Carnival season

Photograph of the Devon coast in October by Hannah Foley. All right reserved (www.owlingabout.co.uk).At the weekend we bundled ourselves up in hats and scarves to see one of the local illuminated carnivals. It’s a bit of a tradition in Devon. October sees most towns host their own brightly lit procession. We have been saving up our coppers for weeks so once we’d devoured our customary fish and chips we jangled our way to a good spot on the procession route. Most of the entries have been put together as a way of raising money by local charities and interest groups. I remember freezing my socks off one year as a child, sat atop a float dressed in a pillowcase (don’t ask) in aid of my primary school.

We had a brilliant time. Finch waved a flag from the baby carrier until the late hour overwhelmed him, his flag drooped and he nodded off against Big Dreamer’s back. Little Owl loved distributing her coins, although she was very choosy about deserving recipients. She was both delighted and horrified when the local amateur dramatics society dame spotted her in the crowd and made a beeline for her. She gave him handfuls of coppers, mainly to go away I think. There was an extra little display reeling above the heads of the procession participants. A clutch of bats flicked and tipped their way across the starry sky, their underbellies aglow. It must have been a bat feast up there with all the insects attracted by the bright lights of the procession.

If you happen to be down this way the Bridgwater Carnival is the one that has the finest reputation. I’ve never been but it is apparently very good. They have photos on their website dating back to 1901. On a different tack here is an early morning seaside photo from yesterday to start your day off.

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