Notting Hill Carnival

Carnival time is here!

Despite living in London all my life I have never been to the Notting Hill Carnival. It has never occurred to me to go and if I am being honest it has always slightly scared me with the less than positive news reports. However this year one of my good friends invited me, so I had no choice but to say yes.

Notting Hill Station
Notting Hill Station : leave your prejudices and preconceived notions at the station gate!

I was not really sure what to expect but I was not disappointed. It was calm and peaceful and fun. We had a great time. It seems even TfL were getting into the carnival spirit with their own bus float.

The TfL carnival bus
The TfL carnival bus

I managed to eat a selection of Caribbean cuisine – beef patty, rice and chicken, jerk pork and dumplings – tasty! I danced and cheered with the crowded – the spirit of joy and fun was highly infectious. Whatever it happening in one’s life, it’s difficult to be miserable at such an event. People happy just to be alive – it was a nice feeling.

I did not see as many costumed people as I thought I might but the ones I did see looked fabulous. I soon overcome my fear and stepped off the sidelines and into the crowd.

carnival_2

carnival (2)

carnival _2

face mask_2

I heard the a steel band for the first time since childhood

steel drums
steel drums

Much of the controversy around the carnival over the years has included the Police or a least perceptions of Police actions and attitudes. However during the daylight hours the Police appears nothing less than smiling, helpful uniformed wardens of the peace.

Bobby on the beat
Bobby on the beat
Bobbies on the beat
Bobbies on the beat
Guess which one is not a police officer?
Guess which one is not a police officer?

bobbies on the beat_2

There was an artist on site Edward Ofosu

Edward Ofuso (2)

Edward Ofuso

Obviously a carnival is not a carnival without food…

corn on the cob (2)

It's not a carnival without food! Dumplings, festival and beef patty
It’s not a carnival without food! Dumplings, festival and beef patty
sugar cane
Sugar cane

London would not be London without some social commentary…

"If immigration is the problem war u dow at carnival?"
“If you think immigration is the problem wat u dow at carnival?”

Or flagrant disregard of the rules

do not dump rubbish here (2)
Not sure who is going to pay this fine…

I am currently tucked away in my little flat in the  opposite side of town – it’s raining and grey. The grand finale of the carnival is today. It is guaranteed to be a spectacular affair – much grander than anything I saw yesterday.

Will I go again next year? I am not sure but I can at least tick this of as “things to do before I am 40”. Notting Hill Carnival – done.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. dunelight says:

    I love the photos of the police.

    1. Thank you!

      They were very friendly, sociable and approachable that day.

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