating at home really, not as much organic food but still good nutritionally speaking. Jenny’s interests are safe, Ok sis.”
“Thanks Frank.” We all tuck in, it doesn’t take too long to clear the plates, we were all pretty hungry I think; another round of teas help wash down the pills and potions then we all sit back and give our stomachs time to start working. We hadn’t been relaxing long when two little tornado’s come rushing to the awning from the direction of Tribal territory;
“They must have been watching us flower, that’s the only way they could have timed it so close to us finishing!”
“Can we come in please?” Abby asks.
“Come in girls, I suppose you want to know what everyone else knows, is that right?”
“Yes it is, but we think we already know, is it that you are getting married in the autumn?”
“That is true, how did you find out.”
“Charlie from Blackwater told us yesterday afternoon, but told us to keep it quiet, it’s supposed to be a secret.”
“And did you keep it secret?”
“Yes we did, even before we were told about pack loyalty we knew better than to pass on unconfirmed rumours.”
“We thank you both for that, you can tell whoever you want now, who wants a cuddle then?” Jenny and I both hold out our arms Abby comes to me and Becky goes to Jenny, we both remain seated and hold the girls round their waists, I give Abby a peck on the cheek and she colours a treat, Becky gets the same but doesn’t blush.
“Thank you, both of you, we have to go right back, because people are packing up to go home Michael and Julie are keeping a very close eye on us, they worry, I don’t know why?”
“Bye Girls.” Jenny and I say practically in unison.
“Well that’s the first people officially told, should we clear away before we do our engagement lap or after.”
“Clear up first, we can do that Chrissie, I know you are itching to see Darren, go get him girl, but don’t tire him out too much.”
“Thanks Jenny, see you later.” And in a very short time Chrissie has caught up with the twins.
“Do you think we can grab some ‘us’ time before we start on the chores flower, I need a cuddle?” I get up and move Jenny’s chair back as she rises and we go into our van, Jenny aims straight for the bed and wriggles on to her side;
“Come here lover, cuddle me.” I lay beside her and hold out my arm to her, she lays on me and I hold her, I think she is going to cry.
“What’s wrong treasure, are you unhappy, wanting to cry, your flower is here to fix it for you?”
“You can’t fix it this time, I have to go to work tomorrow and we will be miles apart.”
“That’s tomorrow, what are we doing today treasure? Can you spare the time to come home with me and meet Sarah and Robert? We could have a night together at home then I could run you to Stortford or wherever you need to be, or after meeting the kids I could take you to your home and then to the cop shop to give your statement; maybe I could be invited to stay the night at yours, I know we have to be apart for work and domestic considerations but we should be able to swap duties to give us long weekends together.”
“Do you really want me to meet Sarah so soon?”
“What do you mean by so soon, if Sarah was still dating Neil at Westrefelda you would have met her on Saturday morning, or at the Gordon Saturday lunchtime. Do you think we should sneak around dating on the quiet, hiding from our families, like a pair of embarrassed teenagers? I am proud of you and my love for you; I want to show you off as much as possible to as many people who want to see you as possible.”
“Oh flower, do you really feel that way about me? About us?”
“Of course I do, I wouldn’t care to try and make a league table of who is most important to me, you, Sarah and Robert, but I know I love you all and each in a different way.” We lay together just holding and cuddling, the occasional kiss just because we could, after a very relaxing quarter of an hour we decide to get active, I explain the system that Lynda and I had, she washed and wiped, I sorted the bed, Lynda secured cupboards, fridge and bathroom cabinet, I un-pegged the awning and unzipped, wiped and dried the panels, put the table and decorations away, together we emptied the toilet, and then took down the awning frame and stowed everything away, there are a lot of other things that needed doing as well but we would do them as they cropped up.
“Are you ready to start the chores then love?”
“Yes flower, but please leave the bed for a while longer, I know we will want to lie together after we have done our lap.”
