I usually wring every last available drop of fun out of the Country Show, but this year, for a variety of reasons, I only spent a couple of hours there each day and as a result I felt I missed quite a lot of it. I went to bed last night feeling faintly sad and anxious at not having spent more time there, like a child who suddenly realises that when she wakes up it won’t be Christmas any more.
But when I awoke this morning I remembered that it’s quality, not quantity, that counts; and this year’s show was one of the best I can remember. The weather was perfect – sunny and warm but not hot – and the music was super (Alabama 3 in particular were brilliant, as they always are); the atmosphere was better than ever and despite record attendance it felt completely relaxed and friendly everywhere I went. It was nothing at all like that year that we had to dive out of the way of a bunch of teenagers trying to stab another bunch of teenagers. (But then, I was child-free this year, so I didn’t have to go to the funfair.)
Here’s a girl dancing in front of a parade that popped up out of nowhere while we were buying books for 20p each from the library van:
And here’s another shot of the same parade:
According to the South London Press, 180,000 people attended the show over the two days. So it was doubly odd to find myself back there this morning, one of perhaps half a dozen people whose daily business takes them into Brockwell Park at 7am. It looked empty and silent, but also kind of beautiful:
Forget Cyprus, I never want to live away from here.