When Brian of https://equinoxio21.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/carnival-of-carnivals/ posted his Brazilian feature a couple of days ago his photographs sent me on a search for a set of my own colour slides from August 2007. I spent rather too much time on what seemed a fruitless exercise until, overnight, I remembered some forgotten boxes.
This was the year of Jessica’s death and my return to London to try to set up home alone once more. My usual meticulous filing system broke down. Consequently I kept slides unidentified in the processor’s little boxes. When Jackie and I were reunited in 2009 she helped me identify the contents, although I have never incorporated them into my archival system. Jackie had remembered this process and thought it was possible that she had labelled one box Notting Hill Carnival.
Indeed she had.
Today I scanned them.
For a couple of years I lived in Sutherland Place, very close to this corner where one of the sound units was situated. In 2007 I was one of only two residents who stayed at home for the Bank Holiday weekend. The other woman wore earplugs and, as the music shook our houses, advised me to do the same. The sound from the speakers was actually painful.
I do hope this young lady occupying one of the floats still has her hearing.
The wonderful light on this August day, and the sparsity of some of the clothing belies the fact that the temperature was very cold. When I left my spot on the railings beside St Stephen’s Mews to go home to use the lavatory and add another layer of clothing
I was able to reclaim it on my return. Two years later that would not have been possible. I couldn’t get near any of the floats, and when I left my flat I had to prove that I lived in the road in order to pass the barrier to reach home. 2007 may well have been the last manageable year of such a popular event drawing visitors from all over the country.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome savoury rice; a rack of ribs in barbecue sauce; and crisp tempura prawns with which she drank for of the Cabernet Sauvignon and I drank more of the Shiraz.