“Certainly my treasure, I’ll just straighten it and then start work outside.” We both rise from the bed; there is no denying the slump to Jenny’s shoulders; we haven’t known each other for seventy two hours yet and I was missing my Jenny while waiting for her at the Eagle yesterday. Next week-end seems an eternity away but if we can stay together tonight and if Jenny can clear her Friday we could be together again Thursday evening, we could be together Thursday evening anyway, I know a gallon of diesel won’t break the bank, heck, an extra tank full a week wouldn’t hurt, but I don’t want the drag of a hour or more each way commute to see my treasure, this is something we can worry about in the future, shoulders up and smile for now and maybe we can talk on the way home.
ii. The Pack and Lap.
The easy start is to pack down Jenny’s tent, first empty out big sis’s stuff into our awning then unclip the inner from the outer remove the flexi poles from the outer, poles go into a bag, remove the pegs, they go with the poles, roll up the tent fabrics and bag them. Just for now I put them in my boot, Guitar and box go into the car next, back into the van and give Jenny a cuddle and then get the dirty washing bag out, that goes into the boot, Jenny wants her stuff out but I say I can get them all washed and ironed ready for when we meet next, this get’s me a kiss and a little cuddle,
“Thank you flower.” Next job is to pull the awning panel pegs and spread out the aprons to dry, once all four panels are un-pegged then it’s just unzip and lay them flat. After a couple of minutes in the sun all the aprons are dry and can be folded, and then put on the bed. Table and chairs go away next, and when Jenny is available we will take the rest of the awning down, I go in to see what Jenny is doing and I find her crying on the bed, I lay beside her “Jenny my precious, what is wrong, why are you crying?...Please tell me,,,,,,, look at me.” Jenny drops her arm over my shoulder and onto the back of my head,
“My flower, my lover, I do not want to be parted from you, I know we can’t stay here what are our options to let us stay together? I can’t think clearly, all I see are weeds.”
“Ok Jenny, sit up and look at me, if you want that we live together from now on I do not have a problem with that, we can do it easily. My and Lynda’s house was signed over to Sarah and Robert when I was believed to be losing it after her death, I didn’t fight it, it made sound financial planning, the taxman won’t take on the courts and the medical establishment just to get inheritance tax, I have even been paying keep since Lynda died, only four hundred a month, but it is another way of feeding our lottery win down to our children, the annual allowance for potentially exempt transfers is also being used to the full, Sarah and Robert know I am not losing it and now I can make a miraculous recovery, all thanks to you.
We could buy a property between us somewhere between Stortford and Ipswich to make our home, if your dad could run his business from a boat in the Med, with the right techno fixes you should be able to run yours from our home, in the meantime could we both live in your flat?
“Flower, you mean we can stay together from now on, we don’t have to be apart?” Jenny kisses me very soundly and then cries into my neck.
“Not if you are totally convinced that what we are doing is right for you, it is one hell of a big decision for you, I have been married, and you’ve never had a good long term relationship with which to gauge how you feel. If after just three days you are totally convinced that you want to spend the rest of my life with me, I am yours, you have already asked me to marry you. Do you still stand by the question and my answer?
“Flower I love you, I never want to be very far from you. We will need to get a new bed I only have a single in my flat.”
“Treasure, how is this for a plan, once we have finished packing down and have done our ‘engagement lap’ we go to Ipswich to meet Sarah and Robert, drop off the van and our wash-
“No flower, no-one is doing our washing apart from us.”
“Ok we keep our washing, I need to collect more clothes, we book into a hotel for a couple of nights till we can get a bed sorted, I will have to contact Cheryl, give her my hours to dish out as she sees fit, and tell the boss I have finished working.”
“You don’t have to give up your job flower.”
“Treasure, my job is a hobby, twenty hours at minimum rate taxed at the higher rate, I clear twenty pounds for an eight hour day, if I have to burn ten pounds and two hours a day to get to and from work it just isn’t worth it, I will miss my regulars, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find a hobby job near you if I want it.”
