A fairground, two circuses (one Russian, one Chinese) Diwali celebrations, (a little) sun, giant rain puddles, lots of snow, and a Head. These are a few of the things that have appeared on Ealing Common over the last year (and a bit). You have to flip the picture on it’s side to see the head, but it’s definitely there..
And then there were the skies. Striking skies that have looked like smudged ink one night and the next morning, all slashed and bruisied. A self-harming sky..
The fairground’s arrival always provokes mixed emotions in me. At once both vulgar and quaint. Fairground art is a dying one but I find it gaudily fascinating. And is there anywhere else in the world where you can still win fags as a prize? We all know we’re being ripped off when we try to chuck hoops over a wooden block but you always think there’s a chance. And hey, my boy actually did it this year! The box of chocs would have been cheaper to buy at the shop by the time he’d had three lots of hoops, but they tasted a little sweeter, as we wandered around, for having been won. The stall holder looked unpleasantly surprised as she handed them over. How did that happen? I’m glad he didn’t win fags..
When the circus rolled into town, I felt an intitial resentment at having part of the common land fenced off and an admittance fee charged to gain entry to where yesterday I roamed free. But I eventually embraced the new colours and shapes it threw out. Whilst I didn’t visit the circus this year, (I have been to one here in the past and it was a bit baragain basement to be honest) the muffled joy of kid’s cheers emanating from the tent was quite heart-warming.
One abiding image was on the way back from the fair, when we passed two young chavvy girls. One was holding an unfeasibly large, synthetically fibrous, potential fire hazard, of a thing. A cuddly toy animal. It was huge, and we gave them a smile, looking from the toy to the girls and back. What was it, Quint, in Jaws said? …lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes..
And I don’t mean the toy.
Happ New Year from The Common People..