Ringing, 2 May 2022

We had a special visitor tonight! While waiting for Andrew, a small dog came into the house! That caused a bit of a ruckus while we called the owner and left a message, all while looking on the street to see if someone was out looking for a lost dog. At one point, I let go of the dog, and she took off down the street. About 15 minutes later, I got a call. The owner was returning my call, saying that while he was finding a leash to come to the house, Betty had appeared safe and sound. So it all worked out, thankfully.

Anyway, after all the excitement, we were three tonight. Andrew, Jane, and Randy. We decided to start with a touch of St. Clements College Bob, which Jane called from 5/6, while Randy rang the trebles and Andrew rang 3/4. We succeeded on the first attempt, at a fairly good pace! When asked, Jane said that it was a 120 length touch, so not a quarter peal by any stretch, but fun nonetheless.

After that, we decided to ring some Original, and spent a good half hour ringing and crashing and ringing some more. We seem to be getting better, and miraculously at one point during our ringing, we came back to rounds! We can’t guarantee that the method was true. But it was fun to get to a clean stopping point.

Jane then decided that we needed some lessons, and so we talked for another 30 minutes about coursing order, and how bobs and singled in different places affect that order. We talked about bobs at home, at wrong, at middle, and at between (the latter two mostly when ringing 8 or more bells). It was a good discussion, and I feel that I learned something. Though we only spent a few minutes putting that into practice, by Andrew calling a quick touch (wrong, wrong, wrong) and then Randy calling a quick touch (the same). The caller rang 5/6, and the others rang other bells, and I’m not sure I could say who rang what at this point.

We closed with a fast plain course of bob minor, and it went beautifully the second time. I don’t want to talk about the first attempt. 🙂

Andrew brought some avocados from his tree, and we split them between us. So I will be happily enjoying avocados for the next week or so. Yum!

Ringing, 2 May 2022

Ringing, 25 April 2022

We were four tonight! Andrew, Jane, Randy, and we had a guest. Jane’s sister Sue is visiting from the UK, and though she hasn’t rung much recently, she is an experienced ringer. As such, we could ring some major.

We started with a plain course of Plain Bob Major, with Randy on the trebles, Andrew on 3/4, Jane on 5/6, and Sue on the tenors. With a little work, we were able to ring that plain course.

We then tried Little Bob Major, with the same bells. This is one that Sue had never rung in hand, and struggled. So after a few failed attempts, we decided to drop down to minor.

We decided to ring a touch of St. Clements College Bob, with Andrew calling. So he was on the tenors, Randy on the trebles, and Jane on 3/4. It was a short touch, 180 in length, with bobs called at home thrice. We must confess that we didn’t actually get through the entire touch in a single attempt, but after crashing after the first bob, we decided to start just at that bob. It took a few more attempts, but we were able to ring to the end from that point. We call that a qualified success!

We tried some Original Bob, with Sue on the trebles, Randy on 3/4, Jane on 5/6, and Andrew on the tenors. This was beyond our abilities at 8:30 in the evening, and so we gave up after just 4 attempts.

We finished with another plain course of Plain Bob Major, but this time Sue was on the trebles, Randy on 3/4, Jane on 5/6, and Andrew on the tenors. It wasn’t the ugliest version of bob major we had ever rung, but it was certainly in the top 10! For a method that we actually got all the way through. If nothing else, we all enjoyed ourselves.

If you are ever in San Diego and want to ring with us, please drop a line and we will provide details.

Ringing, 25 April 2022

Ringing, 18 April 2022

We were three tonight, with a guest coming who had never rung bells before. Whenever that happens, Jane requires them to ring rounds and plain hunt, and tonight was no exception. Nia was able to ring the tenors to plain bob minor after just a few minutes of training (and a bit of help). But then she had had enough, and we let her excuse herself.

So Jane, Maggie, and Randy rang a bit of minor. Jane hurt her elbow playing too much drum, so we were all mixed up in our positions, with Jane ringing the trebles, Maggie ringing 3/4, and Randy ringing the tenors. Jane and Randy were in positions that they were not used to ringing, and so St. Clements College Bob was a struggle. We finally got it (which after last week’s performance was surprising). But were only able to ring a plain course.

We then decided to do something unusual, which we had done a few weeks back. “Original” is a method that is just plain hunting, but allows bobs be placed at any location (not just the lead end!). So you could ring 654321 and then 645312 because a bob had been called. At first, we were each calling bobs in turn, but then Jane decided on something different and had Maggie and Randy ringing minimus on 3/4 and the tenors, with Jane ringing the tenors at the back. It was goofy, and a nice break from the struggle.

