and, indeed, crikey, as those of a more Australian nature, or indeed mood, might well say. i seem to have uploaded a large amount of pictures here; wish me luck in finding stuff to write. or, if you are wise i suppose, get ready to just skip the writing and enjoy the pictures. and, look you see, video.
today it was off with us, no matter what the weather thought, to Stokesley Fair. or Fayre, if you like the rather more fancy and quite possibly proper spelling of such things. it's an annual event, or if you like happening, that i recall fondly from my youth, and indeed something that my (considerably) better half enjoyed somewhat when she went for the first time, which was as recently as 2001.
this was the first trip to this Fair (let's just stick with that spelling) for the boys, and they were very, very excited about it, especially after their friends at school had told them all about it.
yes, that's right, we took the bus. i thought it would be somewhat easier. to this extent i was partially correct to think this, as we shall see. the correctness was related, mostly, to the parking availability - and distinct lack thereof - at Stokesley. with the day today being Show day as well as Fair, it was, shall we say, busy.
no, we didn't go to the Show. sorry for that. would have been nice, but we got going a bit too late, and it was really wet. we would for the most part have been admiring mud on our foot attire.
onwards to the Fair then, and many, many rides at prices that were not as scary or as high as i had feared. not cheap, certainly, but not as super ludicrous high as i had feared. which was most handy, as William really, really like the roundabout things. in particular the ones with motorbikes to sit on.
quite smart it was, as you can hopefully see above. or, if you prefer or are just of a mind to do so, watch below. yes, indeed i did do some video too.
one of the most excellent parts of a Fair is, of course, food. this is always assured to be partially cooked, as near as damn it as being good for human consumption and at some stage warmed. but it is always, always guaranteed to taste really, really good.
for those who don't know, Stokesley Fair sees the whole of the high street - something optimistically billed as the "town centre" on signs - closed off to traffic so all sorts of rides and attractions can be set up and enjoyed by the members of the general public. the general public who pay to have a go, of course.
some of them, even in the midst of the unseasonally cold and wet weather we enjoyed today, look most impressive. no, no i did not go on this big massive ride. a bit too big and a bit too old, i suspect i am, for such things anymore.
yes, the weather really was as spectacular as it looks.
the boys were not, as it happens, too interest in those mega rides either. give it a couple of years, i would have thought, and they will be off with their mates on such things. i think in a couple of years they will believe it to be totally "not cool" to be going to the Fair with their parents. as hip and "down with the kids" as we try to be.
the "hook a duck" thing was, of course, the sort of thing that they always like.
yes, they managed to hook some ducks. by a quirk of fate, they both managed to hook ducks that offered the lowest level of prizes in return. fancy. doesn't matter, really, they had fun getting them, and quite like the most assuredly not fire risk stuffed animal toys they got. not everyone, after all, can have the same luck at doing a hook on a duck as a certain French (rhymes with luck and duck).
other than winning prizes and roundabout things, certain other attractions caught their eyes. this was wonderful, as it assisted me greatly by lightening the load, indeed burden, of a full wallet.
one such thing was one of them "bucking bronco" type things. at least i think that's the right name.
did i take a video of the bull thing to show off how smart it was? why, of course i did. i really hope the sound comes out smart, it's an extra special bonus treat for all fans of The Blues Brothers.
it did get a little bit faster than the video shows, but not too much. ideal for the kids, then.
which, in fairness, the overwhelming majority of the rides on offer were, really. my memory was of it all being rather more for teenagers and the young adult sort of thrill-seekers, with a small section stuck aside for the kids. it seems, though, more family and child orientated now, perhaps clocking that kids are more profitable and less prone to punch ups.
moving on, then, and on to one of two - possibly three, actually - fun house things the boys went into. this one proved to be the most popular with them, as they seem to have decided that them "hamster wheel" things are the absolute best thing ever....
no, i did not take a video of that. it would surely have made me, and as a consequence you, rather dizzy, i believe. i will leave filming such things to Kubrick.
i did, however, manage to get a picture of my (considerably) better half stood outside this particular funhouse sort of thing, stood as you can see soaking up the amazing weather.
but anyway, back to the roundabouts, or "merry go round" things, if that's the name for them that you prefer. depends on where you are in relation to the equator, i suppose. William found one that he was very, very excited about going on, and far be it from us to have said no to him.
oh, yes. that is indeed an ace Batman car, or if you will Batmobile, that he found. boss, that is. as in, yeah, i was rather tempted to have a go on that one myself.
good enough to make a video of? of course it was, and indeed you should be able to spot James riding around on this too. or, if you are in a pedantic frame of mind, one that James sat on as the ride went around. but do try not to overthink these things, people, just enjoy.
blimey, i have uploaded loads and loads of pictures and videos here. oh well, it's been a while since i have done a proper family update, i suppose - mostly it's been nonsense on stuff i have bought, i guess. nice, i am sure it is, for those of you fed up of such posts to be watching other people rid me of my funds.
