Summer Festival

Despite our best efforts this morning, and the children being excited about it, we didn’t get down to the beach in time for the start of the Big Dig.  We were about 10 minutes late, and the digging patch was already crammed with families.  I took the three children down to the sand while The Dad waited behind the sea-wall with the pushchair and all our belongings.  We picked a spot and started digging.

After about five minutes, Babess decided she wasn’t really interested, so I took her up to her Dad, collecting a consolation-prize lollipop on the way out.  When Fainjin heard you could get a lollipop without even finding a prize token, he was all for giving up there and then, but Pearl and I persuaded him to keep going.

After twenty-five minutes, though, my nails thick with sand and my cuticles covered in tiny abrasions, I had had enough too.  None of us had found a prize token.  It was particularly galling because tiny children would come along and pick a spot near us, then find a token about 30 seconds later and wander off happily to choose a prize.  The only things keeping us going were the reports that there were still about 40 tokens left (in the small area), and several other similarly frustrated people around us.

Fainjin and I left, collecting his lollipop, but Pearl was determined.  The Dad went down to help her, and I took the other two for a walk through the market stalls.  When we returned half an hour later, The Dad and Pearl were emerging dejected from the sand.  Pearl had been digging for a whole hour!  The lovely ladies at the prize table let her choose something a bit more prize-like than a lollipop, for perseverance.

We browsed the market stalls, talked to Civil Defense people advocating preparedness, assured the firemen that we have enough smoke alarms and check the batteries regularly and yes please the children would love some fire-engine stickers, bought Girl Guide bikkies, talked to friends and neighbours, chased after blown-away hats, admired the capoeira dancers, searched for the people selling venison-&-fig burgers (they didn’t come this year, sob!), and watched the children enjoy the bouncy-castle slide.

As usual, we returned home hot, wind-blown, sticky, thirsty, tired and happy.

Two Fainjin-quotes from the day:

– on being told that his time on the bouncy-slide was up:  “No it’s not!  My time is down!”

– and later playing in the garden:  “Here Babess, this is a flower.  It’s for you ‘cos you’re a girl.”

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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2 Responses to “Summer Festival”

  1. Marita Says:

    Oh poor Pearl, after all that hard work she certainly deserved a prize.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      They were really good about it and let her choose from the remaining small prizes. Good story to tell in future, I suppose… next year I think I’ll wear gloves (my fingers are still sore from raking through the sand).

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