Afternoon in Farnham

Farnham Carnival

Farnham Carnival

Farnham Carnival main stage

Farnham Carnival main stage

In The Valkyries, Paulo Coelho describes how a guide had forgotten something, went back to collect it. Paulo could not understand why they did not immediately set off. The guide explains, that when that happens we should pause and reflect, the delay may have been for a reason.

I experienced that today. Morning it had been cool, I thought better take a warm jacket, as it is only going to turn cooler later. When I left the house it was very warm. I returned to the house and swapped for a light jacket. As I walked to the bus stop, the bus passed me by. But I saw St Mark’s, which is rarely open, was open. I popped in, and as a result missed the next bus, and the next, and thought I had missed the bus after that.

No sign of the bus, wait for the next one. It was running late. Sitting on the wall, waiting for the bus, the girl sat next to me on the wall said: I see you have The Alchemist, a very good writer, I have many of his books. I explained I had read The Alchemist, and was leaving it in a church for a lady who I had met a couple of weeks ago, and also showed her The Vicar of Baghdad. On the bus I told her of two other books she may not know of, Manuscript Found in Accra and Aleph. She said she was not aware of these two books, I said I was not surprised as the bookshop chains are pretty abysmal. She said she had experienced the same problem with the latest book by Haled Hussein, author of The Kite Runner. I said I had, but had not read. She had gone into a bookshop and they had one copy of And the Mountains Echoed. As I was leaving the bus I suggested she did a search on Paulo Coelho Athens.

On arrival in Farnham, I realised it was the day of the Farnham Carnival, their annual carnival, last Saturday in June. I had forgotten all about it.

I walked through Gostrey Meadow by the River Wey. I was surprised to find that was where the carnival was being held, as on my one and only visit to the carnival, it was held in Castle Street. The park was packed with people, I could hardly move.

I walked through the park as I had two books to drop off at St Andrew’s. To my surprise, Downing Street too, was busy.

Two books left in Farnham Parish Church: The Alchemist and The Vicar of Baghdad. These for a lady I met a couple of weeks ago who was preparing lunch for the next day. I also left a DVD of a talk by Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church.

Candle lit, prayer card writ.

The Borough was busy too. I looked in Castle Street, but no carnival, it had relocated to Gostrey Meadows, but with so many people on the streets, I thought maybe they were moving between the two locations.

I returned back to the park. Had a burger, which was not good, and at five pounds, poor value for money. Wandering around, a lot of tacky stalls, the music was not very good either. The sound system awful, overloading and very high distortion levels.

Just across the River Wey, a house with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in full swing.

Then time for the Carnival Parade. It was supposed to be 6-7 but I do not think it started until nearly seven. It was led by a couple of lovely old cars. It was a disappointment compared with a couple of years ago, and a very big disappointment compared with the Grand Parade that ends the Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz.

In Puerto de la Cruz, they used to have big flatbed lorries, now trailers pulled by tractor units, sound systems blasting out, dancing in the street. In Farnham trailers pulled by 4x4s.

Back into the park.

I talked to one of the organisers about the use by one of the food stalls of polystyrene containers for their food. This is totally unacceptable, they should be using recyclable, biodegradable containers. He was bloody rude, did not want to know. Said they were commercial suppliers, which summed up all the food stalls, and the bar but that was no excuse. As organisers, they should set standards. What was of concern, the banks of the river was littered with this rubbish, at least if biodegradable, will rot down.

The bar was serving Carlsberg and similar rubbish. It was a mobile bar company, which no doubt does similar events. Tacky ice crams vans

Very poor compared with Staycation in Godalming. If Staycation can have good music, good food, local suppliers, then I see no reason why Farnham Carnival cannot. The big difference seems to be Godalming takes a pride in what they are doing and it is a Town Council event, whereas Farnham it is the Lions who run it, hence the commercialisation (same happens at the Donkey Derby in Farnborough).

I stayed for an hour or so, then left. Not sure if I had missed the last bus, and so caught the train.

A very warm evening. The first warm evening this year.

Nearly half an hour to wait for a bus in Aldershot. I wandered into Aldershot. The town centre dead apart from drunken scum wandering around and hanging outside bars. The sick joke is the local council is promoting Aldershot as a night time attraction. You got to be joking!

Top Story in Digital Mission Daily (Monday 1 July 2013).

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