We finished with a fast plain course of Plain Bob minor, and called it a night.

Ringing, 18 April 2022

Ringing, 11 April 2022

We were just three tonight, Andrew, Maggie, and Randy. So we rang minor. For the entire night, Randy was on the trebles, Maggie on 3/4, and Andrew on the tenors.

Normally Jane conducts us, but we had so much luck with Andrew conducting the quarter peal last time that he conducted tonight. We started with a touch of St. Clements College Bob, and struggled a bit. We rang the plain course just fine on the second attempt. But then we added a bob at the home position, and promptly crashed. We thought about how that bob would change things, and so tried again, but this time starting right at the bob. It took us a couple of attempts, but we eventually were able to ring from that point to the end, ringing a 180 touch of St Clements College Bob Minor. It really felt like an accomplishment!

So, with just a few minutes left in our rehearsal time, we decided to ring a plain course of Plain Bob Minor, but then Andrew convinced us to let him call some bobs. And so we rang a 180 course of Plain Bob Minor, with Andrew conducting. And did it correctly on the first attempt.

It was a good night, indeed!

Ringing, 11 April 2022

Ringing, 28 March 2022

We rang a quarter peal tonight! And better, it was a first for Andrew conducting a quarter peal!

Let me back up. For the past few weeks, Jane has been teaching Andrew how to conduct longer length compositions, mostly by talking about “Bobs at Home and bobs at Wrong”. I am not going to explain all that (I barely understand it myself). But I just wanted to say that Andrew has been working on this.

So tonight we were three – Andrew, Jane, and Randy. Randy was on the trebles, Jane on 3/4, and Andrew on the tenors. Jane announces that Andrew is going to conduct a longer length composition by ringing (let me see if I get this right) “Wrong, home, wrong, three times, single, and do it all again”. This will result in a 720 Bob Minor. If all goes well, we will do it all again, resulting in a 1440 Bob Minor, more than enough for a quarter peal. As Andrew is a new conductor, this was easier than trying to learn a 540 Bob Minor to append to the 720.

So we started, and crashed very early on (essentially at the second Bob). There was some discussion, and we started again. This time things went fairly smoothly (some bobbles, but we recovered from each). After 720 changes, we came round, and Randy paused until Jane said, “Continue!”. So we did. The second 720 was a bit rougher than the first, especially at the beginning. But after 45 minutes we had rung the complete 720 Bob Minor twice, for a quarter peal. Andrew’s first. Recorded for posterity here.

We finished with a simple plain course of St. Clements College Bob (same bells as the quarter). Wow, that goes fast when you have just spent 45 minutes ringing a quarter peal! But it was fun to remember that we could ring that.

And to repeat (because it bears repeating): We rang a quarter peal tonight!

Ringing, 28 March 2022

Ringing, 19 March 2022

We had three people today, and rang minor. Jane, Maggie, and Randy. The entire day, Randy was on the trebles, Maggie on 3/4, and Jane on the tenors. Randy has been out for a few weeks vacationing in Italy, so we went slow.

We started with a plain course of Plain Bob, just to remember how to ring. That went very well.

We next rang a plain course of St. Clements College Bob. While there were a couple of bobbles, we finished that without stopping.

We continued next with a plain course of Little Bob. Wow, that goes fast!

We finished by splicing Little Bob and Plain Bob with a composition that Jane calls “harder than normal”. The middle bells do a few strange things in this composition, so Maggie had to work. We had a couple of false starts, but finally rang a full touch. It felt nice to be ringing again!

Ringing, 19 March 2022

Ringing, 26 February 2022

I missed writing last week. We did ring, but I don’t have much recollection of what exactly we did, and in order to not confuse things, I am just going to skip last week.

We had 4 today, so rang a lot of major. For the entire session, we had Randy on the trebles, Maggie on 3/4, Jane on 5/6, and Andrew on the tenors.

We started with St Clements College Bob, just to remind ourselves how to ring that. We rang a plain course, and while we bobbled slightly, we got through the entire method in the first go. Which felt like a result.

Next, Jane had Andrew call a short touch of Plain Bob, calling 4 bobs at “wrong, home, wrong, home”. We rang that on the first attempt as well, which (if my calculations are correct) is a 256 change method. Not quite a quarter peal! But we’re getting close. Jane is grooming Andrew to call his first quarter, and this was the next step.

