Today is Dover Carnival Association’s fun and games day. This is what I class as my carnival. They adopted me about 6 years ago as a stand in Princess and Queen and since then I’ve helped out at their selections and carnivals and now fun and games. I even have my own Dover Carnival Association badge – you only end up with a badge if your actually part of a carnival association. Anyways we are off there today for some fun.
However my morning didn’t start like a normal carnival morning. Normally we are up early, I feel stressed, I’m hunting for all the things I need but this morning went so smoothly. I even had time to play with Bella. I packed the car with our bits for carnival including pyjamas, changing bag, camera, iPad and all my medicines and make up.
Once the car was packed and Bell’as bag was full of toys to entertain her I settled down on the carpet and Bella and I had a picnic. Bella has been playing with her picnic so much recently. Today wasn’t her traditional picnic. She normally pulls out her little picnic set but today she had made her own using items from her kitchen including a tea pot and some cups and saucers so mummy could have her cup of tea.
I was picking up a few people to take to Dover with us today. I was suppose to be picking up Dawn, Tony and Jess but at about half ten I received a text from Dawn saying she wasn’t feeling very well so wouldn’t be coming. I had arranged to meet Tony and Jess at Dawn’s so after a hurried text to arrange a new pick up point Bella and I continued to play and enjoy our picnic.
Soon it became time to go. I had been asked to get down to Dover for 1pm so I had arranged to pick everyone up at 12. We loaded ourselves into the car and I popped a DVD on for Bella for the journey. I don’t mind her having the DVD player on if it’s a long journey and she was going to be in the car for at least an hour.
We headed off to play taxi and pick the others up. Now Tony coming is always good. He proclaimed himself Tony’s Creche when Bella was first born. He marshalls the carnivals but he always finds time to look after Bella for me. It can be a true lifesaver when I’m running around sorting girls out, hunting for people, or taking photos. He was pretty much coming along today so he could watch Bella for me and I could do any and all jobs that needed to be done. And the great thing is Bella loves him. It just takes a weight off my mind. I mean I actually got asked at one point today if I did babysitting to which my answer was no, instead I bring my babysitter with me to events. And that’s Tony.
Once we’d picked Tony up it was time to collect Jess. When I knocked on the door her brother answered. I had to laugh as it reminded me of a time when he’d answered my door to me and invited me into his house. I had gone to the store and apparently he’d decided to open the door rather than Daly.
I told him I was very impressed with his real estate. He’s doing well if he owns at least two houses hehe.
We grabbed Jess and she climbed in the back with Bella. At least there was someone who could see what the DVD player was up to. We headed off to Dover via a petrol station. Daly had warned me that I needed to get fuel but at least I knew how to open the fuel tank this time.
I had learnt on our way back from Birmingham. I had tried to open the tank on my own but struggled big time with it so I’d had to give in and ring Daly. When he answered the first words out of my lips were ‘How the f*** do I open this fuel tank!’ and he’d just laughed down the phone at me. I wasn’t impressed but he finally told me. So now I know and I’m able to put fuel in my own car.
Once the tank was full we hit the road. Just as we got into Dover I made a little stop at Tescos. I wanted to grab us some food as I had no idea what time food was being served and I knew Bella wouldn’t be happy if she was left to get hungry. Always good to have snacks no matter what you’re doing.
We did a quick pit stop at Tescos and Bella and I ran in. We quickly avoided the Halloween section. Bella is so excited about Halloween this year so it’s a nightmare going past any Halloween items. She just wants to have a look and buy it all. We grabbed a few snacky bits and a lunchable for Bella’s lunch and then we returned back to the car.
We made the last little bit of the journey and made our way to the hall.
We pulled into the car park and I chose my space right at the back. There are times I hate having a huge car, and tiny car parks are one of those times. Thankfully we were there about two hours earlier than everyone else so I didn’t have many things to dodge. The parking space I’d chosen had a fence behind it and with the length of my car I wanted to get as close as possible, it still badly over hung once it was parked but I couldn’t get any closer to the fence. My parking sensors don’t work so I had Jess in the back of the car, head up against the back window, telling me ‘keep going, keep going’ The sad thing was I parked up and then realised all my bags were in the boot. That resulted in me diving over the backseat into the boot to grab our bags so we could go inside.
