A busy day of handbell ringing

Yesterday we had one of our mad days of trying to combine too many things. The trigger was Nick being available for another Bristol Royal session, so we took advantage of that to also get James to come and call a peal of Pitman's 4 (London, Bristol, Cambridge, Superlative). At some point we realised that it was the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we decided to invite everyone for dinner with roast turkey and all the trimmings.

After a frantic morning of cooking, we started for the peal of spliced after lunch. It was going very well, but blew up about a third of the way through. Afterwards, James said he thought we had been ringing a bit too fast. I was ringing the tenors, and I must confess that I was enjoying ringing quickly with a good rhythm - but of course the peal is more difficult for the other pairs, so we have to take that into account.

There wasn't time to restart the peal, but we rang a good quarter of 8-spliced. James couldn't stay for dinner, so we summoned Jonathan and Angela to get the next band ready. Dinner went well, after recovering from a pie disaster and a gravy disaster, and then we went for a quarter of Bristol Royal. The first attempt collapsed after almost three courses, but mostly we were doing well, so we started again and succeeded.

At its best, the ringing was very good, but we had a few rough patches. I think we all find the wrong dodging difficult. I persistently missed the wrong 3-4 dodge in 4th place bell, and no doubt everyone had their own bugbear. Never mind, we'll improve with practice.

I called sW sH sW sH, which keeps 3-4 in the 3-4 position and only has the 3-4 and 5-6 positions for 5-6. Another time we'll have to try putting people into different positions. A popular composition is four wrongs (bob, single, bob, single), starting at the snap after the wrong (so the initial coursing order is 32456, with 5-6 coursing). This means that 5-6 are coursing throughout, and 3-4 ring the 3-4 and coursing positions. I noticed that our friends in Oxford rang it recently, with the calling sW W sW W. The advantage of starting with a single is that 3-4 ring the first two courses in the 3-4 position (coursing orders 32456 and 42356) and then two courses in the coursing position (coursing orders 23456 and 43256), so there is more time to settle into each position.