A wild wet and windy week in the West
Well another dreadful June week at the Ilfracombe Victorian Festival. Not dreadful in terms of the spirit or the people, just the weather which has been autumnal at least and wintery at worst. The extraordinary group of replica Victorians who organise and promote this wonderful week have yet again provided a fabulous fantasmagoria of festivities, and most make or source their own costumes and props. But what is most remarkable is their spirit. They are warm and welcoming, creative and kind. I watched them closely in the Finale Ball last night and my heart warmed to their gentle eccentricity and the genuine friendship they showed me and each other. If there is a way such a spirit can defeat the enemy of the weather then we do stand a chance of victory.
This has been the second year I have been here and along with many of Britain’s towns it has the feel of a place in wartime. And in wartime British people try to make the best of things, put on a brave face, show the stiff upper lip, keep right on till the end of the road. The big difference is that in wartime there’s a sense of hope because we might win, we might see the bluebirds again. But how can we win against the onslaught of the changing climate? There’s no real enemy. OK we can do our bit, separate the rubbish, bike instead of car, change our boilers and insulate the house but somehow all that seems a drop in the ocean when whole countries are not doing the same.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t do it though. For my part I am spending a small fortune next week having particulate filters fitted to the lorryhome (check them out if you’re interested on http://www.astra-vt.com/Pages/CCRF_technology.html ). This will mean my conscience can breath easily and maybe those following me down the motorway can too!
It also means I can travel into central London without having to pay Boris’ Emission Zone charge of £200 a day. Which is where I will be next week on the common at the Wimbledon Village Fair. Let’s hope the weather has improved by then, but we wont hold our breath. Except that you wont have to any more if you’re following me down the M6.
See you on the road sometime. Do wave or beep if you’re a friend….
Mr Alexander's Travelling Show