Friday, 27 August 2010
Yes, it's August bank holiday weekend and that means CARNIVAL! I'm a serial carnival goer, I missed it last year for the first time in years because I went on holiday. But I'm up for it again this year, despite the fact it gets more crowded every year and as I get older the crowd gets inevitably younger. But no matter. I love the fact that the streets get packed with people revelling through the long weekend; music pumps out of almost every house and shop and little stalls of homecooked food pop up everywhere. (Ackee and saltfish, I am really looking forward to getting my chops around you.)
You have to approach it tactically as it gets so rammed. The loo situation doesn't even warrant mentioning. But we have a tradition now which is quite laid back: meet at Warwick Avenue tube station EARLY to avoid the crowds, wander along the canal towards the corner of West and Southern row, where Norman Jay's Good Times sound system is, hang around there listening to the more chilled out early sounds then quickly depart when the heaving crowds of straw hat wearing party kids arrive. Lurk around a couple more sound systems then depart back along the canal, perhaps stopping at another food stall on the way.
I hope it's not raining. But then again, it's sometimes quite nice if it is. I have really good memories of this playing one year as the heavens opened and dancing through it. Ooh, wave of excitement, I must remember to take my whistle.