The step after that was to attempt another touch. Jane suggested that Andrew call it again, this time calling bobs at “wrong, home, wrong, wrong, home, wrong, wrong, home, wrong”. We could NOT get this for some reason. I don’t think we made it to the second bob. And through no one’s fault – we all kept missing bells. You would think we had never rung before! I’m glad we didn’t have an audience.

To close the session, Jane introduced us to a new method she had just learned about, called “Original”. This is an odd method, in that bobs can be called anywhere, not just when the treble is on the front. We decided to allow each person to call a bob at their leisure, in order of Randy, Maggie, Jane, Andrew. Of course, we didn’t get very far the first time, but by the third or fourth attempt, we were making progress! We didn’t have anything in mind other than trying this, so there is no guarantee that what we rang was true. But it had the desired effect, and stretched our minds. Which was the whole point.

A fun afternoon!

Ringing, 26 February 2022

Ringing, 13 February 2022

We had three people today, Andrew, Jane, and Randy. So we rang a lot of minor. (When is someone going to learn how to track 4 positions and ring 4 in hand so we can ring major with just three? Haha.)

We decided to start with a touch of spicing Little Bob and Plain Bob. Randy rang the trebles, Andrew had 3/4, and Jane was on the tenors. Jane decided that Andrew should call the changes, which he did. We rang a short method of 96 changes, but it is getting us used to hearing the splice calls and bob calls. And Andrew did a fine job.

We next rang a touch of Plain Bob, again with Andrew calling. Jane and Andrew switched places for this, since Jane says it is easier to know when to call the bobs when you are ringing the tenors. The method was not hard, but Andrew is still learning to know when to call the bobs. Jane said he should call the bobs at “wrong, home, wrong, home” and explained what that meant. Randy was trying to follow along, and maybe gets it? But we won’t know for sure until/unless he tries it! And he’s not sure he wants to do that.

We finished with a plain course of St. Clements College Bob, just to keep it in our heads. And rang it correctly the second try (the first try didn’t even make it to the first lead). At that point, we called it a day.

Ringing, 13 February 2022

Ringing, 29 January 2022

There were four of us today; Andrew, Jane, Maggie, and Randy.

We started with a plain course of St. Clements College Bob with Andrew on the trebles, Maggie on 3/4, Jane on 5/6, and Randy on the tenors. We rang it (mostly) correctly on the first go, without breaking or needing to start over, and it felt good.

In order to ring a spliced method, we decided to ring a plain course of Little Bob, with Randy on the trebles, Andrew on 3/4. Jane on 5/6, and Maggie on the tenors. That went well, and so we moved to splicing Little Bob and Plain Bob, with Andrew calling the changes. He threw in a Bob so that the method was a bit longer. We rang this a few times, with different calls, and Andrew calling them all.

We finished with some touches of Bob Major (Jane calling). We started in the same positions as above, but after a few failed attempts we decided to rotate, so that Maggie was on the trebles, Randy on 3/4, Andrew on 5/6, and Jane on the tenors. This went well. Jane called something she says is a typical Service touch, lasting about 5 minutes and typically rung just before a church service as something musical that doesn’t sound repetitive.

All in all, a good day of ringing.

Ringing, 29 January 2022

Ringing, 22 January 2022

We had four people today, Andrew, Jane, Maggie, and Randy. So we rang major. It has been more than a month since this band has practiced together! So we were a little rusty.

We started, as usual, with St. Clements College Bob with Andrew on the trebles, Maggie on 3/4, Jane on 5/6, and Randy on the tenors. We rang it twice with only a few bobbles here and there – not enough to cause us to halt, and I was really impressed with us! In fact, we rang it so well that Randy suggested we do a touch of that method, which we have never attempted before. Sadly, that went about as well as you would expect. To be clear, not well. We tried a few times, and never got much past the first called bob, and so decided to call a halt and do something else.

We hadn’t rung Little Bob in quite a while, and so we tried that. We started with Andrew on the trebles, Maggie on 3/4, Randy on 5/6, and Jane on the tenors. We quickly decided that was the wrong arrangement of bells, and so Randy and Andrew switched places. This was much better, and after a few false starts we were able to ring this a few times. By this time we had been ringing for an hour, and were deciding whether to call a halt or not.

We decided to ring Bob Major quickly as a final method, but then Andrew suggested a touch and we decided that sounded like great fun as a finisher. Sadly, we didn’t finish the touch, but we did get quite far (after a bad start or two), and really enjoyed ourselves. We also rang at a fairly good pace. Not as fast as our usual speed round, but fast nonetheless.

Great fun!

Ringing, 22 January 2022