Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Fete a compli

Fete A Compli
‘No Scout Fete! Unheard of. A wave of panic swept round the village. The news was discussed in Norman’s Butchers, in the Sweet Shop and in living rooms throughout Eynsford.

‘Oh why?’
‘What will we do?’

Well, the answer was simple; go to the Farningham Fete......it’s not really as blasphemous as it sounds.

I should probably point out that there are joint-ventures between the two villages and they do maintain an entent cordial, but close as they are, with only a field separating the two villages, the two communities retain their two distinct personalities. Farningham stands apart from Eynsford and Eynsford apart from Farningham.

And so, on Saturday, Nipper and I set out to meet our buddy Sara for a spot of cross-border fete-ing.

 Sara and I have been going to fete’s together for a few years. It’s something we like to do. Give us some jiggery-pokery music, a cream tea and a novelty hat and we’re happy. We’d be happier in Eynsford, but Farningham’s a lovely village too.

As we walked through the only field separating Farningham from Eynsford, Nipper, Sara and I mused on the success of our facebook twinning page ‘The Eynsford & Farningham Massive’, which we’d set up for a laugh at last year’s fete. We’d been jointly inspired by Nelson Mandela’s call for unity and the massive, mixed crowd from both Eynsford and Farningham. Both prompted us to bring facebook to the village.

We’d started off with ‘9’ followers or friends and now had over 161. The love of our facebook friends had been a little overwhelming. Their images of the village and videos had entertained us in the long dark days of winter, and here we were a year on, a fete down, but not out as Farningham held its end up.

As we rounded the corner of the High Street we could hear the welcome strains of a jig. Cars and vans vied for space with a large 1930s bus which had been parked up in the High Street thanks to the History Society.

Bunting waved a friendly hello as the wind picked up and I wondered how the micro light landing had gone down this year. We’d missed it due to Nipper’s nap, but we weren’t downhearted as the program promised more country dancing, racing ducks and strawberries than you could wave a novelty hat at. There was also the bonus of EPIC’s Photography exhibition and yearly competition.

Eynsford Photographic Image Club, known as EPIC, and run by my mum, are a hardy bunch of photographic enthusiasts, usually to be found annually exhibiting their wares in Eynsford, but due to the non-Scout-Fete, currently to be found lodging at the Farningham Fete. A treasonable act? Not according to my mum who’s been given Farningham church and its blessing for the day.

Mum and Dad had tastefully lined the pews with the club’s prized shots and spread the display boards down the aisle.

 Sara and I manoeuvred the pushchair through the exhibition with aplomb "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" at the entries in the ‘best photo of Farningham Cattle Screen Competition’ (they need to think of a snappier title for next year). It would appear that being in god’s house was a double blessing for mum as she came away with the first prize rosette for her take on the cattle screen. ‘Fix’? Well, that’s what my partner said when I got home later.......

The Fete proper proved to be a winner too on the day. The three of us upped our carb intake and sampled; walnut cake, lemon drizzle cake, strawberry cream teas followed by two punnets of strawberries and large dollops of cream. There was no escaping the jigging- jiving band. Literally no escape as they’d dotted speakers in every corner of the field necessitating us to up our volume. Nipper enjoyed the band though and slapped her thighs like a later day Dolly Parton on sugary speed.

All too soon the duck race heralded the finale of the fete and an end to our summer ritual. Part of me wishes we’d taken a stall to encourage more members to join our ‘Eynsford And Farningham Massive’ facebook page, but you can’t force these things. More will join us over time as they come out and admit their dual love for both villages.

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