“If you want a hobby job, I can arrange that easily enough flower, how would you fancy working for me?”
“I’m not so sure about that treasure; my hobby job was to give Lynda and I a little time apart, and to give us something else to talk about; I think you would make a good boss but without knowing what I would be doing and with whom, I couldn’t know if bringing hubby in might cause friction.”
“They would have to get used to it.”
“No love, I can do without a hobby job for the summer at least, and you don’t need friction at work. If you are feeling happier now could you help me with the awning for five minutes?”
“Of course flower, why couldn’t I see the solution to allow us to stay together?”
“The weeds stop you thinking clearly, can I suggest you try and always remember the mind set you were in when you and Chrissie were planning our wedding, that mind set had no depression at all, if things look tricky or too complicated, in your own mind think of how you felt and how you were thinking in Ye Arrow, and how you cleared the undergrowth, and of course think of trousers, ‘one leg at a time’ that helps you to focus.”
“Flower you know exactly what to say, thank you lover.” I am pulled back into a horizontal position and we kiss slowly with lots of real emotion from both of us, Jenny wriggles us further onto the bed, and moves my hand to her breast, I hold her and allow our kiss to warm for a couple of minutes before slowing and gently breaking our kiss.
“Do you feel better now my love? Are you able to help me with the awning?”
“Of course flower, lead on.”
“It’s easy work love, first I have to pull the last of the pegs, could you bag them please as I toss them to you?” only a dozen to do and it only takes a minute or so.
“Next, as I take the awning poles out could you fold them please and make a tidy pile where your tent was?” I lower the legs and then shorten the roof bars, this allows the short extensions to be removed, I pass them to Jenny, starting at the upwind end. I remove the poles as I get to them, once all the poles are out and Jenny has folded them I ask her to pull the awning along its track and out, I move around under the awning lifting the fixing plates over lights, vents and rails. Once it is all out we can lay it out flat ready for folding, I move the flaps and verticals in towards the middle and arrange them flat; Jenny helps me to fold it into thirds long ways before it is folded again to fit the bag, before the last fold I go into the van for the panels and the storage bags, once the panels are in I do the last fold and together we get it into the bag. Jenny holds the pole bag and I slide them in, finally the breathable groundsheet is folded and bagged.
“These all travel in the van, but so we can get to the bed I will put them in the car for now; the only jobs left outside are to disconnect water, gas and solar panels, and to get rid of the rubbish. Are you ready for our ‘engagement lap’ precious?”
“No, but I won’t feel any more ready later so if we have done all the risky stuff can I put my green dress on for the lap and have just three or four minutes face time? Then you can lead on flower.” Jenny disappears into the van and is back out in a very short time. I know I’ve said it time and time again but she.........
“Ok treasure, I just need to lock the car and van, then we can go but we will need to be wary of ‘have one with us before you go’. I open a can of hobgoblin, and fill Jenny’s half pint tankard from it, Jenny takes her tankard from me and I keep the can.
“I will just pretend to drink from the can, you may of course drink what you like love.”
“Flower just who have you and Lynda danced with over the last however many years?”
“I joined Pretty Grim in spring 1986, I met Lynda at a pub dance out in summer ’86 when she used the Morris Mans Hat tradition to get talking to me, our first date was at a Grim practice a week later and three weeks after that Lynda was a member too, we stayed until ’93 then we danced Cotswold with Westrefelda for a couple of seasons, we moved back to border with Blackwater until ’02, Thetford Molly until spring ’04; Moonshine until we folded it in ‘06, Priory until ’09 then Tribal to now. Where next I don’t know, you will have as much say as I.”
“Why will I get a say?”
“You mean that after being in the band with me when Blackwater danced Pump the Bilges yesterday you have absolutely no interest in finding a local border side and maybe having a go, even if it’s only to bang a drum?”
