Two little bits of progress to record, to do with calling touches of Bob Doubles.
A couple of weeks ago I called a 120 of Bob Doubles from the treble. When you do this you only have the basic framework of ringing to help you know where you have got to. You cannot call a 120 by simply calling ‘Bob’ whenever you are doing four blows behind, or by calling bobs at ‘in’, ‘out’ and ‘make’, because you never do any of these things. Instead what I did was to count leads. I decided in advance that I wanted the 2 to be unaffected, so I called a bob just as I rang a backstroke in 2nd place at the end of the second lead. Then I counted 3 more leads and called a bob again (at my backstroke in 2nd place); then 3 more leads and another bob, and finally when taking the 2 from the lead, call ‘that’s all’ as the bells come into rounds.
The difficulty with this is the two lots of counting that must be done: counting your own place, and counting the number of leads. It is all too easy to forget how many leads have been rung by confusing the two lots of numbers.
Then at last night’s practice I called a 120 of Bob Doubles while ringing the tenor cover. Here, there is even less framwework to help you as you are ringing in sixth place at every blow. Instead, you have to watch another bell. I chose to count the place of bell 2, and to call a 120 which affected that bell (make, in, and out), and then as it was about to make 2nds place the bells come into rounds. In order to do this you have to be able to continue ringing the cover bell whilst watching and counting what some other bell is doing. Ringing the cover bell (to doubles, at least) has become an almost totally automatic or sub-conscious process: my eyes and hands can get on with doing this while I follow another bell and call the 120. It’s nice to have reached this state: it’s not so long ago that ringing the cover bell itself was hard and not always accurate!