Monday, 27 August 2012

Notting Hill Carnival kiddie style

Gone are the days when we used to turn up to carnival at 4pm, down a few (several) Red Stripes, eat a quick curry goat, rice and peas, and then dance in front of the sound systems until they finished. And then hunted for the after party. And then partied some more as the following day is a Bank Holiday Monday. Yes, those days are gone.

Yesterday we enjoyed carnival with kids, age 4 and 6, and it was wonderful. Only a few hankerings for the old days but mainly we were ready to leave by mid afternoon, just as the crowds were getting intense and the police presence fierce. No, yesterday we saw a different side to carnival, we saw early morning in the sunshine and it made me proud once again to have London as our capital city.

We walked from Notting Hill gate tube through the beautiful streets watching the stalls set up for the day, we breathed in the pending excitement and coals for the jerk chicken. We bought whistles and considered horns.  And we waited for the floats with hundreds of young people following shaking their booty in a mesmeric and magnificent way. We hunted out our favourite sound systems and watched Norman J spin some early tunes, to a crowd like us. Thirty something, white, with kids, all remembering their party days on this street corner as if it were last week. Our excitement was infectious, little P stopping to dance jerkily at any drum n bass system, A fascinated by the people around her, drinking it all in, keeping quiet and internalising it all, as she does.

We reluctantly dragged ourselves away from the street party, just quicky stopping to drink a Supermalt and listen to some pumping Ragga.

"I love this music," said A "I can feel it in my chest!"

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