Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The Bank Holiday Weekend (Part One)

Current mood:  giggly

So here we go!  The start of yet more long catch-up blogs, covering our unusually busy weekend, because I know just how fascinated you all are but our lives!


As planned, we went on the coach trip to the Spalding Flower Festival's 50th anniversary celebration.  We caught the coach at 8.40am from Northfields - the place I'm still hoping to move to - although we were considered late, even though we had actually arrived early, since David had insisted on staying sat in the car for ages listening to awfully loud pop music on the radio.

We were pleased to see that the driver was Paul, the Mum and I found so funny when travelling to Ely last summer.  However, we were soon told that we were going to change drivers before we actually started the proper journey.  Paul was only driving us around West London picking up more passengers.  Most of our fellow passengers seemed to be rude and snooty old ladies this time, by the way.  We spent an entire hour driving about picking everyone up, then went to the agreed meeting place to swap drivers.  But the new driver, Ilir, was not there.  Ilir was our driver a couple of times last year, and both times he was late, so we weren't surprised.  Still, we HAD to be in Spalding by noon, when they shut all the roads around there, and Paul was waiting to go and eat a bacon sandwich (or so he told us anyway), so he was getting more and more worked up, and trying to find things to say to fill the time.  Maybe it would be better if I let you listen to our funny drivers yourself.  You can even here the snooty old ladies who were riding with us, chattering amongst themselves the entire time... 

Listen on for random coach chatter!



As you can hear, Ilir did eventually arrive, and so we were on our way!  We actually didn't have a chance to stop, and had to dash all the way there, which meant I almost passed out on the hot coach, still wearing my coat, since I am not prepared to take it off until I have something better to wear than these baggy t-shirts. We arrived in Spalding at 11.58am...honestly.  Phew!  We really almost missed that one.  As it was, there were huge traffic jams, and we kept making random de-tours to avoid little snatches of the queues.  This meant we drove down some of the little village lanes there, and I saw that a lot of the households had set up tables of stuff to sell during the festival outside their homes.  Of course, we dashed straight past, which annoyed me somewhat, since there were a couple of stalls packed with girls toys...  I just wonder if I missed any ponies.  Mum and I saw some fakies from the coach, but nothing else...
Having finally parked by about 12.20pm, Ilir actually gave us an option for when we should go home: either 4.45pm or 6.20pm.  Hooray!  With so much to do at the festival, this would be much better than Reynolds Diplomat, bringing us home from Bruges at 3pm!

Yeah, right.

The snooty women (who had busily been covering themselves in a perfume that kind of smelled like urine, and making Mum and I feel sick), all shouted out loudly, "4.45!!!  We want to get home early!!!" WTH?  WHY, for crying out loud?!  Of course, Ilir had to obey, since there were so many more votes for the earlier time.  He kind of smiled sympathetically at Mum and I as we got off the coach, knowing we had wanted to go back at the later time...only to have David (who hadn't called out ANY time at all!) climb out of the coach last and have a go at the poor driver for not respecting people's feelings.  I felt a bit sorry for him.  I think that was quite un-necessary of David really.

Since we would be leaving before the parade (the main part of the event) returned, we would have to watch it pass the first time at 2pm, meaning we didn't have a chance to walk around beforehand.  David then felt it necessary to snap at someone else - a very friendly old couple who were standing next to us, whom he claimed were standing in my way.  Of course, they felt embarassed, and kept asking me if I could see (and embarassing me!) throughout the entire parade...so that somewhat messed it up for me.  I still took a LOAD of photos of the flower parade though, so here are a few of my better shots (Yes, believe me, there were some that even worse!).

May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration

Yes, that is Sweet Stuff watching in the last one.  She accompanied us for photo opportunities, but with that nosy couple standing next to us, this was the only very fuzzy picture I got...and it doesn't even include any flowers!  By the way, to those it may interest, Sweet Stuff came into our care when Bonnie very kindly sent me her childhood ponies.  Well, actually, Sweet Stuff belonged to Bonnie's sister originally.  Anyhow, that was just a random note.
So, once the parade was over, we had a little wander at the small craft fair by the side of the road, then tried desperately to run to the stalls I had seen earlier.  But we were out of time, and had to dash back to the coach park just as quickly.   Oh well...
Ilir was late back anyway (surprise, surprise!), so we could have made it.  AGH!  No point crying over spilt milk though - at least I got the chance to take a photo on a nearby hillock from which people had been watching the parade...