“If we could both join I might be seriously tempted.”
“I only join mixed sides, so with any side I’m in you would be more than welcome.”
“You mentioned the Morris Man’s Hat tradition, what’s that?”
“There is powerful magic in a Morris man’s hat, it is claimed that any girl or woman that wears a Morris man’s hat will have a baby within the year, probably fathered by the Morris man, nowadays if a girl dons a Morris mans hat that is taken to mean she is single and fancies the Morris man who wears it. Lynda used the tradition to talk to me; Sarah did the same to chat up Neil in Westrefelda.”
“There are a lot of traditions to learn, it is almost as tricky as wine tasting flower.” I take Jenny’s hand and steer her down the field, after a few yards we change to having our arms round each other.
“We are heading to the Essex end of the field first, I have no idea why most of the North Essex sides, congregate here, first will be Winstree Hundred Clog, you met a couple of them yesterday, I don’t know any of them by name but they have a close association with Blackwater, sharing musicians and dancers, as we approach we see Sue talking with a couple of ladies,
“Hello again Jenny, we hear you had a few problems yesterday, unreliable friends and talkative Morris people, as we said yesterday, work at it, you will soon have them trained. Since you are both walking on the track, are we correct in believing that the rumour mill is right then and that the pair of you are to be wed this year.
“Yes, that is true.” Said Jenny, “You have the advantage on me, I know that you are part of Winstree, but I am sorry I have no idea of who you are.”
“I am Lucy, and this is my sister in law Debby, for our sins we are married to Mark and James, members of Blackwater. Congratulations to you both.”
“Thank you, we don’t have any fixed dates yet but Tribal are running an ale for Lynda on the fifth and sixth of November, we are converting the second day to our Morris reception and if you see Ken he should be able to add you to their totals.”
“Thanks for that, both of you, I heard via the rumour mill that Ken asked you back; have you had any thoughts on that? We would gladly find space for Jenny.”
“We will have to think about that, since we don’t even know where we will be living yet, it is difficult to make such decisions. We might know more when we see you at Leigh on sea next month if you are going, if not we will see you somewhere, we had better continue our lap treasure, Bye.” I say. We walk past Rising Larks and a couple wave and yell ‘congratulations’ as we never danced for them we yell ‘thank you’ and continue, the same happens at Harwich, Next side round is Priory, Dennis was squire when we left a couple of years ago, we felt a little guilty, after we left they struggled with low numbers last year but gained three or four new faces since Tenterden and with so many sides in the north-east of the county it is very easy for people to change sides and traditions, Dennis and Claire come out of their van, they appear to be all packed down and hitched up ready to go.
“Hello Frank, I know you’ve heard this too often this weekend but we need to say it, we were sorry to hear of your loss; and having said that onto happier things, we understand that congratulations may be in order, is this the lady concerned in the chat and rumours that we are hearing?”
“Dennis, Claire, this is Jenny, she is the centre of attraction on this lap of the field, as we all know the male is only here to make up the numbers; we will be married later this year, Tribal are arranging a dual purpose ale on the Fifth and Sixth of November for Lynda and for us, if you care to contact Michael he will add you to the list and take numbers. I see you are all hitched up to go, we are sorry if waiting for us has delayed you.”
“Don’t worry; we usually have a last brew before we leave and a final tiddle before we hit the road. I will say that if you and Jenny need a side to join we will be glad to have you back with us.”
“Thanks for the offer, we don’t know where we are going to live yet, so can’t plan who we will dance with yet; do you know if Westrefelda are camping this year, we saw them yesterday but not to talk to? Also have you heard anything of Thetford Molly? They aren’t in the program this year.”
“Westrefelda day tripped this year, but I know nothing of Thetford.”