We walked in and set ourself down on a table in Dovers section. Grace, Dover’s chairperson, grabbed us and explained all the games she had planned for the girls. She also showed us a long list of games that had been no gos. The type that involved things that with this crazy bunch of girls would probably end in injury.
Once we’d had the low down we had nothing to really do until the courts turned up so we settled on our table and relaxed. Bella was a bit hungry so I sat her down with her lunchable. It turns out Bella didn’t want the cheese. We’d found this really cool lunchable that had the crackers and cheese and then instead of ham or one of the other toppings for the crackers there were chocolate chip cookies. They went down a treat.
After Bella had eaten her lunch she went off to play with Miss Dover and her princesses. They were all running around on the dance floor playing tag. Then the DJ showed up so it was time for them to all have a good boogie.
Bella has really got into her dancing. She was up there twirling and making up her own little routines. Even when the other courts started to turn up so Miss Dover had to go and welcome them all Bella continued to dance by herself.
The other courts from across Kent started to turn up slowly. I kept an eye on the Dover girls while Tony took on his role as Tony’s creche. He followed Bella about on the dance floor and even ended up with a couple more children from various people associated with Dover carnival association. It was quite funny to see him with all these children under 3.
As more and more people started to turn up, Bella had a few of her carnival friends turn up. So she ran off to play with them. It’s nice that she built up some little friendships over the year.
As more and more courts arrived the dance floor became a little busier as did the hall. Once everyone arrived it was time to start the games. The first game the girls were each given a balloon and had to blow up the balloon then use the air inside the balloon to blow 15 plastic cups off the table.
We stayed at our table for this game. I occasionally had a look over to see how the girls were getting on but I mainly focused on chilling and having something to eat. Bella sat with Tony and they played games with her iPad.
Once the game had finished, it was back to a bit of dancing. Isabella and a few of the other younger children were running around the dance floor with balloons that had been blown up and sealed rather than being used to blow cups off of tables. I grabbed my camera and I thought I would capture a few photos of everyone dancing and especially Bella playing with her friends.
Everyone had a good boogie to a few classic carnival songs and then it was time to set up for the next game. Now this game was a bit of a weird one. It involved a flipper, a paper plate and tacos.
Bella wanted to help so she went with Aunty Paige and helped lay out the tacos across the floor. Bella’s very good at this sort of activity. She helps Miss Paige set out the spots at ballet so this is pretty much the same thing.
The girls took it in turns to attempt to use a flipper to flick a taco on to a paper plate tied to their head. It was so funny watching them all attempting it. They did it in groups of three for 60 seconds and you had the ones that couldn’t flick the taco anywhere and then you had ones that had mad skills and aim and could flick about three or four onto the plate easily, and then there were the ones that were just too flexible and would position the taco on the flipper and then would just raise their foot to their head.
We had lots of laughs watching that game. I don’t know where Grace finds these games but they do give us a good giggle.
Once everyone had had a go that wanted to we cleared all the equipment away ready for the next one.
For the next game the girls were working as a court. They needed to use coffee stirrers as walrus tusks and use them to carry a marshmallow from one side of the room to the other. Taking it in turns.
Again we had a case of there were a few who were very good at this and others who spent their whole time just trying to pick up one marshmallow. Still fun to watch.
Bella hovered around the bowls of marshmallows to help. Not that she really helped. She actually ended up nicking peoples marshmallows and eating them. No eating them would have been ok but instead Bella was licking them and then giving the unwanted marshmallows to me. Nice and sticky in my hand. Just what I wanted.
Once the game finished we helped tidy up and then I was given the massive bag of marshmallows for Bella. Yeah, she wasn’t having them. Luckily Jess really likes them so they were easily passed on to her.
Daly and Joe turned up just as we were recovering from the last game. They’d come down together once Daly had finished work. It was nice that Daly was actually able to make it. He hasn’t been able to make many carnival events so it’s nice when he does turn up.
It was time for food. We were starving. Luckily Dover carnival association was called up first which meant me! I went up with everyone else. Daly took Bella up to get her some food.
