Sunday, 14 September 2008

Thames Festival 2008

The three wheeled one only found out about the Thames Festival by accident this year after wondering about the vast hordes of people making their way through Waterloo yesterday. This might (or might not) be due to Boris Johnson (BoJo) scrapping The Londoner (the newspaper that supplies Londoners with information about what the mayor is up to). On the other hand, chances of us actually receiving the newspaper are slim!

So... Excited about the possibility of the giant meal with strangers (and happy to try and meet some more South Londoners), we plodged off today, beginning towards the east end of the festival near Southwark Bridge. Unfortunately, I had not realised that the giant meal only took place yesterday and would not be repeated today. Not to be deterred, we obviously had to go and nosey around at what else was on offer...

The rest of the festival consisted of food stalls (many over-priced), stalls selling pictures of London, music stages (I presume some of it /was/ music), the Co-Op selling Fairtrade goods (yay), the BBC doing something related to art for children, various European cultural promotion/food stalls, a giant stage put together by those people who manage to get around London without touching the floor (it's called "freerun" apparently), the BBC and Capital FM broadcasting, lots and lots of performance artists, some people kayaking on the Thames (not sure if these were part of the kayaking demonstrations), old and young men skulling along the Thames (separately), some rather strange performance drama, free Starbucks coffee, more stalls selling everything from books to clever widgets for hanging flower pots...

We were queuing to buy Hog Roast after arriving at lunchtime (around 2pm), but that failed because the Hog Roast wasn't on offer until 5pm. Driven by impending starvation and lack of money, we ended up sharing a Doggett's cheeseburger after concluding that despite Lebanese food being good value for £5 a plate, it just appeared too expensive. I figure that for people visiting London, the prices must just be swallowed, but for actual Londoners facing impending recession, the costs are all too high!

We walked from Southwark Bridge to the London Eye (I'm not sure what was beyond the Eye, if anything) and enjoyed browsing at the varied stalls. We discovered a world film/DVD shop (named mdc music and movies) that we didn't know existed (which wasn't part of the festival) and generally had a happy time soaking up the sun. I think the festival lacked some edge (there were parts of the South Bank that didn't seem to have much going on) and it didn't seem much different from festivals of previous years. However, that won't stop us going next year!

As we left, we saw some people that appeared to be preparing for a carnival procession (in some fabulous outfits), which (if it was a repeat of previous years) would have taken place this evening. We headed home after about 3 hours, and then happily watched an absolutely stupendous, amazing, fantastic, glorious, expensive, colourful fireworks display from our home in SE11. The fireworks were so good that we might have to invite lots of people around next year just to watch!

No comments:

Label Cloud