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Shetlink Living Room.


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Hi, all. Eh, it's good to be back in circulation again. For my legions of fans (OK, for the few hardy souls who thought "Have we finally got rid of that DamnSaxon fellow, then?"), the news is that my beige box blew up and I've just got round to fixing it - I now have the rare distinction of having had TWO power supplies blow up on me while everything else survived. Fluff and cruft get all PCs in the end. (If you hadn't met "cruft", follow the link - it's scarily accurate.)

 

Right, I'm off for a wander round the forum and get back into the fray. I'll wipe me boots on the way out! :D

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  • 1 month later...

^^^

Thanks for the greeting, AT ... I'm a bit surprised to be the next post in the Living Room after it, it now being over a month later. Where is everybody? Skulked off to your bedrooms and playing with your Wiis and Nintendos?

 

Anyway, as I want to tell you about something which is quite interesting but nothing to do with Shetland, a note on the Living Room noticeboard is as good a place as any, so here I go.

 

-------------------------------------------------------

 

Spare a thouht for Shetlink's DamnSaxon over the next few days, starving in his garret about half a mile from one of the biggest funfairs in Europe. Well, alright, there's food in the cupboard and it's only really a top floor flst, but I'm not going to admit that and spoil the effect.

 

If it's the first Wednesday in October, in Nottingham, then it's the start of Goose Fair. It's been going for seven centuries or so, starting off as a mediaeval autumn market and fair to which people from surrounding towns would drive their geese (hence the name) and other surplus animals, to sell them off before the winter. The original fair was held in the Market Square in the town centre, but it long since moved to the Forest Recreation Ground, which is a walkable distance to the north - and at the end of my road. These days, few actual geese, if any, attend.

 

Over the last week or so, a vast flock of caravans, mobile homes and brightly painted lorries with impossibly complicated steel loads have been descending on the Forest. If you look at the size of the ground on Google Earth or whatever, the fair this year takes up a bit over half of it. The impossibly complicated metalwork on the lorries is unfolded and whacked into position and bolted together, and as if by magic turns into every fairground ride you've ever seen, from traditional Big Wheels, dodgems and waltzers to some of the modern ones which make sensible folk turn green just looking at them. When the rides are running, the turning green can become horribly literal, if that person who's upside down a hundred feet above you has had a bellyful of the local delicacy - mushy peas - from one of the many food stalls before getting on. On the upside, though, you may be able to make off with his mobile when it falls out of his inverted pocket.

 

I have quite a few fond memories of Goose Fairs past, youthful rides with my favourite lady of the day and so on - fairs are really for the young anyway, of course. One of my odder memories is from twenty-five years or so ago, when I had not one but two Snake Girls round, to borrow the use of my bath after the fair was over - not all the fair folk can afford the big mobile homes with all mod cons. A friend of mine was acting as their driver and general factotum that year, and before you say anything no, the other three of us at any point were just sitting around in the sitting room, drinking coffee, smoking, er, fragrant cigarettes and talking cheerful nonsense. They were quite nice girls, who didn't mind at all sitting there in a bikini with huge snakes slithering around them if people were willing to pay a few bob to watch and shudder. The snakes, though distinctly scary-looking to us ordinary folk, were (a) their pets and (b, quite important, this) well fed.

 

A friend saw an extra little entertainment this year. Yesterday, late morning, with everyone nearly ready to go, a Transit van and a small stall appeared at the far end of the Forest, attracting many of the fair folk. What they were selling were all the stuffed toys and such which you can win at the fair stalls - but, this fellow only sells them by the sackful. Yep, that's where they come from, folks - there's a special "Teddy bear trafficker" bringing them in from Teddyland, so they can come home with you. By teatime, he was gone.

 

You'd think that, with dozens of sound systems on the rides, generators and "barkers" pulling in the punters, the noise would be awful, but surprisingly it isn't - it all just merges together into a continuous low drone in the background, and anyway there is a definite end to the evening at 11pm so that we locals can get some kip. When all is over (they've extended it to Sunday this year), there are always a few of us who, while the show folk pack up and go, scour the ground for dropped coins and valuables. I heard of a fellow last year who is supposed to have picked up a couple of hundred quid plus a few dropped mobiles and watches, but you never know how true the story is unless you know (or are!) the finder. I can believe it, though, having picked up a few pennies myself in years past. You have to be up pretty early if you seriously want to find anything!

 

Anyhow, 'tis all up and running now, having opened at lunchtime, so there'll be a "fair" few thousand laughs, screams and smiles around the area for the next few days. So, if you pop out for a peaceful contemplate of the broad Atlantic or the heathery hills over the next few evenings and catch a whiff of the unmistakeable smell of hamburger onions, check the wind. If it's coming up from the south, it's probably just us lot down here in Nottingham having our annual knees-up ... all Shetlanders welcome, bring a sleeping bag and you can kip on me floor ... just don't all twenty-odd thousand of you turn up on the same night!

 

(Edited once to correct a formatting glitch)

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  • 2 years later...

Thanks to a whip-round amongst all the regulars (who I hear didn't need to approach the SIC to buy new chairs and a kettle), the living room has been refurbished.

 

I tell ya, it was in a right old mess, with graffiti scrawled on the walls (Some thought Shetland had its own Banksy and a grant should have been obtained from SA to preserve it but a few thought it was utter tosh so it was emulsioned over), not to mention the empty Shetland Roses on the floor. The rumour that the chairs were taken from Scatness skip (amongst others) are true - nowt like a bit of recycling. Apparently there's even cake and biccies hidden in a cupboard too ... but no doubt they'll disappear pronto!

 

So, who's gonna stick the kettle on then? :wink:

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@ Spinner72

 

You're in luck. I've just used my (newish) Krup's coffee grinder (courtesy of Shetlink Classifieds, of course) so we've some freshly ground Grotesqueco's finest Colombian beans being whacked through the coffee-maker right now. If you want tea, you outta luck though until someone brings some teabags.

 

Err the biccies are in the cupboard, as mentioned previously.

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