Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ring-y ding-y!

I've been meaning to go learn how to ring the church bells in Stowmarket for about a year, and finally made it down to a rehearsal on Thursday night. However, they'd canceled rehearsal at the last minute so nobody was there. Boo. I'd called someone a few months ago and never gotten a response, so I was feeling a little frustrated. I left a message on the answering machine of one of the ringers, explaining that I'd love to come ring but that I didn't seem to be able to get in touch with anyone. We were at work pretty late last night, and didn't get home until about 6:45. I checked our messages, and Jo (the ringer) had called back. I called her, and she said that they were going to be having a quick practice tonight and did I want to come down? John said he didn't mind, so we bolted some dinner and I drove down to the church.

They were the most welcoming group of people - the ringing captain who's been ringing since about 1850, a married couple who have been ringing for a year, a very enthusiastic 9-year-old boy who's been ringing for 2 weeks, and Jo. I had a lesson on the '4' bell, which is an 8 cwt bell that was cast in 1450. Eek! It was the most incredible experience: relaxing and challenging and a little bit scary. And I'm completely hooked.

There's an entire Bell subculture that I never knew existed - there's lots of jargon and a crazy camaraderie and all kinds of networks of bells and ringers. Check out the Suffolk Bells website. There's also lots of info on Wikipedia about change ringing. I'm not up to the changes or exciting stuff - I'm still trying to get to the point where I can ring the bell without breaking anything or hanging myself. We were up in the church tower (click the picture to go to the church website):

My dad has sent another batch of photos - I thought these were good Jr. Foodie pictures. Mmmmm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kate, those great pictures were taken at New Rochelle's premier restaurant, Dudley's Dockside
Dining Pavilion.

John Morgan, my college roommate, is on the left, and we had a great time that night. Note the chair you are sitting in was the ubiquitous Blue High Chair that was given to you by Sylvia and Saul Schur, who were delighted by your arrival as the first born in Sutton Manor in many years.

The chair was great...combination high chair, rocking chair, and sitting chair with table. We loved it, and took it wherever we went, including to Dudley's Dockside....