We decided to visit the County Town today to enjoy its Gala. Unfortunately, I didn’t study too closely the printed agenda in the local paper. It was hard enough finding the agenda amongst all the advertising, which undoubtedly pays something towards this rather mediocre local news provider and the printing of the agenda itself.
Just for a moment, let me enlighten you about the page of advertisements amongst which the Gala agenda was lost. They are mostly local businesses who advertise once a year for Gala day, (it happens with our town’s Gala day too) trying to tempt shoppers in with little offers. A sign of the times, offers were not that visible this year. Any small manufacturing firms will announce themselves on the back of the annual celebration, a reminder to people they are still in business. It is easier to find a needle in a haystack than finding jobs in the paper; they are few and far between.
We arrived in the town to find colourful bunting fluttering in the breeze. A few stalls were functioning in the town square, a regular Saturday event. Apart from that, nothing seemed to be happening.
Refreshment time, you have a choice of two places for a coffee, one is not so welcoming just for a drink…you feel you have to buy an array of sandwiches or cakes. Wetherspoons, the pub chain, it had to be. Providing you specify what you want, the coffee can be very acceptable.
The pub was bustling with groups and families, all the kiddies were very well behaved. A short stout fellow wearing a wide pair of spotted trousers, a bright spotty shirt with his face made up as a clown, holding a half pint of shandy asked me what I was looking at. ‘Your spots of course‘. He’d been collecting donations for charity. He explained we were about three hours too early for the Gala itself! The clown advised his friends that as we came from the ‘other town’ he and they had to talk to us very slowly, so that we could understand what was going on.
As it was a pleasant afternoon, we went for a walk along the riverside instead, walking some distance up to the tidal marsh, exchanging greetings with dogs and their walkers.