I went up to go get my food and then went and sat back down with Joe, Jess, Tony, Bella and Daly. While I was eating I noticed Grace’s mum struggling back and forth from the kitchen to replenish food on the table. We had al l been under the impression she had people helping her with food but they weren’t around. I finally had enough of Louise struggling and got up to help her.
I took over the replenishing of the food telling Louise to rest in the kitchen and to just tell Grace and I what to do. We managed to keep on top of all the food and made sure that everyone received enough to eat.
I roped the boys into helping us out. Tony and Daly were clearing the tables for us, while Louise and I cut up the desserts and placed them on plates. We sent the boys out with trays of desserts to pop them on the table. Once all the desserts had been put out and placed on the table I went out to stand by the desserts and I was on cream duty.
I squirted cream onto everyone’s plate with their desserts – if they wanted it and every now and then making up sign language to tell Daly which dessert we were running low on. We were opposite sides of the room. Daly looked like he was doing a kinda dance routine in the corner of the hall when he was actually acting out a comedy routine he had seen trying to wind Grace and I up.
Eventually Tony arrived back with some more Chocolate cake and the girls from Sheppey we’re finally happy and able to go sit down and enjoy their desserts.
We all helped ourselves to some desserts before moving on to our next job. Clearing the table of desserts and then the tables of any rubbish.
I helped myself to some chocolate cake in the kitchen that Louise had saved for me and we tidied up a bit before Grace called us to help with the next game. The final game of the evening was musical statues. Grace had asked which one of us was happy to upset the little ones by telling them they were out. Of course I willing volunteered.
I went and stood on a chair on one corner of the dance floor, Jess set up in another corner with a bag of sweets for everyone who was called out and Grace stood by the DJ.
We all had good fun dancing and calling people out. I may have enjoyed myself a little too much. Our friend Frankie came and joined me on the dance floor and we chatted while picking out those who had lost.
After musical statues had finished it was time for the final part of the evening, the raffle, awards and a few more speeches. We had had the queens speech before we had stopped for food.
First order of the evening was the raffle. Now I hate raffles. They make me really anxious if my number gets called and I win. It’s stupid considering I’ve been around carnival for 15 years and I pretty much know everyone. I mean how is it scary going to get. Prize but it freaks me out.
Tonight however I had bought some tickets. While setting up I had had a chance to look at the prizes and there had been a few little cross stitches that were really cute. I had liked the look of them so I wanted to see if I could win any.
I actually managed to win a penguin cross stitch that I had wanted. I was so excited but Daly didn’t like the fact my prize was boring. Just because it wasn’t alcohol or chocolate.
Once the raffle was over and Ramsgate had won most of the prizes it was time for the awards. I sent Joe up to take photos as I was now taking my time and finishing the food I’d missed out on earlier.
First they called up all the junior awards and then it was time for the seniors. During the awards Bella had wanted to go up and be with the girls. Grace had given me the Dover Princess sashes earlier in the day. As Bella wanted to be with the girls so I called her over to me and popped one of the princess sashes on her. It was so cute. As she went up to join the girls everyone in the room went ‘aww’ The sash didn’t last long though. Bella quickly took it off, I didn’t even get a chance to get a photo of her.
Time for the senior awards. First Miss Dover handed out the awards for Queens and then it was time for princess pairs. Grace called me up for the princess awards. That surprised me. When she had given me the sashes she had said ‘these are for later’ but hadn’t told me what for. I didn’t realise I was going to be handing out awards. I popped the sash on and headed on up to join the rest of the court. Turns out it was a good thing I had got Joe to take the photos otherwise there would had been a bit of faffing with cameras and sashes.
I handed out the princess pairs award with Bella jumping around being very excited that mummy was up the front. Then I helped Miss Dover hand out the court of the day awards.
Once all the awards had been handed out there were a few thank yous to say before everyone headed home. Jess, Joe, Tony, Daly and I stayed behind to help tidy the hall and pack the cars. Once everything had been settled we said our goodbyes to Louise and grace and headed home. Jess and I in my car with Bella and the boys went home with Daly.
We had a lovely day at Dover and are looking forward to the next and last carnival event of the year – Faversham Carnival
Night all and let’s see what adventure tomorrow holds for us
Love CiCi x