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Do I need to go into why the heading is appropriate? Nah! Anyway …
‘Now is the month of Maying, when merry lads are playing …’
(Sir Thomas Morley 1595)
This is possibly one of the best-known madrigals (a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras) but is singularly inappropriate when applied to the Southern Hemisphere. We have a westerly buster busting, with attendant chill. While this did not deter young R and self from spending a short time in our puddle (not the one with waves; and J and the rest of the family abstained) it is not conducive to fa-la-las. As in the full one:
Now is the month of Maying, when merry lads are playing! Fa la la la la!
Each with his bonny lass, a-dancing on the grass, fa la la la la!
The Spring, clad all in gladness, doth laugh at Winter’s sadness! Fa la la la la!
And to the bagpipes’ sound, the nymphs tread out the ground! Fa la la la la!
Fie! Then why sit we musing, youth’s sweet delight refusing? Fa la la la la!
Say, dainty nymphs and speak! Shall we play barley break? Fa la la la la!
(As I know it, each should end with another Fa la la la la la la; fa la la la la-a.)
I deeply envy the ones entering into the bonny lass and nymphs period! Wouldn’t mind learning barley break, either – whatever that may be …
(Oh, I looked it up – seems great fun, but the trouble is that one needs a field of barley. A great thing about it is that it is played with mixed-sex couples! The ones in the middle, with linked hands, try to stop the others from passing. It seems to have some relation to a game called ‘Hasie’ [hare] I played in my youth.)
Anyway, I wanted to show one of R’s several million birthday presents – oh, how spoilt these kids are! – one she seems particularly chuffed with. It is a camera capable of carrying on clicking up to 3 metres below the surface of her natural element of water.