“If Thetford aren’t here, I know Moonshine folded, although there is a new Moonshine, we only have Grim and Tribal to see treasure, a short and painless tour, if we walk the full lap we can see Grim on the home straight and then cut into the middle to see Tribal and say goodbye to the twins; we ought to take a bucket of water with us in case we need to cool Chrissie off. We will probably see you next month at Leigh on sea; look after yourselves till then. Bye.” Jenny and I walk on, arms round each other, the campsite is certainly clearing, I don’t think there will be many sides in the procession this year, I have to confess we never did the procession here, too many people told us it is too long and not much for the people in the procession to see.
“It’s nice being popular isn’t it flower, so far everyone wants us in their side, what do you want us to do?”
“Look precious, despite what Ken said, we will not be having obey in the vows, we will do what we want to do, at the moment my preference is to remain with Tribal, they were always good to Lynda and me, and have done nothing to offend us, meaning you and me, what do you think of them, could you see yourself with them”
“Yes flower, the people are great, I really appreciate the side rules and discipline they have, but I liked the colour and vigour of Blackwater; the band and music were to my ears better with Blackwater as well.”
“We have plenty of time to make that decision, we might be able to go to Leigh folk weekend, there you will be able to talk with more people and maybe meet some of the real characters in the Essex Morris. We can lookout for a Suffolk festival, if any are planned this year, Woodbridge isn’t what it was five years ago, The Ferryman’s Inn is a single pub weekend, only a few local sides made it last time we went, everyone says the same thing, the cost of fuel and camping is killing it from the sides perspective and public liability and insurance costs are hurting the organisers. No more weeds my treasure, let’s look for some flowers.” Half way up the back straight a familiar face hails me.
“Hi Frank, how are you doing? Is this the young lady that has all the tongues wagging? “
“Hello Marty, I’m going pretty good thanks and it is nearly all down to this young lady; Jenny, meet Martin Peterson, former and co-founder member of Moonshine, Marty, obviously this is Jenny, have you reincarnated Moonshine? We folded for the lack of musicians a few years ago.”
“Yes, it’s a goer again, I married a music teacher three years ago, and with her help and access to upper school music students we soon had a good band, five of them have started their own ceilidh band, we practice Sunday mornings in Haverhill, we still only have six regular dancers. We kept the original colours Black and Gold for the men and Black and Silver for the ladies.”
“Are you still keeping to the policies we all agreed when we founded Moonshine?”
“Yes, we still have all the original paperwork, all newcomers get a copy and sign it.”
“Marty, you might just have two new members here, we don’t know where we are going to live yet so we can’t make promises, but if we are within twenty miles I hope we can make it.” Marty and I shake hands; Jenny gets a cuddle and a kiss on the cheek.
“See you soon, bye.” We continue our lap and Jenny asks.
“Why would you want to join a side we haven’t even seen dance, flower, it seems awfully sudden after what you said earlier?”
“Lynda and I were two of the founder members of Moonshine Mark one, there were eight of us from three sides and one unattached musician we had all been dissatisfied with the sides we were with, we drew up a code of conduct for all members to adhere to and we had proper democracy, one person one vote before Tribal, we danced out for a couple of years, until our musician went professional, he recorded a couple of CDs of music for us to use; then our beloved government outlawed dancing to recorded or amplified music. We folded the side, put the small fund we had built up in the lifeboat box and joined new sides.”
“That sounds so sad my flower.”
“Not sad treasure, while we were going we had some very good times, we danced at Chepstow castle, Straw bear, Cropredy, Shrewsbury, did a dozen or more fetes and fundraisers, all the usual Essex and Kent festivals and had our pictures in a national folk magazine. We were well pleased with what we did.” We are onto the top semicircle, having passed the Witchmen and a few of Motley, then onto the home straight and only Pretty Grim and Tribal to see, we walk into a gazebo near where we stood last night to watch Grim standing outside our awning.
“Hello Frank, Jenny, who should I call Speedy? What was the time forty four hours from meet to proposal, I wish I’d organised a sweep, I could have made a fortune.”
