The last weekend in August must be kept clear in many of our diaries for just one thing – the Notting Hill carnival. Europe’s biggest street festival (well Rio is bigger) comes to town and brings in over a million party goers to my neighbourhood. There’s a huge parade winding its way through a 3 and half mile route which takes hours as they dance their hearts out. There are loads of trucks with deafening music systems or steel pan bands followed by dancers, many in huge and elaborate costumes, others in very little! The parade is only part of the fun as the other streets are full of food stall, clothes and Caribbean stuff, and the loudest of loud sound stages with a whole range of musical styles but all with massive speakers. Caribbean food has to be eaten – jerk chicken, goat curry and saltfish with ackee are the key dishes, accompanied by plantain, rice and peas. It was the 47th carnival but only my 7th! Here are a bunch of photos which give you a better idea of it all than words can.
One completely contrasting event in last week’s diary to tell you about was an evening for Historic Royal Palace members at the Banqueting House. In this amazing venue with its masterpiece of a Rubens ceiling, we were entertained by Nell Gwynn telling of her royal escapades. After a little wine we had a go at 17th century dancing and managed as a set of 8 people to go through a whole rotation of a dance – very proud! This historic place saw the beheading of Charles 1st which was a seismic moment in British history but it’s all very lovely now.
It will be a quieter week next week but still plenty to tell you about so see you soon.
Bye for now,