Not so long ago, when we first thought of leaving London for a tiny village in Sussex, a village fair (with Buster Keaton playing in the hall!) and a barn dance persuaded us that we’d found our community. Glorious fiddling, young and old dancing round a barn at the local farm, beautiful food on the tables from the land around. We met such fine friends there, and we miss them very much. So, here in the tiny community surrounding our new island home in the forested Highlands, with great joy, we went to our first country dance at the old schoolhouse.
Some of us were so excited, we began before the accordion started, even as the potluck was being packed away.
Here is the caller, stepping in to dance with my small one to round out the pairs. Later she danced with our beloved village elder, now in his nineties, youngest and eldest.
These are simple dances, and deceptively so. We were astonished at how flushed and tired we could get! Country-dance workout. We’ve been reading Austen all winter, and watching films of her books, so a dance like this echoes stories across history. “A ball? I long for a ball!”
Out of the old schoolhouse, back into the world of snow and ice.