This week we have been on our annual "Hulliday", a holiday with a group of ringing friends. It was a smaller group than usual, and there was a bit more ringing, with two afternoon mini-outings for the benefit of the youngsters. We have also done a lot of handbell ringing: some plain hunting and Plain Bob Minor; some Cambridge Minor; some Stedman Triples; and intensive Bristol.
Early in the week, the idea came up of trying to ring a course of Bristol Maximus. It has usually been rung on previous Hullidays, including a peal attempt last year, but this year's band was less experienced with only two people who have rung a peal of it on handbells. We worked on it nearly every evening, and by yesterday we managed to get to the end of a plain course, although the last lead wasn't completely convincing. Today we sat down to ring earlier, with high hopes of mastering it, but it was not to be...we seemed to be doing much worse than before. That's the way it goes sometimes. We all made good progress though, and Tina and I enjoyed trying something that we can't do during the rest of the year.
One evening, after firing out the Bristol Maximus, we rang a course of Bristol Royal. It was ever so much easier! It made me feel that we could have a chance of ringing it at home when we can get five people together, perhaps after we have managed to ring our peal of London Royal.
We also rang an excellent peal of Bristol Major, which was extremely satisfying. I called David Maynard's composition again, and with the band we had, I was able to ring the tenors, which always enables me to ring slightly better. That makes seven handbell peals this year, with no losses, which is almost unbelievable.