Keep the Games and Glasto - there was only one place to be

Forget the Jubilee, forget the Olympics – Felixstowe Carnival really was tip top this year.

It started on the Saturday afternoon.

Just as it was getting hot, I left my small flat with sea views (distant) and got on my bike and popped to Tesco to see Val – the friendly lady behind the cigarette counter who is originally from Kent – for ten Benson and Hedges, and a lucky dip.

From there I went to lunch with my theatrical friend Susan who had done cold chicken and pickled onions.

From our vantage point overlooking the Orwell Road we waved and cheered at the floats and marvelled at how many majorettes a small town like Felixstowe seems able to support. I’ve never seen so many twirling batons.

Apparently there were 37 floats and my favourite was the one that included a Queen look-a-like who was waving from the back of an articulated lorry in a pair of comfortable shoes.

The atmosphere was rather lovely and the streets were packed. There was even a Dalek and a special cheer for the Germans from Wesel.

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By the time evening came I was on the seafront enjoying a carnival tea. My friend Dean – who enjoys sea views (panoramic) and is best known for his portrayal of Widow Twanky in the town’s panto – cooked an impressive selection of dishes which included a memorable puff pastry creation, a salad nicoise and a paella.

I drank a jug of fruity sangria so I had my five a day.

Thankfully the evening had a loose Spanish theme so we were spared quiche.

I’m no cook but I did manage to rustle up a box of After Eights while my friend Samantha brought a bought trifle after her jelly didn’t set.

On Sunday night, after an afternoon with a bag of Minstrels in my beach chalet, I found myself still in carnival mood and went along to the festivities in Langer Park. I even wore a lime green wrist band which showed everyone I was over 18 – just in case there was any doubt.

It was Felixstowe’s answer to Glastonbury and though I’m not one for festivals – I’m too bulky for sleeping bags – I do have the honour of being at the bar when they ran out of beer and we were forced to drink pink alcopops. It was very rock and roll.

And another thing, dear readers, the fireworks were most impressive. A few spent cartridges landed on the crowds but no one seemed to care.

Tempted though I was to get a henna tattoo I resisted because after a couple of days it looks like you’ve picked up some dermatological condition and I didn’t want that on my hands.

And I didn’t go on the fair much – I don’t want a goldfish what with all the vet’s bills and I’m too large to be swung around at speed.

I kept my eyes peeled but I didn’t see my friend and favourite former mayor Doreen Savage on the Wurlitzer either.

Interestingly, I did spot, amongst the candyfloss and side stalls, a sign offering something called sanitary blue fluid for �6 a gallon which must be something to do with caravans.

I’m looking forward to next year.