“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.” — Elsie de Wolfe

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Waiting for the Magic to Start. . .

"What we remember from childhood we remember forever
- permanent ghosts,
stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen." - Cynthia Ozick

We went into Banbury for our shopping mid week, and soon discovered that the annual Michealmas funfair had set up right in the very centre of the town.

And even though it was a dull grey day and threatening rain, we decided to take a walk around. With camera in hand, we explored the fairground filled roads and market place that are usually home to buses, taxis and shoppers.

It seemed so strange to see the funfair like that. . . It was lifeless, dormant, waiting with baited breath for the lights, music and movement, that later that evening would give it life.

Soon the people would be thronging to this temporary and heady taste of enchantment that swoops in once a year, to briefly transform the town for three days.

It bought back such memories . . .

You see, when I was growing up I longed for colour, sparkles and magic. . .

Some of that desire was satisfied by losing myself in books, with tales of The Magic Faraway Tree and adventures in the ever changing worlds that appeared in the clouds at the top of the branches. Many hours were spent curled up on my bed lost in these enchanted lands.

So you can imagine my delight when the travelling funfair chose the large playing field right in front of my home to set up for its annual two week visit!

From my vantage point on my bedroom window sill, I could see the lorries and brightly coloured fairground equipment arrive and quickly begin transforming the empty patch of grass into a colourful kaleidoscope of lights, colour, music and smells.

Laying in bed at night, I could smell the diesel engines and the fried onions. I could hear the sirens as the rides slowed down to let off the hoards of screaming girls.

And all of this was accompanied by the sounds of the latest pop records played loud, and the flashing lights that I could see shining through my closed curtains. - Lighting up my safe little bedroom with all the excitement that I craved.

I felt as though I had pulled this bright, edgy, impermanent world into my experience.

And I loved every moment it was there!
As I became a teenager and I was able to freely wander through this sparkly, noise filled mirage that appeared annually yards from my window, it lost none of its magic.

It was there that I saw a girl not much older than me. She was sitting in the glorious pink candy floss booth. It was edged with pretty coloured twinkling lights, and she was serenely twirling a stick on which she quickly built a cloud of pink candyfloss.

I can remember being seized with longing. I wanted to be that girl. To live amongst the sparkle and noise and every two weeks to pack up my things and to travel to the next stopping place and do it all again. . .

So, this week. . .
I was reminded of the young girl I once was, and of her craving for colour, magic and adventure.

Thought of the week
"You do not know the weight of this self you are carrying until you put it down." - Zen

I am linking this post to week 58 of I Saw Sunday

Images and words - Susannah Bec


Anonymous said...

Oh, this brings back memories for me too - I never got to attend funfairs as a child, but enjoyed them later, as a young adult.

I love that Zen saying you quote at the end - how true!

vivinfrance said...

Small doses, yes, delightful. But a lifetime of noise and rootlessness? Would you really have liked that?

A beautifully written piece.

Harry Nicholson said...

Twirls of candyfloss - I remember them and have the fillings to show for it.
Lots of colour you have shown, all held in suspension - waiting for the dark. But never a flea-circus today.

Barb said...

Wonderful reminiscence! I also remember these feelings from my own childhood: "I had pulled this bright, edgy, impermanent world into my experience." I often did it with books, too.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful. Funny how some things are the same all over. The "fair" coming to town was so exciting. It's as if you're in the same week as my current writing class. They're writing about memories and places, attempting capture detail. You'd be a great example to them, capturing all kinds of sensory details from your memory. I felt as if I was there.

Elizabeth said...

I believe you remind all of us of other times and ways of seeing and being. I love the photos and although there is no movement of machinary, you certainly caught the movement in the lines and colors. Wonderful!


earlybird said...

All the fun of the fair!

Anonymous said...

I used to love going to the fair. The dodgems, the hall of mirors, the ghost train, the fairy floss. Such fun. This brought back wonderful memories!

Susannah said...

Thanks everyone. :-)

Viv, for many years I carried around that feeling and actually spent two or three periods travelling, packing up and moving on. Some part of my soul needed that and it finally satisfied that feeling. And now I definitely prefer a settled home base where I can put down roots.

Good to see you all. x

goatman said...

The pretty colors (colours) are inviting and happy.
My visit was a happy one.

Susannah said...

Thanks goatman, it is good to see you again. Thanks for popping in. :-)


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