Thursday, 23 June 2011

At the Victorian Fair


After we'd half-eaten our picnic, chased John repeatedly across the grass to stop him from snaffling tidbits from other people's plates, explored the excitement of the circus tent, heard the brass-band play their rambunctious opening number, smiled at the well-dressed Victorian ladies who sat eating strawberries on the grass, spotted Queen Victoria herself making her way towards the tea-races and trailed our boy as he meandered obliviously in between the legs of strangers who were not expecting to be tripped up by a toddler, we made our way to the fairground.

And there, beside the Donkey rides and the hook-a-duck stalls, we came across the magnificent carousel, glittering with promise and tinkling with merriment.

It stood, glowing with a mythical, magical presence, promising a joy far greater than bobbing horses could possibly deliver, and making me tingle with excitement and jiggle with anticipation.

And as I took my seat astraddle a magnificent dapple grey steed with my little boy on my lap, listening to him clicking his tongue endlessly because he knew we were riding a horsey, watching the fair fly by in a swirl of colour, waving over and over again at Daddy who was dutifully taking pictures below and whooping with excitement every time we passed him, I felt sure that a fairground ride had never before brought me such pure and simple pleasure, and that it was true what they say; things really do get better with age.

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