Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Who needs Notting Hill?

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Once upon a time, I am sure Notting Hill carnival was relaxed and low key. Now it seems to be corporate, hectic, a little edgy and certainly overcrowded. That was definitely the experience I had five years ago when I went.

Thank god we have the Cowley Road Carnival in Oxford.

Procession? Check.

Sound stages? Check.

Food from around the world served on the street? Check.

Road closure? Check.

Crowds, crime, edginess? No!

It's such a perfect day (thanks, Lou), and on my doorstep. I particularly loved the Youth Stage with the enthusiastic and talented teenage bands - they were all doing template Nu Metal, but I love seeing them up there.

I managed to cross off one of personal list of 100 Things To Do Before I Die. Our friend Colin has a flat on Cowley Road, where you can climb out the front window and perch on a ledge watching the world go by. I always felt jealous of the people I saw up there, looking down on us. And I got to be one of them this year, as we paused at his flat for a cup of tea. It's like being a celebrity, too - people gawp at you and take your photograph. Fame for all of four seconds, I reckon.

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