The two younger members of the family are busying themselves with lots of school activities. The house is abuzz with talk of sports day, summer productions, sports week, summer holidays and the school summer fair. While some parents dread the thought of the fast approaching summer holidays, I always look forward to them. But that is for another post. Today’s words of wisdom (in the lowest possible use of the term) are about the upcoming (5 day countdown) summer fair.
While most of you are probably more accustomed to the more traditional school fair. A couple of hours of expensive, ambling around a wet field. Spending money on pointless rubbish and winning the same soft toys in the tombolla that you donated just a few days ago.
Being honest, this is how my expectation of the school fairs was and in fact my experience of them too. Well, that is until I moved closer to the school and immersed myself into more rural living.
Let me give you the low down on my Summer Fair experience now.
First off, the quick version;
10am until 11pm, live bands, loads of stalls, a dog show, bus rides, fairground rides, bbq, food trailers, various raffles with prizes such as hotel and spa breaks, bbq, food trailers, kindles and kids bikes and usually at least a couple of bar style areas, or cocktail tents. Yep, you read that correctly, bar tents and cocktail bars.
Second off, the slower version;
We always approach a weekend in the same way. I’m up early and potter my way round with coffee and peaceful house, until the kids awake from their slumber and slowly we eat breakfast, shower and dress. Summer Fair day is no different. We will always allow the early birds their first attack at what the stalls and event has to offer. We will amble over to the school around 11am and take a wander around. I will then divy out the days allowances to each of them (normally between a fiver and tenner each).
After a slow mooch around, the kids tend to find their friends and then I get the chance to mingle amongst the other parents and chill out. But still be ready and waiting for some summer fair based shenanigans.
We all tend to meet up, go off for fun, buy each other stuff. Or, share a hog-roast, enjoy an old fashioned bus ride, laugh at our friends on the bungee run ride. In general enjoy the atmosphere, day and each other. While having fun with our own respective friends.
In conclusion, the kids get to run a little feral around the school and its neighbouring park. Shoot and try and score in the penalty shootout, ride the mini ferris wheel, throw bean bags at a target, jump on old fashioned busses, eat BBQ food, buy sweets and generally feel a little king of the hill.
I get to do all of the above. Plus chat with friends, quietly drink a nice cold pint, relax and chat with other adults. While remaining on Dad duty and the odd feeling of doing it all, while being on the school field.
Even the eldest, who left the school a couple of years ago, still enjoys the day. He always meets up with mates. They swagger around like they own the place. However, they always revert to their younger days when asked how they are by the headmistress and their egos suddenly disappear.
All in all, it is a great day. But then we remember it is only half done.
At around 5pm the main day stops. Abruptly we are sent home. To the untrained or not so local parent, that’s it. Done for another year. Yet for some, it’s just the beginning.
We all get to go home, pop to the shop for dinner and grab an hour or so rest.
We get to go back and start again! Less stalls and shopping for pointless tat. More, live bands, a few drinks and general social night out. The kids love hanging out around the school at night time. They run, play manhunt, chat and sneak away from friends with their current beau (thankfully, primary aged love involves playing together on the pirate themed playground, more than anything else).
I get to, relax, chat with friends and get to sneak off and play manhunt with the kids on the playground. Alas, I have yet to find a beau to play on the pirate themed play equipment with. But you never know. This year, that may change………..
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