If it's the last Saturday in June, it can only mean one thing....it's the annual barn dance in our village.
It's a tradition which has been going for a long time and which is looked forward to every year.
My gang of children began going when they were knee high to grasshoppers, and as they became teenagers, their friends would come too. As they became older teenagers, all their friends would camp overnight...and the garden began to look like a mini festival, with at least ten tents pitched on the lawn....
By the time the gang had reached their twenties, there was up to forty staying overnight...which was all very well, but they wouldn't go to sleep. Or go home the following day.......the kitchen would be full of people with hangovers, queues for the loos and they'd all want toast and coffee.
And lunch....that's when I would get the bell out. It's an old school bell with a satisfyingly loud clang, which I started ringing at 11.30 am or 12noon...and they all knew they had to to skidaddle very shortly afterwards.
This year was surprisingly civilised...as usual the gang began to gather about 4.30pm for drinks in the garden.....
And one person we were all pleased to see was Sam Beckett, pictured on the right, he's the one who was missing in Nepal after the earthquake....and experienced some very frightening times.
And the girls were enjoying the Pimms which Elly made...
And then it was time to head off the other end of the village, to the barn dance itself....for old friends to meet up
And to sit outside in the early evening sunshine and tuck into the barbecue. On the right is the lovely Shirley who very kindly lets us use her barn every year...
And in the barn itself was the band who were playing jigs and reels at breakneck speed
It's a night when everyone dances....no matter what age they are...there's no "I'm too cool for this" malarkey, and besides, it's such good fun...
The younger children then go home, then at about 10pm, the disco starts...the decibel levels rise,
And we dance until about 1am....taking time out around the sides to flop on the bales of hay for a breather..
Or having a drink as the sun goes down....
And at the end of the night, everyone slips away, walking home in the moonlight....saying goodbye to the organisers, Ian, Jules and Tom , who have worked so hard to make the evening a success.
And a success it was, raising over £1,500 for our village charity. The date is booked for next year,
and in our diaries already. The hats and checked shirts will come out again, and we'll be dosey
doh- ing and disco dancing once again.