Eleanor is a little monkey. She was going to go with Baz, Holly and Holly's Mum to Hull Fair on Monday but today, after Brownies, I got a phonecall from Eleanor saying could she go tonight and would I get £20 to pay for the rides, heavily implying but not actually stating that it would be instead of Monday's trip. As I set off for the cash point you could hear Eleanor and Holly's whoops of delight as they were coming down the street. On my return from the cashpoint (in quite a good frame of mind having just purchased some reduced asparagus spears at Tesco for 30p)and found Eleanor, Holly, Amy (Holly's highly responsible 18 year old sister) and her friend waiting. Eleanor pocketed the £20, said `We'll bring you back some cinder toffee' and they were off and I could hear Eleanor saying 'Great, we're going on Monday, too'.
You didn't need reminding it was Hull Fair tonight. As we were coming back from Brownies we could see the huge search lights sweeping around the night sky, and you could hear the sound of the fair which carries through the crisp night's air, a mixture of music, the hum of motors and shouting and sometimes you think you can actually hear individual voices. On my back door step you can smell the hotdogs.
This is a fair which has gone on for centuries and was orginally a cattle fair. As you can see from the pic, there are lots of high tech rides (with all their light give the fair all the glitzy, if tacky glamour of the Blackpool illuminations, but in a three dimensional night city form)but you also get the Romany fortune tellers in their caravans, the candy floss and the horse chestnuts, warm from black stoves. It is sensation city. It has survived so long in an area where the much of the work on offer for so long was hard and manual and offers an escape from all of that. If you want to get historical you can say it is reminiscent of the medieval fairs, which punctuated the argricultural drudgery. Or poetic, a city of music and lights which illuminates the night sky. Everyone goes, and some people blow up to £200 a night.
If we go Mark refuses to go on any of the rides as he is an engineer, and spends all his time worriedly eyeing the cogs spinning. When the kids were little they liked 'Hook a duck' as they genuinely thought there was skill involved and carried off their garish cuddly toys like trophies, and that habit has persisted. Jack and I went on a ride similar to the third pic last time. As the ride reached it's stride you felt like you were going to be flung out into the crowd and I came off with my legs shaking.
Eleanor has just come back from the fair with a yellow bear from 'Hook-a-Duck' which she has called Buttercup and has been on one of those rides where you are strapped in standing position in a rotating circle and throw into the night sky. They don't make them soft in Hull.