steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Beggar's Fair

Romsey is all over Morris dancers today: I wonder if any of them is ladyofastolat? It's the annual Beggar's Fair, an ancient tradition stretching back to the early years of this millennium, when the streets shut and minstrels, saxophonists and line dancers take over. I've never been around for it before, so I'm pleased to have seen it. It felt strangely old-fashioned, for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on at first - it reminded me more than anything of 1977 and the Silver Jubilee. Then I realised that of all the thousands of people I'd seen milling round, every one was white.

It makes a contrast with last weekend's St Paul's Carnival in Bristol, with its six stabbings (at least no one was killed this year, unlike 2011 and 2008). Before that, though, there was reggae, jerk chicken and curried goat galore, but of course being in the Gower I missed it. Shame.

I finally finished R.O.D. the TV. The most surprising things about the scenes set in London were:

a) despite the prominent place of the Westminster chimes in Japanese life and anime, when they showed the actual clock of the Westminster bell tower chiming it didn't use them! Instead it tolled out a rapid tocsin, quite unlike the real thing. I wonder if they wanted to avoid confusing people for whom the Westminster chimes mean that a lesson is about to start?

b) at one point the villain points to a few books indicative of British literary genius of the past. It consists of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and... W. Somerset Maugham. Go figure.
Tags: nippon notes, real life
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