and so for the third time, look you see, the boys went off to the annual occurrence that is Stokesley Fair. it comes around just as what remnants of summer we had linger long enough to turn into autumn, allowing you to spend some time in the light whilst being aware that the darkness now shall come sooner of a night. or something like that.
the day before the fair commenced was, as famously reported, the hottest September day since, well, in about 100 years or so i think they settled on. this was something that had many worried, for the annual fair simply wouldn't be the fair if the weather was decent.
sure enough, of course, what the experts say was two or so weeks of rain fell during the day of the day of the fair starting, so it was all wet and damp and chilly as normal. still, it did not stop the fun.
that is indeed an absolutely massive fun house sort of thing; the fairground or fair in its own right attraction that the boys have a particular preference for. it was £2.50 a go on opening night, which is a very reasonable price. i shudder to think what the entry fee was or is on the weekender openings.
i am not at all sure that either William or James are visible in the above picture. my (considerably) better half is, though. i won't say where, lest you want to play some sort of Where's Wally or Where's Waldo (if i remember) should you be American game with finding her.
a particular favourite of William's is, as the above picture perfectly illustrates, the hamster wheel that one normally gets to have a go on towards the end of a sojourn around a fun house. i think hamster wheel is the right word. it could be the wheel of death, the wheel of doom, or perhaps even just the spinning wheel.
William could spend hours on this spinning wheel of proper name yet to be determined. he did indeed try to do exactly this, and needed some quite severe coaxing to get off it. James isn't quite so taken with it. he will have a couple of goes at trying to wedge himself in order to go round and round, and when that fails it is easy to lure him away with the enticement of food.
that, my friends, is a £3 hot dog he is eating. the stall sold £2 hot dogs and £3 "jumbo" hot dogs, and i foolishly just asked for a hot dog, resulting in me being billed the maximum. interestingly enough, all evidence suggests that the standard hot dog for £2 is identical. also, a little further down the fair, i bought an identical hot dog for £1.50. it pays to be specific and shop around, then. let me say no more lest some sort of curse or spell befall me.
some video? sure, here's a look at the fun house, in which you can see one of them spinning wheel things. i would be confident that the boys, or one of them, are in fact visible somewhere in this clip, but i cannot recall specifically where.
looking at this picture of the exact same fun house, or if you will house of fun, they might well be at the top.
just how many of these fun house sort of things did they have on at the fair? at least three, but it could well be that there were four and the boys only went on three of them. i guess they are in fashion at the moment, or at least quite popular. they are pretty smart, i suppose, and at (on the night we went) £2.50 a go for two trips around it, they do represent a most splendid level of value.
in case you are scrolling through this with a sense of dread, fear not. no, i don't appear in any of the pictures. my hair was what i considered to be unacceptable for public display, and so i shunned the option of being in any selfies.
with that safety, then, onto what i would suggest is the perennial favourite of the boys, so long as my understanding of what that word means is correct.
yes, an absolutely massive inflatable slide. the concept of this is genius simplicity to the max - combine the magic of a bouncy castle with the joy of a slide and, et voila, a totes win thing for the kids. and yes, sure, i wish there was a variant of this that allowed for adults of my size to have a go.
any particular ultra scary looking rides on offer for members of the public to have a go on? why, yes, quite. have a look at this one at the back, behind the mist of the evening.
i have absolutely no idea what that massive thing stood erect in the background is called, or what it would cost one to have a go. there is an exceptional level of likelihood that i shall not find out of my own free research, for it's not likely that i would wish to engage the proprietor of it in any sort of business transaction that would see me go on it.
what does that ride do? well, from what i could ascertain, people "sit" on either end of the long shaft. some time is spent being suspended erect as you can see, with a half rotation allowing the people at either end to have a go. then it spins, around and around in case you missed the idea of what a spin is, rather fast. whilst i didn't go any closer to it to confirm this as being the case, i would have every reason to suspect that some people are taken rather ill after riding on it, or quite possibly during the ride.
no doubt one day the boys shall find this sort of ride simply marvellous, and will be offering coins of money for many goes. in the mean time, though, more simpler pleasures; ones that have a greater feeling of safety and less of a sense of risk.
indeed that is young William slowly hurtling down the helter skelter. his love of this is such that he does not refer to Stokesley Fair as that name as such, but rather as that thing where he can once a year take a ride on the helter skelter.
some video footage of William completing one of just one south of a neat half a dozen does on the helter skelter? why, surely.
if there's one thing that modern music unequivocally does not do, since we are on the subject of a helter skelter, it is the passing on of folklore, legend, myth and truth to another audience. this lack comes to mind whenever i hear the term, phrase or name helter skelter.
back in 1988 (i think), U2 unleashed Rattle & Hum, a collection of live recordings from a recent tour with new songs that they apparently couldn't be bothered to cultivate into an album proper. of the former, a cover of Helter Skelter opened the album. the cover commences with Bono informing the audience "this is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles - we're stealing it back". this would be to an audience who would, in parts, have little or know knowledge of that specific Beatles song, or Charles Manson for that matter. it was a time before all known knowledge was available across an "internet", after all.
throwaway lines like that used to send certain quarters of an audience off on a voyage of research, investigation and knowledge. i know for one i went off and found out about all sorts of stuff referenced by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, too. these days music seems to be more concerned about sampling an "artist" that had sampled someone else, or otherwise pushing the notion that Mr Kim Kardashian is in fact an actual, proper musician, or otherwise has some talent outside of simply being bald and looking stupid that justifies the (impressive) amount of money he generates.
but, anyway, i digress somewhat, or i did. another look at that class massive inflatable slide.
we spent a good couple of, or if you like two, hours at the fair, and spent not an inconsiderable sum of coins of money on the various attractions and food stalls. £3 a go on "hook a duck" to win a number of bits of plastic shaped as weapons is always a win, in particular when they are items that make a most annoying noise when deployed. and deployed is what the boys do with them.
another look at that super mega fun house to finish off? certainly.
and that would be the fair done and, i suspect, dusted for another year. right now, as i write this, i would imagine the fairground attraction custodians are busy disassembling the various rides and stalls, packing them up for transportation as the roam the nation to host them at other events around the land. best of luck to them. they get to see more of our country than most of us, and spend their days keeping people entertained, fed and thrilled. few of us can make such similar claims.
oh yes i still have a number of unpublished images from our travels to and from London. perhaps they will be the next post, or maybe something else will on a whim take my fancy. until then, then........
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!