Saturday, 19 June 2010

School Fête 2010










Today saw the annual fête of Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School. I believe that it's the major fundraising event for the school each year, for, while schools with poor results get resources thrown at them in an attempt to raise standards, schools which do well are relatively underfunded, presumably because they've managed ok by themselves so far. I like to try and support it, even though I don't have any children of my own.

The parish Union of Catholic Mothers always like to have a cake stall at the fête. We have some seriously good bakers in the UCM, and I try to visit the cake stall early, because otherwise all the cakes get snaffled. This year I succeeded in bagging a cherry and almond cake, a chocolate and coffee cake and a madeira cake. My decision to make a beeline for this stall early on was fully justified: when I returned about half an hour later in search of a fairy cake to accompany my cup of tea, there were only two plates of fairy cakes left, and one very small chocolate cake. The small chocolate cake looked very sorry for itself, abandoned on a pristine white cloth, and I very nearly took pity on it, but reflected that I already had three large cakes, and that four would be just greedy.

Having successfully nabbed my cakes, I went off in search of lunch. It wasn't difficult to find: the clouds of smoke billowing from the furthest corner of the playground rather gave it away. It occurred to me that men generally don't want to have anything to do with the kitchen, but, wave a few bits of charcoal around and they are happy to stand there for hours. I opted for the cheeseburger rather than the hot dogs...

The candy floss stall was very popular, almost as much for the entertainment value as for the candy floss... it was very blustery weather today, and more floss seemed to end up on the stallholders than on the sticks. I was told that I'd missed some really good photo opportunities earlier. I hung around for a bit, just in case, but they seemed to have gotten the hang of it...











As I went around, I passed His Hermeneuticalness talking to Mr. Murphy, the Head Teacher. I didn't notice any camera in evidence, so that means I might get a link later - much needed, as my recent blogging hiatus has seriously affected my stats!

The theme of the fête this year was football, and there were plenty of England flags, footballs, whistles and other football-related memorabilia in evidence, though I did my best to avoid it. Fortunately, it seems that the vuvuzela hadn't quite made an appearance. However, several of the youngsters were very keen on getting their faces painted with flags, or having temporary tattoos, or having their hair sprayed. I have to confess that I didn't quite see the attraction...











I am never lucky when it comes to tombolas and games of chance, but I do like to have a go, even though I often wonder whether it would save time if I just handed the money over and went straight home. There is a first time for everything, however, as I discovered when I played hunt-the-full-bottle-of-wine. It wasn't what I thought - none of the bottles were actually full: instead, some of the cups on top of the bottles had red stickers inside them, indicating that you had won a bottle of wine. I was very surprised to find that I actually won a bottle (that one was full... I checked!)

I'm also a lousy shot. There was one stall which was surprisingly popular: it was just row upon row of old crockery, and there was no prize involved other than the satisfaction of smashing it to smithereens. I hit a few bits, but one of my throws was so far out that the wooden ball went sailing way over the net and into the trees behind. I didn't hear any shouts of agony or outrage, so I don't think I hit anyone...

I also decided to try my luck at the coconut shy, and was very surprised when I succeeded in knocking over one of the coconuts. I was even more surprised when I was presented with a coconut as a prize... as I said to the stallholder, I have no idea how one "gets at" a coconut, as I usually get mine shredded and coated in chocolate... I suspect that there will be quite a few coconut-related accidents this evening, as several people seemed to be wandering around with their prizes...











All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon, despite some inclement weather which sent everyone scurrying for cover...

5 comments:

Dominic Mary said...

It sounds as though you had a good time, Mac : and the cakes sound scrummy. My problem is that if I go to something like that and buy three gorgeous cakes, I always seem to get home and find there's not enough room in the freezer, so feel obliged to eat them before they go off . . !

Mac McLernon said...

Strangely enough, I seem to have a similar problem with freezer space...

:-)

Fr Tim Finigan said...

Thanks, Mac. I was hoping that you had taken some good photos. I won a coconut too - I always try to take one home each year for the novelty.

Here's what you do:
Take a screwdriver or other sharp implement and pierce the round indentations at the top. Pour off the milk and drink it. Then take a hammer and smash the coconut open. If you haven't got a hammer, smashing it repeatedly on a stone step sometimes works, apparently. Then you just dig the coconut out of the shell in lumps. It's rather chewy.

If you were to saw the coconut carefully in two and scrape out the flesh you would then be left with a makeshift percussion instrument which could be used to accompany popular folk hymns from the 1970s.

Clare said...

The china smashing sounds like the kind of safe fun I'd pay to enjoy!
And very like the festivities called Polterabend held for bachelor and bachelorettes I'm familiar with from living in Germany (rather like "poltergeist" it's the halloween japes that precede the All Hallows of Holy Matrimony)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polterabend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfRNLjku4Eg
(this brief clip is of a small scale version, not as impressive as what I was accustomed to see, which was more in the league of the 'market-stall-display-shelving'-set-up you've depicted here)
Thanks for sharing God Bless Clare Krishan

Zephyrinus said...

Dear Mac, thank you for the splendid photos from your outstanding camera, reference the School Fete. The hollowed-out shells of coconuts, to be used in replicating 1970s' Folk Hymns, sounds an excellent idea. Can't wait to hear them. Just one thing: My neighbour in North Kent has complained of a wooden ball smashing her lounge window. Wasn't me. It wouldn't, by any chance. . ?

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