Party in the park

That woman- he has seen her too- in the sleeveless short black dress, long blonde hair, is so deliciously sexy, it just breathes out of her. Others here, that woman is confident, that one is playful, but none is as sexy as she. We notice and appreciate without staring, just wee glances.

The stage show is dire, reaching “Please God Make it Stop” levels in the Disney Princess show. “Did everyone make a wish? Did you? I wished for everyone here to have just the loveliest afternoon ever.” A can’t understand why they have American accents. Because they’re Disney, I explain. She did not mind Mickey Mouse, but hated the way they ruined Winnie the Pooh. Tigger didn’t look anything like that! Why couldn’t they just do it like EH Shepherd? After, the Princesses wander round the field, letting themselves be photographed with little girls who wish it: full grown women in bigged-up four year olds’ party dresses.

The Mayor knew A, and came over to chat to him, reminiscing about work and showing off the chain of office- helm, a lion and a bull as supporters, the motto “Forward Together”. They josh a little about politics, the Tory and the Quaker. I went to the next gazebo down, to the Race Equality Council. They do a few Employment Tribunals still, but most settle because the clients can’t afford the tribunal fees, and there is very little funding. They had half the staff redundant two years ago but they have just had a Heritage Lottery grant so are safe for a bit, but the advice shop, Nupton’s legal aid franchise, is closing in Swanston.

I wandered off and got an ice cream. There’s the fun fair, Waltzers and dodgems and dodgem boats in an inflatable pool. I watch a child trying to climb a stair where the steps move up and down. From off it, you can see that alternate steps would lift him up without effort, but he steps on a stair just as it starts to move downwards, so gets nowhere. The tinies on the short zip wire, and the inflatable long slide, bouncing up and down, climbing back up determinedly, have far more fun.

The last band did Ska, or Two-tone, which K. from Seattle had not heard of. Very fast reggae, rhythm section playing on the 2nd and 4th beat. They were fun, but by that time I was so bored. I had been there since 10.45, when we took an hour to set up the gazebo. We set up the table and put out the leaflets. I had a few good conversations, but mostly with other Quakers and none introducing others to Quakerism. I chatted to a bloke in a motorised wheelchair, who was here with the Royal British Legion. I sat at the front of the gazebo, gazing out to try to catch the eye of passers by, and say hello- but they were walking past too far away, not interested, and the other Quakers sat further back inside the gazebo so that anyone would actually have had to come in before talking to anyone. It was a nice day out but useless for Outreach, yet our main Outreach activity this year and taking energy and worry for months.

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