So August has come and gone and with it my first year of blogging. At 3750 odd views in that year, I’m not much of a player in the blogosphere but that’s about 3700 more views than I would have expected so I am well pleased.
A year ago, I kicked things off by posting about my local street party, the Notting Hill Carnival and we have just seen this years event pass without major incident. August in London was a strange month, starting with riots on the streets and ending with Europe’s largest street event. Numbers at Carnival were certainly down this year, probably due to the combination of a dull weekend and the nagging suspicion that something unpleasant may just happen. With the exception of one serious assault and a lower than usual number of arrests for minor offences, all went well and the changes in timing, brought about by the earlier disturbances, meant that peace (and quiet) settled over the area fairly soon after the sun went down.
For anyone who missed the Notting Hill Carnival, for whatever reason, but still like a parade, then consider going to the final evening of the Thames Festival. Less crowded than Notting Hill and taking place after dark it has a completely different, but no less enjoyable, atmosphere. As an added bonus, the Festival ends with a fantastic firework display, over the river, between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges.
The Night Carnival and firework display are just the culmination of a whole weekend of events taking place between Westminster in the west and The St Katharine Docks in the east. Look out especially for the Feast on the Bridge on Saturday. Southwark Bridge will be closed to traffic and transformed into a large, al fresco, dining area. Plenty of good food and entertainment and a lot of fun…………..even for kids as old as me!
The Festival Market runs for the whole of the weekend and whilst you are there seek out Amelia Parker, whose stall will be in front of the Royal Festival Hall. Her clay pipe jewellery is not only beautiful and unique but are probably the only truly Thames related items that you will find in the entire market. OK, this is a blatant plug for a friend, but do take a look, I'm confident that you will be impressed!
Finally, if you missed both the Notting Hill Carnival and the Thames Festival, there is the chance to see a different kind of parade and another firework display on Saturday 12th November. With nearly 800 years of history behind it, the annual Lord Mayors Show is a visual, though usually somewhat chilly, treat.