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Monday, July 23, 2007

Look what was on at the Brighton Centre yesterday...

District Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses
I knocked on the door and asked if I could talk to them about it, but they told me to go away.

Fortunately I was only passing at the time, as I was on my way to bag a good spot for this year's Brighton Carnival. I eventually settled on a prime vantage point which allowed me to get a big yellow rubbish bin into every shot...

Walking HeaddressGrumpy Fan Woman
With hindsight, I probably could have chosen a better location. But on the plus side, it was near the Gemini Beach Bar where, in addition to a live band outside, they now have waitresses who wear t-shirts saying 'Thirst Aider'. It doesn't take much to amuse me.

Foyer Pelham StreetAnyhoo, here's a group from The Foyer on Pelham Street, which "provides a safe haven and temporary supported accommodation for fifty vulnerable 16 to 25-year-olds who are homeless or in housing need". And what better way to help vulnerable young people than to make them dress up as Bugs Bunny and The Big Bad Wolf, and parade through the streets of Brighton. Their self-esteem must be sky-rocketing.

Having watched the procession belly-dance their way along the seafront, I then followed them to Hove Lawns where the carnival ended in a three-hour 'Peace Picnic' - ironic, as it was actually very noisy.

The Argus Bouncy CastleBut I did discover why The Argus can't afford to pay me for my articles. It's because they've spent all their money on a bouncy castle. Now I know how Michael Beard spends his lunch hour. I bet they can't drag him off it.

To be honest, the Peace Picnic was more like a field at Glastonbury. It was all henna tattoos, hand-made jewellery, fair-trade cushion covers and a lot of tofu. I did study an exhibition entitled 'Guantanamo: Portraits of Injustice', but when you've seen one person in orange, you've seen them all. To be honest I was more shocked by some of the live music on offer. A couple of those bands really were committing crimes against humanity.

Speaker For... um...As for the agenda at the Speaker Forum, that also failed to excite me. Although if you spend long enough trying to decipher all the times on the left, you end up feeling too confused to declare war on anybody, so they probably achieved something there. The Women's International League For Peace & Freedom sounded like a fun bunch of girls, but I couldn't be bothered to hang about until 5:15pm to find out. And besides, they fought for my freedom to leave early, so I knew they wouldn't mind.

I did, however, chat to a nice lady with a clipboard, who introduced herself as "one of the organisers of the Brighton Carnival", and proceeded to ask me a couple of pointless questions about recycling. My favourite was the multiple choice one about what we should do with the rubbish from the Peace Picnic. One of the options was 'Leave it in the street'. I went for that, but she didn't take me seriously.

We had a good discussion about question number two though, which was "Where do you live?". I answered "Kemp Town", she replied "Kent Town?", I repeated "Kemp Town", she asked me to spell it, I described where it is, she said she'd never heard of it, I said it's very nice, and she finally admitted that "I don't really know Brighton". But hey, I'm glad it hasn't stopped her organising our carnival.