May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
So Sweet Stuff did get to pose with some flowers after all!  And she even did a special photo shoot from the coach (with all of the snooty old ladies looking at her and me like I was mad!), looking back at said hillock...

May 6th 2008 ~ Spalding Flower Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration
Yeah ~ it does kind of look like she's thinking of eating that man, doesn't it?!
Then for another long, hot journey home, even more unbearable because of the early time of day.  Goodness, the sun was beating down this weekend!  Again, Ilir asked us if we would like to stop at a service station... "No, we're fine, thank you!" the loud, snooty women shouted over the rest of us.  "Nooooo, I need air!"  Someone cried at the back.  "If we can't stop, can we have the air conditioning on?"  But, like us, they were too near the back of the coach to be heard.  All we could hear were the snooty women, asking for the air conditioning to be turned OFF!  Why, for goodness sake?  Well, I survived to tell the tale at least,...just.  I saw a strange animal in a field on the way back, that looked like a rather large ferret...I still don't know what it was.
We arrived back in Northfields just as it was getting dark.  We were really starving, since David had forgotten to get us anything for a packed lunch at Tesco on Friday night when he had come in too late for us to go ourselves.   So Mum asked for chips from the chip shop by the coach drop-off point.  I was really miserable by this time, following being SO hot, and having yet another row with my parents on the coach, and was kind of staggering from being so tired.

There was a young man (a cheerful, Northfields young man but - you know me - I was still wary of him, just because he was male! ) in the chip shop at the same time as David.  It probably didn't help that he was staggering around and joking with a woman in the same shop, saying "I am so drunk!" loudly, again and again.  I don't think he WAS drunk though...he was just joking, as I say.  Anyhow, he came out of the shop, and I dodged away from him, in my usual startled deer in the headlights way.  Of course, unlike Perivale, where he probably would have spat at me, and laughed, he turned back to me, maybe concerned, and must have seen how miserable I looked. Now here comes the bet bit...

he says to me.  I cringed, and cowered against the chip shop window.  "A beautiful girl of your young age shouldn't look so miserable!"  Everything in my "Perivale insticts" was shouting, "Go away!  Don't attack me!".  In fact, I wasn't even really taking in what this man was saying.  It was Mum who recited it back to me later on. I did all I could think of to get him to go away - smiled politely.  "There," He said to me (obviously I'd done the right thing then!), "You have such a pretty smile.  Just keep smiling and your world will be blessed.  I'll see you around!" And so he walked off.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and realised this was the kind of thing that happens in Northfields on a day-to-day basis.  Just friendly, nice people being...well, friendly and nice.   I almost thought it was one of you, in disguise...it must have been a good disguise though, since I have no English men on my friends list whatsoever.

It's telling that he thought I was so miserable though.  Whatever must people think of me? I need to get out of here and start living honestly.  Then I CAN smile, and be happy.

Oh well, enough of that.  It's late, so I'll have to continue with our Bank Holiday weekend story tomorrow.  Right now, I'll leave you with some jolly pictures of Sweet Stuff, er, "sharing" my chips...

May 6th 2008 - Sweet Stuff Eating Chips

"Hmm...Yummy!  I think I'll have another of these..."

Image deleted by Tinypic before I had the sense to re-upload all my photos to my Photobucket album and update all the links.  I apologise for any inconvenience caused!

"Huh?!  Where did they all go?!"

May 6th 2008 - Sweet Stuff Eating Chips

"It wasn't me, Desiree!  Honest!"
Image deleted by Tinypic before I had the sense to re-upload all my photos to my Photobucket album and update all the links.  I apologise for any inconvenience caused!
"Well, not all of them anyway...I'm sure...  Er, I think.  I think I'll go hide someplace, before Desiree figures out where some of those chips just might have gone..."
And so, with that, I'll leave you all to get on with your own lives!  Please check back tomorrow for more of our weekend story...  And, in the meantime, beware of greedy little blue ponies!

Desiree Skylark  xxx

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