Wednesday, 21 July 2010
The gala stank of suncream and sweat, sawdust and hot rubber. On the hook-a-duck stall, the goldfish boiled in their bags. With my lips sugar-crusted from hot doughnuts I haemorrhaged pounds at the tombola stalls, trying my luck for degraded bears and Elizabeth Arden talc as children wove around my feet like cats, jacked-up on candyfloss and dangerous with the heat. They queued up for the rickety rides, pawing and squalling in their little England kits, clambering into carriages shaped like helicopters with tigers' mouths and shit-brown, leering carp. The Gala Queen was a pity vote and the clowns unsavoury. It was the best of days.