Sunday, October 22, 2006
It's Carnival Time here in Somerset
October and November are Carnival Time in Somerset
For all you bloggers outside the UK the English have what might seem a very odd tradition - 'Bonfire Night' aka 'Guy Fawkes Night' where we celebrate the thwarting of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the 17th Century by one Guy Fawkes Esquire by lighting bonfires burning a 'guy' (effigy of a man made from straw and old clothes) on the top and setting off copious quantities of fireworks
In Somerset these celebrations also include a number of town carnivals all around the county where on various weekends the townsfolk line the streets after darkness has fallen to watch a procession of illuminated 'floats' interspersed with individuals and local groups in costumes.
All throughout the year various carnival clubs work in secret to build these illuminated floats in great secrecy hidden in out buildings away from the general public and the prying eyes of their competitors ready for their unveiling at the first carnival
The floats have countless electric light bulbs often mounted on moving parts with lots of loud music and people dancing away on them and take the form of a long trailer with a huge structure on top linked with a second vehicle usually housing a generator to power all those light bulbs and the PA system blaring out the music
It is a real spectacle peculiar to the county and brightens up those early winter evenings - lots of money is collected for local charities around the way with several dump bin type vehicles that the kids love to throw coins into to hit a painted target along with many people shaking collecting tins as they walk by
Last night was Taunton's carnival and having watched it as new residents last year it really brought it home to us that we've now been down here over a year. It took well over an hour for the parade to go past our spot in its entirety and thankfully the weather stayed dry as we've had some terrific rain over the past few days.
This morning Sarah had county training about an hour from here at Wells - home of a beautiful ancient cathedral - mind you standing out in the drizzle watching the girls hone their passing skills meant the cathedral was the farthest thing from our minds
Fortunately the ankle stood up to the session and should be okay for the TID day on Wednesday
This afternoon, as her coach still hasn't produced the youngest supporter of the Fillies Team and will be induced on Wednesday if nothing happens naturally before, I've pulled out his quilt top and am going to sandwich it next thing - that'll test my knees :o( scrambling about on the lounge floor with a box of safety pins and my pinning tool.