“Hello Jim,” I Say, “Were you one of the paparazzi that stopped us getting into our van last night?”
“Guilty as charged old man, I suppose it was you who sent a couple of youngsters over to tell us that you wouldn’t be back till late?”
“Likewise guilty as charged, the lass was Chrissie, Jenny’s best friend and her new bloke Darren from Tribal.”
“And as soon as you had got us out of the way you both sneaked in for a quiet night of debauchery, does that sound about right?”
“There was no bauchery or debauching going on in our van at all last night. There were a lot of emotional highs and lows yesterday, and thanks to Tribal lots of friendships were made or repaired. Where are the rest of Grim?”
“Take your pick from having a party in your awning or down the town getting food!”
“Don’t they get fed here; every time I have called they are getting food.”
“Never mind, maybe you will catch them when they are getting food at the cockle sheds in Leigh next month.”
“See you there, bye.” When we are getting close to Tribal, most of the tents have gone as have a lot of people, Michael and Julie are helping the twins get their tent packed down, Bill has his head in the front locker of their Bailey four berth. Darren’s tent has gone and there is no sign of Chrissie.
“Hi Frank, Jenny, you have just missed Chrissie and Darren, they are taking the rubbish up to the top of the field, then stopping off at the toilets, most of the rest are just wandering about till we are all ready to leave in convoy about midday, except that Chrissie is taking Darren back to his then going on to hers. Chrissie said she would collect her clothes from you at some point when you are at home. Do you have time for a half pint for the road; one can between the pair of you will be perfectly safe unless you’ve had a couple on the engagement lap.”
“No Michael, Jenny had a half and I had the slops from her can, we can do a repeat of that then we must finish packing the van, and getting ready to leave. I would have normally left by now.” Julie goes into their van and brings out a couple of Hobgoblin, one is given to Michael and the other is given to Jenny, She opens it and fills her tankard and I get the leftovers, Jenny wanders off with Julie and I hear them talking about Chrissie and Darren.
“Michael,” I ask. ”What’s going on? All around the field every side that Lynda or I danced with only had a couple of members left behind, I could understand half of them leaving before us, are we being shunned because everything has moved so quickly for us? Do people think we are wrong? I don’t want Jenny to be upset, if we are being rejected I don’t think we will be back again.”
“Careful Frank, your persecution complex appears to be working quite well, don’t attribute to malice what could be caused by ignorance. I have heard no words of malice at all concerning the pair of you; we’ve been moaned at for ‘protecting’ you both last night, I had a few very straight words with the accusers. ‘Frank,’ I said, ‘is a member of tribal, the fact that his wife has died does not mean that he has finished, he is still on the books of Tribal, as a member he invited his fiancé to our side barbeque’.”
“Sorry Michael, you are almost certainly right, it’s the weeds growing again.”
“What is it with you and weeds? I have heard you blaming weeds a couple of times this weekend.”
“Just my perception of depression, everyone has weeds and flowers in their life, depression is a perception problem where you can only see the weeds, all the flowers are still there but are being smothered by the weeds, it helps me to fight back, once I can identify a weed I can pull it out.”
“Our farmer can get weed-killer in industrial quantities; it’s called an ale, look at that particular flower, keep it in mind until you have your date sorted.”
“Thanks Michael, we have to make a move. See you soon.” We hug and slap backs then swap partners, I hug Julie and say goodbye while Michael and Jenny copy us.” Jenny and I go back to our van, go in and lay on the bed, we cuddle and Jenny starts to cry, I ask the usual question and Jenny replies.
“Why has everyone gone flower? I am very surprised at Chrissie not saying goodbye; I suppose it will be all Darren now.”
Here ends part seven, the whole book hasn't turned out as 'racy' as I was expecting and when I tried hopping it up it felt too artificial if that makes sense. One more part and that will be the end of book one.