I run a friends and family virtual #bellringing session on a Thursday evening. We have methods of the month, so we have four or five weeks to really get to grips with them. This has been successful to varying degrees. At the beginning of each month when we start new methods everyone is a bit tentative but its good to see that by the end of the month everyone is much more confident, and we can get plain courses round and even sometimes venture into touches.
For July I decided to try splicing two of the methods that we had previously rung rather than try to learn another new method. This was to help consolidate our learning of the previous methods and introduce some people to the concept of splicing methods together and getting to know the lead end order.
I, for one cannot recite lead end order of methods, not even the ones I know very well. Therefore, I do struggle a little when we splice some together, although I find it easier on tower bells than on virtual bells. I totally understand the theory of the place bell that you are at backstroke when the method is changed, but for some reason really struggle to see it on Ringing Room in either 5ths or 6th place. I can see it better in 2,d 3rds and 4ths. This inevitable means that I go the wrong way, and there’s a bit of a hiatus and/or clash as the bell doing to opposite work is trying to do what they should be doing.
As with all of these new methods we are trying, I’m sure towards the end of the month it will be much improved. What was noticeable last week was that on the Thursday evening I really struggled, yet on the Friday morning at a different practice but ringing the same things, I got it so much better. Maybe it’s the difference between a practice in the evening after a day at work when my brain isn’t in gear, to first thing on a Friday morning, when its all fresh and keen. I don’t know.
It was lovely to see our “sometimes” visitor Will this week who we haven’t seen for a couple of months. He has an open invitation to come along when he can, so we never know if he’s going to show up or not, and he takes pot luck on what methods we are ringing, but it expert enough that it doesn’t matter to him. Apart from C and myself, he’s never met any of the others in our Thursday night group in person, but it’s lovely that everyone is welcoming and friendly, and he joins in with the post ringing chat. We’ve had some cracking conversations.
As with real ringing, there’s an element of apres ringing, in a virtual pub instead of the real thing, but C and I do take the opportunity to crack open a bottle of beer. It’s almost like the real thing.
Like so much else we are waiting for the chance to get back to real ringing, practice nights, quarters and peals… and the pub!