Friday, 4 April 2014

Frivolous Friday: When The Fun Fair Comes To Town

When I was a kid I loved Enid Blyton's books, especially her adventure stories with the Famous Five and, maybe less so, the Secret Seven. Apart from thrilling me with exciting tales in which children did extraordinary things (that, in a day when kids were seen and not heard and adults controlled everything), she also introduced me to the wonder of the English countryside.

I was enthralled by her descriptions of secret islands, haunted castles, forbidding forests, and green meadows where sheep grazed and noisy dogs chased rabbits. But her most enduring legacy were the tinkers and gypsies. I still sometimes (often) dream of packing it all in and taking off in my horse-drawn caravan, complete with pots and pans dangling from the back bumper. Only today my caravan would be Andrew and my handcrafted, custom-built four wheel drive camper designed to go anywhere as long as the countryside is stunning and far away from people . . .

Reality check!

Part of the appeal of Enid Blyton's gypsies and tinkers was the fun fair that always accompanied them where young adventurers could get themselves into no end of trouble from shifty-eyed tambola operators.

The old and the new.
That church is about nine-hundred-years-old. I bet it could tell a tale or two  . . .

Travelling fun fairs were pretty much alien concepts where I grew up, so the idea of a hundred colourful caravans pulling into town loaded with thrill rides was utterly enchanting. I would dream of eating toffee apples (yuk) and candy floss (not much better) while winning that blue-eyed doll at the archery stand. Dreams are great . . .

So imagine my delight this week when the fun fair arrived unexpectedly in my town. (Okay, everyone else knew about it, but see my point above about getting away from people. My hermit tendencies often mean I miss out on the cool stuff.)

Back to my story.

Unfortunately, my discovery of the fun fair came when I was looking for parking. So, instead of being enchanted, I was just plain irritated. It seems that fifteen minutes spent inching along narrow streets - care of our medieval town planners - cluttered with colourful caravans and enormous thrill rides does that to me. What a let down.

Having teenage girls helps though, and E & K, my pair, where not missing out on a chance to have their teeth rattled from their heads while being shot a hundred feet into the sky by a giant hydraulic catapult, so we grabbed a group of friends and hit the fair.

Even though the weather was misty and cold (it is spring in England, after all) I'm happy to announce that my heart was warmed by the experience.

Enchanted, in fact. But to honest, I have to admit that was mainly the result of all the twinkly lights - another obsession of mine - sparking on every ride, luring us suckers in. Unable to resist the gaudy horses, I fell for a carousel. It was fantastic! I felt like a child again.

So, how do take a good pic of a carousel?
Because this certainly isn't one.

Did I see any shifty-eyed tombola operators? Nah. They must have all been off at some forbidden castle chasing banshees . . .

Enjoy the pics . . . and have a wondrous weekend filled with fun.

I couldn't resist this.
Every time I see a giant tea cup I am reminded of Lilith from Cheers telling Fraser to go an find his manhood on the giant tea cups . . .

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