Monday, 1 May 2017

May the Fayre be With You 2017

portsmouth city council fixed parking penaltyToday I was up last: because I am nothing if not unpredictable. The person that was up first was the naughty traffic warden, who put the blue screen of death on half a dozen cars outside the shops near our house, including the JofMobile. There's £25 wasted into the bulging City Council coffers.
st marys church fratton may fayreIt's still the long Bank Holiday weekend so naturally the squally rainstorms are still going strong, as is the May Fayre at the big church in Fratton. I have been up the tower thrice, and to Fayres or other events many times, including silent bell-ringing with the Scouts. This particular Fayre has a beer tent and laser-death, making it an absolute must for us, Johnny (our oldest Puddle-friend) has been going to this event since he was 8 weeks old and has never stopped.
So, Jof was kind enough to give us a lift. We were all stiff getting out of bed, due to running, cycling, or Minecrafting, depending. But as a family, we made the move and us chaps got to the church by 1120. Everything in life is a balance. Do you arrive early, only to spend all of your money on the raffles and pot plants that you then have to carry around all day? Or do you carefully bide your time and wait for the late offers, only to fall foul of 7 pints of slow-down medicine from the beer tent?
mobile fair bus attraction
We have some experience of this event and have come to a sensible compromise. We arrive early and check out every stall and activity. We might also buy a few items. Then, I spend the first of the real money on one or more activities before the rest of the team get there, and let the day happen.
As we get older, the things that are important to us change. We met the stalwart members of the 29th Scout Group, with associated Explorer section, and had a chat. We met supermodel 'Pops', representing the Kings Theatre Youth Drama Section, where I will spend at least 1 week this summer, like the last 2 years. Then we met 'Flick', our local MP and said thanks for writing a personal letter to our Lego League team for winning the Regionals. And crazily, we met 'Gerald', former Council Leader and the man who awarded me my Bronze Chief Scout Badge.
And I bought some Minecraft characters and Fudge Slices and really wanted the Lupins and cacti and honeysuckle but we don't have a proper garden currently so they'll have to wait.
st marys church fratton
So once we'd done our initial circuit I chose the Fun-Bus-Of-Doom like the last 7 years and the rules are to only have 2 circuits but spend as much time as you like and I stayed on there for an hour.
gun safety fail child deathThat's when School Enemy/Friend 'Okely Dokely' and his step-brother 'Luke' arrived and we spent another aeon bossing it over the younger kids of Fratton.
Then Ben and the JBs arrived and we went right back onto the Bus of Doom and they'd found a new type of bouncy castle where you have to throw a basketball into the thoroughly inaccessible net while being attached to a waist-anchored spring and it was absolutely impossible but very funny.
Johnny was far too old for this lark and so was I until we saw Ben and Robert failing admirably and we both had a damn good go and won a balloon each.
As we get older, priorities change. Once, horses were a novelty and we were prepared to spend some considerable time in the queue to sit on a bored quadruped and wander aimlessly up and down the far corner of the churchyard for 3 minutes on an ambling manure-producer.
st marys church fratton may fayreThis time, we didn't. We technically voted down the option to shoot each other with lasers. We may now be disparate entities with our own isolated personalities, and that includes the JBs, who are in fact brothers. But when the Great Greek Plate-Smashing Extravaganza became available, we all reverted to type and gathered as a 5-man team (Erin is an honorary bloke for the purposes thereof). And we bought (with assistance) 11 wooden throwing-balls each in a personal bucket with a free small French doll and we chucked our balls with anger and vengeance and smashed many plates and plant pots and dishes. But we made the man fill up the plate-shelves first, because we deserve.
happy girl with laser gunLater we disembowelled, exsanguinated, de-fluffed and gutted our French dollies, because deep down we are all vicious serial killers, and chased each other with pistols and crossbows and swords and shotguns in the green patch opposite the church where we witnessed a Pagan Wedding a few years ago. The weather never quite stormed so we travelled to the Rose-In-June Pub (the one with the long garden, right by the railway and the now-defunct Kingston Life Prison) and I suffered the huffy consequences of not having lunch and got a bit miffed, even though crisps were available.
Luckily, home was only a 17-minute strumble away and Jof made it all better with pasta and happiness.
And because priorities change as you get older, the format of this blog will change to a weekly post, because I might not want to detail each changing emotion about those around me, and sometimes it's just 'Went to school' and sometimes not.

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