HEY HO AND ALL THAT…

Fair? After spending all that…unfair…

I think I’ve got too much imagination to enjoy big rides at fairs. The teacups scare the hell out of me. But when our local fair arrives they stay up all night putting up things that whirl round at such a speed that if the bolt was slightly loose the car (the one I’d be sitting in obviously) would end up about two towns away, or in the middle of the motorway. And the ride that flies round like a kid’s windmill, except that it’s about four stories high, would probably see me off when I was waiting in the queue. Even standing underneath you are still conscious that the whole thing is held up by some lumps of 4×2 hammered into position on a road that could develop potholes if there happened to be a light shower of rain. Result? Unwelcome guests in the top floor of the estate agents two blocks away. Not for me.

And luckily not for my ward Sam or my little boy either. Deep in his genetic mix he has inherited a great fear of these things, so horror rides are out of the question. Instead, at last Friday’s visit to the fair, we stuck to ambling through the crowds on what was a delightful warm evening, and stopping off to test our prowess on the shooting stalls. Sam proved to be rather good at these things and won a train set for Jamie, which miraculously still works, little light and all. I had a reasonable go at darts and won a Minion which now sits where it landed at home, watching the train go round. And every time I try to win something on those machines that grab a Snoopy with a fiver round its neck, and then drop it at the vitalis momentum. By the time I realise I am never going to get it I have spent about fifteen quid. Cheaper to smash the glass, claim the Snoopy, and pay up for the damage.

Hungry, fifty quid down, we head for the hotdog stand. This curious establishment not only sells this worrying product, but has many other delights unique to fairgrounds. Toffee apples. Where else do you see them anymore? And great chunks of honeycomb. Cathy and I decided we would happily chew on that for the rest of our lives. And candy floss! Just to stand there and watch the lady swirling the stick round as the floss builds is to see Heaven. Trouble is, small beards and candy floss don’t mix.

Unhappy that we’ve only spent £65 we return to the shooting. Sam is convinced they bend the rifles but wins anyway. Anything from the bottom shelf. I suggest that he shoots the grumpy lady taking the money, and perhaps her husband will reward us anything from the top shelf.

Tired but happy, as these stories always end up, we walk home, big soft toy dogs under our arms, chewing the rest of the toffee apples and honeycomb, naming the new goldfish and letting the beautiful balloons go into the night sky as the sound of music and laughter fades into memory. Actually we went to the car, I grumbled about the cost, and Jamie was furious that his train needed batteries. Not sure if anyone said it was all great fun or not…

Fairground cups