07 December 2010


Saw this quote on a blog yesterday:

The purpose of our lives is to be happy. -- Dalai Lama

06 December 2010

Dickens Fair

Saturday afternoon we went to the Dickens Christmas Fair. We would have been there earlier, if tying my bow tie didn't take about a half hour. I couldn't get it to work out...

Anyway, we were there in time for the meet up with the costumers group.

We have been going to the Fair for, I think, four years now. After the first one, my wife connected with the costumers and since then we have been attending in costume, not as participants but as regular attendees.

Small portion of the Dicken Fair "London" map.

The Dickens Fair is an annual arts and crafts festival that runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve in the theme of Victorian London. Many of the booths have some store-front facade to them, so not just canopies like a street fair. It's all indoors, which works well because winter is our rainy season. The building does get a bit warm for people dressed in costume layers: men in frock coats and women in hoop skirts and dresses.

The participants have to abide by costume guidelines to be consistent with the period. The participants are the shopkeepers, the Queen's escort, and the hosts at Fezziwig's Warehouse.

Some of the Queen's escort.

Because it's a holiday fair, much of the theme is from "A Christmas Carol", but there are some boys running around like in "Oliver Twist". Some elements from "A Christmas Carol" are Fezziwig's Warehouse dance party and Scrooge walking around with the various ghosts from the story. The members of the Period Events and Entertainments Re-Creation Society (PEERS) are the hosts for Victorian, ballroom dancing for them and the Fair attendees at the dance party, but it also includes entertainment in the form of Scottish and Irish dance. There was no one playing pipes that day, but usually there is.

After we met the group, we wandered around for a while, asked someone to take our picture, then settled at the dancing.

My wife and I can't / don't know how to dance, so we didn't, but our daughter is picking up the dances and spent some time on the dance floor. I felt bad because I couldn't dance with her. When we arrived home, she was still humming the tunes and dancing around, so I put in the ballroom dance CD that we bought when my wife and I took a dance class about ten years ago. I didn't learn too much from the class and need a LOT more lessons.

Next to the dance area is a vendor of roasted almonds covered with a cinnamon and sugar mixture. This is near the entrance, so you can smell them while in line outside and when around the entrance inside.

Sunday morning I was going to write this up, but our daughter was up early because she wanted to set up holiday decorations, but was then distracted by the computer and we didn't get to the decorating until the afternoon.

Off and on through the morning I was crocheting some on the shawl I've been working on for a present for one of my wife's relatives. When I decided the pattern as written, using the hook I'm using, was going to be more of a shrug than a shawl, I added more rows, the need for more yarn, and a lot more time. It's getting there, should be finished next weekend.