While I was still living in Watford I had the very great pleasure of meeting a man called Colin Prior, who shared my passion for early music. And who, unwittingly, would change the whole course of my life…

Colin had started a recorder consort – the Gade Consort – which also tolerated the inclusion of other period instruments like my crumhorn and Colin’s own curtal. And occasionally we gave public concerts.

I was welcomed with open arms as a workmanlike performer on descant and tenor, with consort experience and a real love of the music we played. Which came to include – among other things – some late medieval dances.

I practiced with the consort even during my long battle with ME, and I was in the later stages of that battle when Colin told us we’d been invited to perform at the Chiltern Open Air Museum. Alongside a group of historical re-enactors focused on life during the Wars of the Roses.

And perhaps because of that I was moved to hire a costume for the day. But the best I could get was a slightly tatty Blackadder outfit…

The day came, and we saw little or nothing of the re-enactors. Until we started playing those late medieval dances.

And some late medieval dancers duly appeared. In very much better costumes than mine. And with a clear knowledge of the specific moves for each dance…

Six rather delightful young women. Hard not to get distracted, but I did my best. Until said young women grabbed me, in the nicest possible way, and escorted me to their camp fire.

Would I like to play music for them? And join their group?

It was a no-brainer. Of course I would. But critical eyes were being cast on me. ‘Of course, we’d have to do something about your costume. You’d need to see Rosemary – she’s not here today.’

And that was how two of the greatest adventures of my life began. At the same time, and in the same place…