Sunday, August 06, 2006


Today has possibly been one of the hottest, most uncomfortable days I can remember. When it is really hot in England it is usualy humid - and today was no exception. There was no hiding place, even in the beer tent at Pickering Steam Traction Engine Show! The Gentleman in the picture sought respite in the shadow of his steamroller, but as you can see there really is no escape. Otherwise the event was both exciting and ethereal. The smell of steam and diesel was everywhere, brawny yet shy farmers duelled in tractor pulls and revelled in brief respite from their daily toil. A kind of fleeting fame - and a joy to behold!
I have always found fairgrounds somewhat spooky - barrel organs, carousels and monkeys and covered rides - they evoke a kind of timeless fascination and unease, yet a sense of abstract wonder too. It is as though they, fairground folk, know things the rest of us dont and inhabit an underworld of dark secrets . Yet as I write six hours later, still breathing out diesel fumes, I can only say - What a wonderous thing!

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