It must have been over 10 years since I went to Notting Hill Carnival; and this time we only went as our old friends the Turners who used to invite us every year, have now returned and invited us to lunch! Who can refuse such an offer? (having a decent loo is important and we didn’t want to be reduced to this, above…). We also saw, but were unable to reach, our chum “:judge’ Judy, who spent form 9.30 am till 7pm judging the floats…Hard work in the heat (it was very hot).
We had a delicious lunch perched on a roof terrace over looking a quieter street, and then went looking for the floats, armed wiht Red Stripes. Soon a rum Punch beckoned and we managed to do a deal with a measly bar tender who gave us doubles…
Carnival has really changed though – didn’t hear a single steel band, or Calypso, just the pounding beat of all the sound systems, making all the windows reverberate, as well as my ear drums. There is a pervading smell of weed, and people openly smoking and selling, no-one paying a blind bit of notice. It even overpowers the delicious street food smells – crispy jerk chicken, goat curry, doubles, Jamaican patties, corn on the cob. But the rubbish is quite unbelievable.
Sad to say, although we met many friendly people, the Carnival is just too big and I am not keen on getting that close to a million people…it brings back the memory of, many years a go, a guy ‘walkin’ up’ me and eventually I elbowed him in the ribs, only to find myself sprawling on the ground, glasses broken. Ross leapt on him, four guys jumped on Ross….never have I been so glad to see the police! This time we avoided Ladbroke Grove!
So – thanks Marion and Richard for a lovely day, but another time if we want to see anything I think we need to do what we always do for Cropover in Barbados, find a spot, occupy it, and watch the world go by. You see much more and feel less stressed!