Ramsgate Carnival – 28th July 2019

Carnival season is in full swing but we’re only at our 3rd carnival of the year. I was walking with Dover Carnival Association while Daly was rear vehicle during the carnival. We were taking our friend Tony with us and his little girl. We haven’t really seen him much recently so it was nice to spend some time.

Our morning started with Daly packing the boot and me getting our picnic ready and sorting Bella out so she was ready to go. My anxiety was through the roof and I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. I just didn’t want to be there today. We were planning on getting out of the door by 11am so to be in the car and on the road by 10.30am was such a lovely feeling. I wanted to grab a Costa on the way but with my anxiety being so high I just couldn’t face talking to people.

We were going to Daly’s parents first before we made out way down to Ramsgate. Daly’s dad needed some help with the car and we hand arranged to meet Tony there. When we got to Daly’s parents Bella instantly started to play with her kitchen. Dawn and Grant were coming down to Ramsgate carnival later. Grandma asked if Bella wanted to going shopping with Grandma and Grandad. Turns out that she was. It made my life slightly easier for a bit. I was going to have some time that I didn’t have to play mummy and could focus on getting my anxiety down.

Tony turned up with little lady and the four of us headed down to Ramsgate. When we got there Daly parked up at the front of the line up and I stood and chatted with Drew while Daly said hello to his sister and faffed with the car.

Not long after our friend Grace turned up on the hunt for sugar and milk. For something to do I walked up with her to the shop to go get some. I mean I wasn’t going to say no if there was a chance of a cup of tea in it for me.

Grace and I chatted about things on our way to and from the shop and when we got back to the line up I walked down with Grace to Dover’s float. The Dover girls were all sitting on the floor having a picnic in their day wear. Grace and Rob set up the kettle and made us all cups of teas and coffees. Rob hasn’t lost his touch making a cuppa thankfully. All I needed was a bacon roll as well and it would be perfect.

Once the girls had finished their lunch Tina took them to get changed into their regalia ready to head up to the field where all the courts would be performing their curtseys. While the girls were getting sorted Daly came down to the float with the car so we could put Bella’s car seat in the tow vehicle and I could grab my camera. I almost forgot the battery though and had to run back to the car to grab one.

I walked up to the field with the Dover girls and they walked around the field saying hello to all the other courts. There was entertainment in the main ring in the field. First up were some majorettes (baton twirlers) while I was watching then the Teynham court came running past, Jess having a piggy back of Kaci. That court truly are a bunch of nutters.

We walked round the field and I popped into a few stalls that were dotted around. There was one stall selling bows that Paige had mentioned to me when I first got to the field. In the stall there were tons of bows, especially lots of Disney themed ones. There were so many bows I could have bought for Bella but I only had a fiver on me so I couldn’t buy too much.

In the end I settled for buying Bella a set of Little Mermaid bows for when I put Bella’s hair into bunches. I really could have bought her several others but I thought a pair of Little Mermaid bows would actually get used. As well as the bows I also picked up Bella a Little Mermaid necklace. She’s really started to like wearing jewelry so I thought I’d treat her to one she can wear with her Ariel costumes. I haven’t worked out though if I should give it to her now or wait until Christmas.

The Dover girls had found an area to sit in one of those little shelters that you tend to find along the british coast. It was nice the girls were there, it meant I didn’t have to panic about one of them going missing. While we were sat in the shelter, the girls decided they were going to make up some fun poses and asked me to take photos of them. I really enjoyed doing that. It was nice to capture something rather then the ridged poses that we normal capture at carnivals. It was nice to see the girls so at ease and relaxed.

Sadly the girls soon had to go and get down to the official side of carnival. All the courts were required to go into the ring so they could perform their curtseys to the Mayor and receive a gift.

All the courts lined up round the edge of the ring and one by one they were called into the centre to perform their curtsey. There were a lot of courts so it took a long time to get through them all. The MC introduced each court by sharing facts about the towns they represent.

Eventually it was time for my Dover girls to perform their curtsey. They did so well and remembered their formation and timing perfectly. It’s not the most exciting part of carnival but like I said the courts have to carry out their formal duties while representing their town. It is tradition and in my mind polite that they perform the curtseys for dignitaries.

While the girls were in the ring Dawn and Grant appeared with Bella. I said hello and we chatted for a bit. Bella was so excited when she saw Daly walking across the field towards her. She was jumping in the pram shouting ‘Daddy!’ Considering this morning she wanted nothing to do with him that certainly cheered him up.

Once the curtseys were over I hurried the girls back to their float. It had taken 45 minutes to complete all the curtseys and the carnival set of at 4pm so we had just over an hour to get the girls settled on the float and begin being judged. So we hurried down to the float and then to the toilets.

