I was going to cycle out into the fields tonight to pick some blackberries. It’s Michaelmas Day in a week and a day as I write, and the fruit are supposed not to be edible after then, according to legend. I didn’t go that way, however, but found myself heading into town, our little market town, which has been holding its annual street fair. I usually feel quite curmudgeonly towards this event. It’s somewhat disruptive for oldies who just want to potter about their daily business. But as I turned into the High Street I was delighted , in the grey light of this quiet late summer day, to see family groups coming and going, the children chattering and happy, as the great, garish fairground rides swooped high above the 18th century roofs, and plunged to the ground amid the delighted shrieks of the youngsters on board. The pubs were busy. The St John Ambulance trailer was mercifully unvisited. All the usual stalls and attractions placed the town hall under siege, so close were they.
A drifting savour of cooking hot dogs, clamour of clashing music from the various rides….people meeting and chatting. It was like an illustration from the front page of an old fashioned picture magazine from the England of my youth. So when I sympathised with a lady delivering a parcel to our house, who rightly complained about her difficulties in getting around the town I added: ‘but it was great to see all the kids’. She agreed and said it all looked lovely at night.
Here’s a local reference to the place and the scene: http://www.thamenews.net/readmore.asp?Content_ID=8988&Navigation_ID=38