Well it was a bit of a wet one. Eastonians were vying with each other as to who could remember the last time that it rained continuously during the Fete – was it the 1980s or the 1960s? For some the sun had shined almost continuously during their time in the village and perhaps that is why the Fete programme cover (rather optimistically) is a cartoon sun in expansive smile…
But we are not ones to be discouraged by a few rain drops….Conscious of our male forbears in the trenches of the Somme and (as was firmly pointed out to me) their female counterparts doing all the work in the fields, there was little that dampened the spirits as villagers and visitors alike put on their sailing sou’westers and strode out to throw balls at coconuts and do the other slightly barmy things that we all do at fetes. In any event for any mum who had spent the morning guiding her young ones on exactly what Rover was going to wear for the novelty dog show – not going and watching the TV all afternoon in front of a log fire was not an option!
Games at fetes seemed designed to look easier than they actually are. Whether it is throwing logs between the rungs of a ladder or hurling wellies as one might a shot put – there is many an athlete who has come unstuck at the first attempt. Wellies just seem to be designed to go up rather than along when you chuck them – resulting in a lot of mirth for those who are manning the stand.
Then there was the amazing White Elephant stand (no I don’t mean Kim’s stand showing the plan for the re-development of central Winchester) – but rather the stand at which it seems all the puzzles and jigsaws in Easton must have been pooled (and seem to have been purchased by one family). And the totally delicious cake and jam stand – irresistible.
The most popular of all seemed to be the teas today – undercover in the Hall and packed out with visitors and villagers alike.
But really the prize for English Fete idea of the century must go to Kamil the Camel. How totally brilliant! Select your square from a grid – pay £1 and then wait to see if Kamil the Camel will do what camels er ……do best when they are not spitting and biting and have er….processed their lunch…and dropped it in your square……!
Hilarious and the front and back of Kamil deserve some sort of medal particularly whoever it was carried the entirely genuine um……throughout Kamil’s dance across the grid.
As the representative of one of the beneficiaries of the fete – Itchen Valley Parish – thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has worked so hard to put on such a great fete in such difficult circumstances – you are all MARVELLOUS
Revd Alex Pease