if you somehow failed to spot James in the above video, dear family and friends, here you go.
yes, that's right, he was on the Spiderman bike.
slides are, as i am sure you will agree, always excellent. the higher the better, and indeed the more they twist and turn the more ace they are. these elements are, of course, personified in that Beatles song that U2 did a cover of, the helter skelter. and yes, indeed i am aware of how a few Oasis releases came out on a label of the same name.
a fantastic five times he went up and down that. strangely, and perhaps somewhat at odds with the convention of the concept, he seemed to go up it faster than he came down. the truth of gravity, as some of you will be aware, is that when something falls to earth, the earth moves to meet it. i am assuming that is what happened here.
i know most of you would prefer not to see me on here, but here i am. look at who we bumped into. yes, Auntie. no, yes, that Auntie, the one with whom i share books.
so, anyway, back to rides. and quite a ride, as it were. how about a rocket? no, not the "let's make one" rubbish Branson has peddled to the rich and shameless of the world, but an actual one that exists.
quite smart, that, although i did not think to film it earlier on when it was in full motion, so to speak.
i didn't go on it myself, but the 75% of my family that you all actually like did, at my expense of course, which should make you all the more delighted. i really do feel solidarity with Al Bundy sometimes.
anyway, here are the astronauts, as it were, disembarking. no, the pram was nothing to do with us.
a big feature of Stokesley Fair, and a main point of attraction for quite a few, is the presence of fortune tellers.
it would be very easy, dear reader, to post some sort of mocking, perhaps scornful, sort of joke comment here. alas no, not from me. you go right ahead and make your own up. for me it's kind of live and let live, man, believe what you want to believe, if it gets you through life.
at one point someone did decide that they were all of a sudden a fortune teller and had a go at mine. i will have two great loves, live to my 80s, and die in a foreign land. any of that true? i do not know yet. will try and mention as and when i do, i suppose.
anyway, back to the rides and, indeed, back to roundabouts. except this one was not a roundabout as such. although it did go around. it was a sort of a track thing. a big, massive Scalextric track, if you like, or whatever the name is for it. like the one Colin Grigson got for Den Dennis for Christmas the one year.
with some considerable good fortune and favour, we actually got some considerable money value off of this ride.
how is it we extracted value? well, some fella decided to try and fix the electrics and that on it whilst it was going round, and gestured to the chap that he should not stop the ride whilst he was under the ride fiddling with the electrics.
yes, actually. yes we did indeed have some slight concerns about some fella messing with the electrics on the ride whilst the boys were on it, in particular as it was wet and was indeed raining. water and electricity, to my understanding, are not the best of friends.
but then again there was no way to stop it, we were reasonably sure the chap fiddling with the electrics knew what he was doing, or at the least did not seem of a mind to fry himself, so we just stood back and watched as they enjoyed going around and around for a fair whack of time. nice one.
there was, you will be pleased to hear, a ghost train on offer at the Fair. the boys, alas, had no wish to go on it, so we didn't. but i did, for the pleasure of my (considerably) better half, take a picture of the class Dracula statue thing they had on it.
a most smart one, hopefully you will agree. aided in appearance, i would like to think, by the purple haze shading my blueberry case now, for the most part, brings to the images i take.
slides? slide. a mega, inflatable slide, no less. behold.
there was nothing at all wrong with the slides available when i were but a lad, but i do not recall any of them as being as awesome or as mega as this one. a real beauty, it is. looks boss, it does, being able to jump in a sort of "freefall" thing off of the top and land in almost relative safety.
another video to show off just how smart that slide is? i am sure that's a good idea, since i seem to have taken two videos of it, here you go.
and then, that was about it, really. a walk back with a somewhat substantially lighter, but not entirely empty, wallet, but lots of happy faces and fun experiences. can't beat that.
off we went, then, for what should have worked out as a reasonably short and pleasant wait for the bus back home.
except it wasn't a short wait. the bus we, and a dozen or so other people, were waiting for, decided not to come along. someone who had been informed to get off of the bus we were waiting for advised us that the bus driver had taken a wrong turn, and would not be coming our way. oh. that's nice.
trying not to moan and whine here. and yeah, the bus was a better idea than the car. it would have been even better, of course, if the bus company had stuck to the route and timetable it made available. hey ho.
you would have thought, what with Stokesley Show and Fair being rather popular, that they might have put more buses on, not actually and technically lessen the amount running. but hey, what do i know about running a business. for all i know, bus companies make more money by having less passengers. it does not make any sense at all to me, that, and probably does not to you either, but then again we don't own bus companies. or maybe you, dear reader, do actually own one and are for some reason on here looking for tips. none to give, alas.
and that would be that. i am, as you might guess, knackered. we all are. i think i shall presently retire for the evening, and no doubt dream of handing over coins for rides.
hope you all had a most splendid weekend!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!