I'M WRITING with regard to a slightly bizarre new youth trend that seems to be sweeping the city.

A few weeks ago I had noticed my daughter (14) had been leaving the house early on a Saturday morning and spending most of her weekend days away. I also noticed some bizarre items of clothing and accessories turning up in the house and in the wash: Ribbons, bells, flower garlands etc.

When I pressed her on the matter she admitted to me that she has been going to Preston Park to attend Morris dancing gatherings. These gatherings are predominantly made up of teenagers, and apparently they see it as a way of rebelling against the more antisocial habits of older generations.

It may sound like I am making this up, or it is just a small niche practice, but I have spoken with other parents who have told me the same thing and I've even had a look (from a distance) at one of the weekend meet-ups in the park. I'd say there were at least 50 teenagers involved and some of the dances they were doing were really quite impressive.

On the one hand I think to myself what harm can this do? After all, it is exercise, it gets them out in the open air and honestly, it is a damn sight more wholesome than some of the things I got up to in my teenage years, but I do worry there is a darker side.

There are definite signs of under-age real ale and cider drinking within this fad. I've also had to ask my daughter to desist from singing a particularly rude song that seems to be sweeping through the scene. The song details several professions, each verse laced with double entendre. I know teenagers will be teenagers, but I'd have been much happier had my daughter not taught this song to my younger children who now sing it incessantly.

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