Faith restored, possibly.

My two eldest kids had their extra tuition today. They love going as their teacher is amazing. I can speak from experience as she also used to help when I was at the primary school. I went to school with her daughter and we have pretty much grown up together. It was a no brainer when I decided to find someone to do some extra teaching to help with the bits they struggle with. They do an hour each, a lot of children would kick up about “extra schooling” but my two actually look forward to it and they actually can’t wait to tell me and my wife what they have learnt or achieved. A real sense of self achievement is what they come away with which is all I can ask of them. My Mother in Law took the first one to their lesson on the way to visit friends and so a little under an hour later the rest of us went to Ilminster to swap the children over for the next one to have their lesson and we would run some errands in town. Once the errands were done in town, I set off to do some party shopping for my youngest Daughters Birthday party while my wife popped off to get our eldest Daughter, she then met me in the supermarket just in time to load it in to bags. This finished, we headed back in to town in the Chucklebus to collect the balloons we had got filled for the party. It must have looked a bit strange in through the back windows of the van, me in a wheelchair with a one and a half meter tall inflated Minnie Mouse balloon, a balloon OK not an inflatable Minnie Mouse, and if you were thinking that it is distinctly possible that you have some issues that you should see someone about, and I would avoid Disneyland when trying to find that someone! Anyway, all that done, we headed back to Chard.

When we reached Chard it was raining so I stayed in the Chucklebus with the kids and wifey dived in to the couple of shops we needed to visit. The first thing she did was to order some tee shirts for my skydive. I am hoping to have a SSAFA tee shirt for the dive but my Wife and children will have ones with my web address on it. This is not the only thing I want to do, other charities have helped me too and I want to try to give something back to each of them. I was hoping to get the paints for my Liberator Bomber model but I had not taken the slip of paper with me to know which color it was, I’ll have to do that on Monday, something to look forward to doing. After we had watched my wife darting around in the rain from the dry of the van, (bless her), we returned to the Bungalow to ensure that it was ready for visitors tomorrow for the party.

I spent a while this afternoon spray priming the other models I have so that I can systematically paint each one at the same time. I aim to paint all the black, then all the silver etc etc, the little bits so that when I come to building that model, the small bits are ready to go. The idea is that I will be able to build the model and then only have the fuselage and wings to paint, that’s the idea, but we shall see how it pans out. Other bits and bobs that are normal daily life went on and then I received some messages about donations and Facebook messages, so I fired up the laptopamabob and had a look. I spent some time exchanging messages with a young lady that went to school with my wife, I have never met her but she has followed the comments that have been made since my little bump on my wife’s FB and posted some herself, showing a genuine interest and offering support for my wife which is lovely. She has been doing the same now that I have had my own account but today I received a friend request, I accepted and had a little chat predominantly about old school American cars and racing. The time eventually came that we were going to disappear out and watch the carnival in Chard, just to see how it compared to Ilminster.

We parked the Chucklebus up at the top of the town as all the roads were closed a bit earlier than I had thought in earlier years but no problem, we parked up, dismounted and walked to meet my Mother in Law. We do a lot with my Mother in Law for many reasons but the two main ones are that she is own her own after my Father in Law passed away due to seriously ill health, she really helps with the children which they love and it gives my wife some down time but also, we all have a really good time. I take the piss out of her, she retaliates I lose because ultimately when she and my wife gang up and say that they are going to leave me behind and walk faster than my wheelchair will go, to the Chucklebus, I have to apologise. See, it ain’t all fun and games in the chair you know. But going off on a tangent while I remember, I noticed in the supermarket today that all of the large tins of sweets are again on the top shelf. This year, I’m going to get someone to drive me to the supermarket in Taunton, (because I don’t shop there!), I’ll have my power chair and the other person can have my manual chair and we can both go to the sweet isle. We can see how long it takes for someone to ask if we need help after trying in vain to reach the top shelf and when asked, the person in my manual chair can simply say, “No, thank you for asking, I shall get it myself”, stand up, get the tin and wheel off!!! Cruel? Maybe, Funny? Oh Christ yeah it will be. Tins of sweets on the top shelf…REALLY!!!!!!!

Anyway, sorry about that, had to share it because it was in my head from earlier and I had to tell someone so it may as well be you. Now then, where was I? Blah blah blah, Mother in Law, blah, oh yeah, so we are walking to meet up with my Mother in Law and we could not believe how empty the streets were. It was only around 20 minutes until the start of the carnival procession and there was no one out. It was dead, really dead, to the point we thought we had the wrong night. We decided to walk through the centre of town and it was not really any different. It started to rain a bit, (’cause that never happens), so we got a burger for our tea and stood under the cover of the co-op foyer. Tea finished, we dropped the rubbish in the bin and headed for a spot closer to the start. We cut through and decided on standing on the corner above the Police station. There were a few more people here, it looked healthier so here was where we stayed. The procession started, people started to move for a view and despite this, a couple who were stood next to us on the higher side kept our view to our right clear and were consciously doing so in order to give us a view of the float going away from us as well. This was actually an eye opener for me. They could see the float coming up the road towards us all as well as us but still kept the second view clear. Really nice of them, a total contrast to the previous week. That was until a guy who had walked from our right for no apparent reason, stood right in front of me! Honestly, I could not believe it. His back was to me and he was just standing there. I was just about to do the first thing which was to politely ask him if he would mind moving slightly for me to see, when my eldest Daughter laughed and just pushed the guy. It was then that I realised that it was my Brother in Law the nobba, being clever after what happened last week. We had a quick chat and he returned to the place from which he had come….the pub. The procession was bigger than Ilminsters, of that there is no question. Majorette troops totalled four I believe, there were a couple of the large floats from, I believe Axminster way which added some more color. It was just an all together better carnival, and that is not easy to say as I have spent 36 of my 37 years growing up there! After the final float passed us with the obligatory “this is the end of the procession” Police car and pedestrians following, we decided to cut back through in to town and head back to the Chucklebus. The amount of people that were now in town was a huge improvement on when we had first walked through. The `hub` seemed to be The Cerdic, but everyone was having a great time. I would imagine that getting a drink would possibly have been easier at that point than earlier in the evening, but as I previously said, the spirits were high.

Surprise surprise, in the thick of the `hub` was my Brother in Law. My children got his attention from across the road and he darted over  to say hello. Subsequently, he picked up my youngest, and, followed by my eldest Daughter took them across to see his mates, (who they know anyway). 5 minutes later it was swapsies and he took my son over to see everybody. When he brought my son back, we said goodbye and headed up to the spot where we had parked the Chucklebus. Once loaded up, we drove my Mother in Law back to her home and the drove back to the Bungalow. And that is obviously where we are now. I have been writing this Blog for you to look at whilst my youngest is in the land of sleepy bo bo. My son was watching a film but is now in his land of sleepy bo bo, and my wife and eldest Daughter have been decorating the Bungalow for my youngest Daughters party tomorrow. I can not wait to see her face when she enters the front room to find a Minnie Mouse balloon that is taller than she is.

So, after last weeks carnival caused me to ask some questions on the longevity of the carnival, this week showed that there are some clubs and majorette troops who, for whatever reason do not attend Ilminster carnival. To that end, maybe not ALL of the carnivals will die out at the same time, but to that end, the town I grew up in could be one of the first to disappear. For now though, I hope that next year may show some of the clubs and troops we saw tonight attend Ilminster, for now then, my Faith is restored.

Goodnight all.


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