Saturday, 20 December 2014

the last night of the fair

Last year Antonio photographed me at our town's annual funfair, but accidentally deleted all the photos. Last month we finally took some more and, one year later, here they are.

My town only has a funfair once a year and it's always at the end of November when the Christmas lights turn on. This year was the last time I'll be in town to go (for 3 years at least.) I went with Antonio and Poppy and although Antonio's in Year 12 and Poppy's in her first year at uni, we all agreed that this year has been pivotal. Everything's changing all the time at this age and it becomes very obvious how transient things are.

I wrote this in my journal later that night: Knowing that next year everything will change has inspired me to turn everything into an "event." Yesterday I walked home with Laura and we talked about friendships and theme parks. We sat on my bed and watched "Palo Alto" online, only interrupting to comment on our experiences of similar situations/feelings or to say what we'd do if we were that character. I went to the fun fair last night and this evening. Perhaps that may seem sad or odd. But, there's hardly anywhere in the world I'd rather be than a funfair. I want my life to be like a funfair; all those flashing lights, the thrills, the slight hint of nervous danger, the multi-sensory aspect of it all, the attention grabbing displays, the grittiness, the dizzying highs. With Laura, I went on 3 rides then we walked home the long way, past the edge of town; next to the black as tar river. I shone my phone torch and we talked about boys. 

I'm wearing a thrifted coat and dress, scarf that was a gift, Marks and Spencer's tights and H by Henry Holland shoes. I tried to dress to match the funfair, hence the sparkles and metallics and the brightly coloured coat.

Below is an excerpt from one of the short stories I've written involving funfairs. If you'd like to read more, just email me ( and I'll send you the rest of the story as well as the other Concrete Narratives stories.

He turned onto the High Street where a kaleidoscope of neon lights from the fair obscured his vision. Damon’s gang were catching up to him, and fast. Callum dipped into a side street, but they still followed. A waltzer ride flashed a line of pink lights consecutively as it got ready to set off. Leaving thought behind him, Callum jumped over the barrier and as the seats moved into motion, he slid under the bars and was soon spinning round at high speed. Once in every rotation, Callum would be thrust towards Damon and Lydia and the other boys. His insides began to twist themselves into intricate knots as his brain fumbled to formulate an escape plan for when the neon lights turned black and the rhythm of the quick rotation stopped. Perhaps if he stayed on the ride all night his pursuers would get bored and go home. Only he hadn’t the money to ride round all night and, even so, he knew that they weren’t going to give up. This was about power and to leave without kicking the shit out of him would severely bruise their egos and threaten their brutish masculinity.
The ride began to slow down and Callum jumped off before it had completely come to a halt. The greasy haired operator shouted after him, but Callum had more pressing concerns. He slipped between two close rides, but Damon had seen him do so.

Out of sight, behind the rides, Damon got a hold of the sleeve of Callum’s denim jacket...

An excerpt from another short story:

Soon the time arrives when we must leave this haven to enter the harsh reality of the fun fair. It is getting late so the kiddie scene has probably been and gone. Now it becomes much darker with drugs and alcohol and violence settling in and making it all the more exciting. There is an infinite energy and an aura of youth in the air as we trundle down the High Street. I cannot walk in a straight line even when I try. For some reason I keep demonstrating this to Rita over and over again as if to impress her. She is laughing at me but I’m not sure why. I’ve never been this drunk before but it’s a special occasion and perhaps this year I will have the courage to go on all the scariest, most unsafe rides. I can feel strained relationships evoked by love and hate surrounding me. Even the adults appear to have gone home; not wanting to stay where the adolescent waifs and strays inhabit. This is our turf now and this is our night. Although not as much our night as the night of the more popular cliques. We are still the outsiders; the ones that people don’t expect to get drunk other than with some poetic purpose. If tonight must have some sort of poetic purpose then I will quote Arthur Seaton from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and say “all I’m out for is a good time. The rest is propaganda.” But why should I have to justify myself to anyone else? I’m young and I’m free.

It's now the Christmas holidays but I have loads of mock revision to do so I'll probably spend the first half of next week stress crying into deep-filled mince pies. I hope you all have a fab weekend!

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