Ok… So you know how most people’s favourite holiday is Christmas or halloween? (I single out these two because I have yet to meet someone whose favorite holiday is Easter and us Irish folk don’t celebrate Thanksgiving) Well we throw another festival into the mix. August weekend. Or as it’s more commonly known as here REGATTA weekend. The funfair comes to town, people start drinking at ridiculous hours, there are usually races on good days (and bad ones too mind) and there is a generally a feeling of community around the town. This has been going on for as long as I can remember.
This is going to sound disgusting but one overcast day in May I was walking to an exam and there was a smell of cigarette smoke mingled with heat and I loved it. The smell brought countless memories back to me. Walking through the crowds with my Dad; hitting my head in the bumper cars so hard that I went crying to my mom; going on the rides with some of my best friends; winning teddy bears. And of course the after events: coming home to watch a movie after a marathon weekend or hitting the club. (Can anyone tell that I’m a bit of a movie geek? Even as I’m typing this I’m waiting for my sister so that we can go watch Batman.)
So here’s a run down of the rides:
- High Energy starts of really calmly, swaying from side to side as the floor opens up below you and then the swinging gets more intense and the spinning more ferocious until finally you are basically upside down in the sky. It’s in the shape of a claw with 4 seats in the arms
- Waltzer is a three cups on a floor that spins and shakes, while the cups spin and their are guys there spinning the cups.
- And the Bumper Cars are basically what they say: cars which are meant to bump into each other.
There are more rides, but I don’t think I could eloquently describe them.
And here’s how the weekend went:
I was playing a video game when people started texting me and though I wasn’t really in the mood for lots of people and loud noises, I did have the sort of week that called for a weekend of friends. So after texting a friend that I’d changed my mind and a half hour later I was dressed as casually as I could be sitting in a pub drinking a cocktail by the name of Skittle Bomber (it was some alcohol with skittles thrown into it). My friend and I took a turn in the cars.
But Sunday was THE night. The pub had a Hawaiin night and as soon as I walked in the door i was going a Lai (which was later ripped off my neck by someone who shall remain nameless, Graham.) We saw two bands – well a singer and a band. Pat Fitz started off with real floor fillers like Living on a prayer, Hey Soul Sister, and after a minor power cut (which I silently freaked out during) Clockworks started. After a few new songs they began playing the same sort of music as Fitz. And, of course, as with any festival, we hit the night club and didn’t make it home until about 3am. It was such a good night, catching up with old friends.
As with any morning after the night club, there was a lot of silences and falling heads. There were competitions, many of which involved people trying hard to stay on an oiled down pole which was hanging off a boat in the water: one involved a flag and one involved pillow-fights.
I would have loved to have gone out Friday night though. My friend’s band was playing and, though I’ve known him for years now, I have never heard his band play
If there is one tradition that I will never give up, this is it. People actually go out of their way to come here.