It was a fortunate coincidence that my weekend in Winchester coinciding with the part of the Winchester Festival known as the Hat Fair. This meant nothing to me when I sat in the High Street eating a Bacon and Cheese Wrap but I later discovered that the Hat Fair is more than just an exhibition of hats. It’s an event where lots of street performers come to Winchester and well…perform. The word “hat” seemed to have little relevance beyond the fact that there were lots of stalls selling types of hats. Now of course I had my camera on hand so let me talk you through the things I saw.
By the cathedral “the hairy acrobat” did lots of stunts involving climbing and hanging of a pole. His whole show was quite enjoyable as he did not speak during it, just used noises, a bit like Mr. Bean. A fair chunk of his routine involved him sort of seducing a woman by doing dancing and pole climbing/hanging to Mexican music with a rose in his mouth. A bit weird but really enjoyable.
At one point I saw a man pull off something quite impressive. He escaped from a strait jacket whilst sat on a unicycle without injuring himself. He must have had a lot of practice. Two members of the crowd were holding up the unicycle and were told to let go and there was a horrible moment where you wondered whether this guy knew what he was doing and feared he would fall onto Winchester’s hard high street. Fortunately no such thing happened and the guy escaped fairly easily.
Another act involved unicycles too. Two men began by juggling club but later progressed to throwing clubs which were on fire to each other whilst riding unicycle. Quite why you’d want to attempt such craziness I do not know.
And finally is the bizarre case of the French bread dancers. A man played the accordion and two men did a weird dance to it where they had a stick of French bread in their mouths. They walked around, ate bits of the bread and got the onlooking crowd to eat bits of it. Quite what the point of all this was I do not know. I do have photo evidence of such madness:
It was a lovely day for it and we all sat by the cathedral to eat lunch in the lovely sun. It was the perfect excuse for myself and Dannie to break out the sunglasses.
During the evenings of my Winchester break we watched a variety of films, none of which I had seen before, and I shall now sum each of them up in a few sentences.
- Se7en (Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, Crime Thriller)- Two detectives investigate the case of someone performing murders based on the seven deadly sins but the methods become more horrible as the film goes on. Bit of a depressing end but quite enjoyable. Shame Gwyneth Paltrow’s in it but Morgan Freeman is so epic I can forgive them.
- American Pie (Comedy)- A group of high schoolers plan to lose their virginity before they finish school. Involves cringe worthy scenes of a sexual nature but fairly enjoyable if a very predictable.
- A Clockwork Orange (Darkly satirical science fiction)- In a future world Alex likes Beethoven, raping people and being violent. The film follows him and his gang going about their horrible every day life until Alex is arrested. The government attempts to cure him in a new way but it doesn’t go to plan. Odd and disturbing film but still rather brilliant, making you have a long think about all sorts of issues.
- Knocked Up (Judd Apatow rom-com) A woman ends up pregnant on a one-night stand and so it’s a rom com sort of the wrong way round. It’s so obvious what’s going to happen and not that funny but quite enjoyable. Does contain perhaps my new fave quote: “It’s weird that chairs even exist when you’re not sitting on them”.
All in all my long weekend in Winchester in the new house was rather good. I had a rather brilliant time and I look forward to living in the house. The friends I have made have become very close already and it’s sad that I won’t seem them for most of the Summer. Still, it’s nice to have a break. I shall be back tomorrow with a new entry but then I’m afraid I am going off somewhere else. I shall explain further tomorrow. See you then!