Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-06-06 Entry: "Carnival"

Saturday dawned bright and sunny. Strangely so considering the long weekend was supposed to be a washout. But no, sun, sun, sun, as far as the eye could see.

My Visa processing was on hold until the embassy sent me a payment slip. The application was complete in all other regards, but without being able to pay them, we've stalled.

As it was likely my last chance to see a Carnival, we (myself and the parentals) made a lunchtime trip to the pub. Standing outside watching the parade with a beer was eminently more civilized than the alternative (standing outside watching the parade without a beer presumably).

And festive it was - starting with a coach and horses (and then horses with knights on them), followed by the usual array of school and charity floats with a variety of themes.

Two beers and a bunch of floats later, and it was all over. So, deserting the parents, I proceeded to the fete part of the entertainment - it seemed the sensible thing to do after I'd spotted at least one person I knew in the parade.

After one circuit of the fete (and a brief duck to avoid people I recognized but didn't want to meet), I found people I knew outside the beer tent (where else?!). Apparently, I'd just missed Sarah, but John, Louisa, Mark and Clare were there. So, after much catching up and a wander around (just missing the jousting, and wondering whether the majorettes could have been any less enthusiastic) I entreated them to a promise of drinks on Tuesday and went on my merry way.

Saturday evening was birthday meal for one of my many grandparents, and one of those Beefeater places actually managed to do a nice meal, although their Cajun marinated chips were pretty much just chips. The evening also gave my sunburn a chance to come into full bloom.

Yes, three hours in the sun, and I was burnt. Back of the neck and forehead were the only bits that were seriously bad - my arms looked as if they'd survive (and as I'm not stupid enough to wear shorts, my legs were fine). Doesn't bode particularly well for Dallas when I can get burnt to a crisp in three hours... is the phrase "burnt to a chip" in the US? As the colloquialism doesn't really work if crisps aren't the same thing...

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