In the toilets we sorted the girls hair and crowns out before heading back to the float. Once at the float we got all the girls on and set up the music. Now all that was left to do was to chill out before the carnival set off.

Once the girls were settled I headed off down to Teynham’s float who were parked a few floats behind us. Dawn and Grant were parked up with Bella by Teynham’s float chatting with Char and Paige. Apparently they were going to bring Bella up to me but instead I came and found her. She said her goodbyes to Grandma and Grandad and then we walked back up to Dover’s float.

I popped Bella in her car seat and she made a deal with the driver that she wouldn’t kick the back of his seat. I was a little bit worried about Bella sitting in the tow vehicle. She’d met the chaperones of Dover before as well as the driver but she didn’t know them that well. I had left her iPad in our car so I rang through to Daly to check we could pick it up as we walked past him parked at the start of the carnival waiting for everyone to go past.

4pm rolled around and it was time to set off. Bella was happy in the back of the car and I was happily walking beside the float. The carnival went pretty well. danced alongside the float keeping an eye on the girls and making them laugh.

As we made it in to the High Street we came to a stop. I got Bella out of the car so she could have a wander around but the agreement is, if she’s out of the car beside the float during the carnival, she has to wear her high vis. She wasn’t too happy about it but she agreed.

She made friends with my friends little girl who was also walking with us. They were carrying around the buckets and the girl was looking out for Bella and helping her.

Eventually the carnival started moving again. I had popped Bella back in the tow vehicle as she was refusing to walk. As we set off down the road somehow Bella managed to wind her window down. I say wind they’re electric. We walked all the way through Ramsgate High Street and back to along the sea front where the carnival started.

When we got back to the start I handed our buckets over to the organisers and Grace and I jumped on to the front of the float. There was no way we were walking back after walking all that way. When we parked up Grace set about sorting out the girls and getting them off the float while I was sorting out Bella. It was lovely to hear from the chaperones and driver that Bella had been so well behaved. I’m so happy she was so good and that she hadn’t bothered them.

Grace had asked if we were able to take two of the girls up to the hall so they could take the float home. The junction to get into the hall car park was far too tight to get the floats into so everyone seemed to be dropping them off where they are normally kept. We had space so we had the two queens in with us. We packed up the car once we’d finally got hold of Daly. He was too busy driving around with his flashing lights.

We went up to the hall and met back up with the rest of the court so they could all walk in together.

I had brought a picnic with me as I know Bella and I weren’t down to have a meal. However one of the organisers came out and told us we were quite welcome to help ourselves to food as there was so much inside.

It was nice sitting outside. All the courts were sat inside enjoying their food and the formalities of the evening but we had the joy of watching all the kids, of people who help out with carnival, play. They were running round and playing with each other.

After the meal all the girls seemed to migrate outside and were chatting and playing. Like normal one of the photographers organised a huge group photo. At the time I was stood in the car park chatting with Daly and Drew. We spotted them setting up the group shot and the boys went running in trying to photobomb it. I don’t think they managed though. Bella watched them run into the photo and she started running shouting ‘Me too!’ I ran with her and the Teynham girls caught hold of her as we got to the group.

She managed to sneak into the group photo pretending to be Miss Teynham as she had been taken sick so it was just the two princesses on their own. I swear if they could steal her all carnival, every carnival they would. You never know one day she may get to sit on the float with a crown and a sash, taking after mummy and both her aunties.

Once the group photo was over the Dover girls asked me to take some more fun photos of them. These of course Daly and Drew were able to photobomb. Just proves how much fun we all have at carnivals.

All the courts had to go back inside for presentations but the fun didn’t stop for the adults. One of the marshals appeared outside with a massive bowl of grapes. Now normal people would share the grapes and eat them like civilized people however carnival adults decided it was the perfect time for a food fight.

A whole group of us ended up throwing grapes at each other. It was so funny. Until Lou shouted at us to stop. She went into full on mummy mode. We all got shouted at and told to pack it in. Like Daly listened though. He carried the fight on until all the grapes had gone.

Time from presentations came about and I went and sat with Teynham to watch the awards. I like to take photos of the courts I’m close to if they win anything. Sadly that didn’t really happen.

Sadly Teynham didn’t receive any awards but Dover won chaperone of the day, which went to Tina, and their rosebud won 3rd rosebud of the day.

We had a lovely day at Ramsgate. It was nice to be back at carnivals and involved. Looking forward to next weekend, we have a double carnival weekend and I’m with Daly for all of it.

Anyways, night all and let’s see what adventures tomorrow holds for us.

Love CiCi x

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