Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Notting could be finer

Today was the second day of the Notting Hill Festival, an annual event growing out of a Trinidadian protest march in 1964 (an auspicious year!). While it seems like a reasonable opportunity for a few hundred thousand to let off steam, I just couldn't believe a fraction of the press stating that it's "Europe's biggest arts festival", "second only to Rio","up there with the Pyramids and the Prado". A bit too much ganja in the word-processor I think.

Arriving early afternoon for the street-parade, all we could really see was the streets were very congested, piled with rubbish and most of the parade dancers seemed like they would rather be somewhere else.

We three decided we'd had enough by about 3 and spent the next hour and a half trying to get out of there, the nearest working Underground station being Holland Park. Chris got separated from us en route, so we arranged via SMS to meet at the station. I got there first and knelt down to give Bondi some water. At this time some rather loud girls came over, and one started rubbing Bondi's head vigorously while he was trying to drink. I asked her three times to stop until he'd finished drinking - after being fawned over and pawed by a few hundred people in a matter of hours, he'd had enough - but she insisted loudly that she knew better. I told her to fuck off, and then she punched me in the forehead (while I was still kneeling, holding Bondi's water), really catching me off guard and nearly knocking me into the wall behind us. Of course there must have been a few dozen witnesses, including 3 police officers a few feet away. She started to run off, but two caught her and dragged her back. One of the policemen asked if I wanted to do anything about that matter. I said that "if they could stop her having children it might do the world some good ... but as she may have been a bit drunk, just give her a good talking to."

Still a bit woozy from the blow (there's a small lump), I realised later that her shoplifter-fast reflexes and attempted escape probably indicated that she hadn't been drinking at all. Ah, the perfect end to a perfect day.

Chris had arrived towards the end of this, but hadn't realised that I'd been involved in the scuffle. We trained back to Ealing Broadway and grabbed some dubious coffee at one of Costa's outdoor tables. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Then it started raining. The perfect end...

While I was gadding about in the north of England, Chris made up some fun intro cards to give out to those keen on Bondi's adventures. I gave out a couple on the train into Notting Hill this morning. (When we were mounting the steps from platform to street, an announcement came over the station loudspeakers "can you see the big dog?" etc etc.)

Chris also thought it would be nice to hand them to people who took photos of Bondi in the street, and so get the photos mailed back to us courtesy of this blog at
mikenbondi AT gmail DOT com

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