So this weekend was Notting Hill Carnival weekend.
I've been living in London for 4 summers now, and never had the Monday off until now. So I have always missed out on this spectical. Today having the bank holiday I was determined to enjoy the show. Turned out having an appointment earlier on in the day and unsure of when it may end I was jimmy no mates doing it by myself.
The atmosphere starts early. As soon as you get off the underground train at Notting Hill Gate you are met with a wall of sound. 'Bu bam bam bu bamm bamm bu bamm bamm' as the metal sheeting of the escalators is hit in rhythm by eager festivity goers. For one horrible moment I thought the vuvuzelas of the South African World Cup were going to be heard throughout bu thankfully were mostly only heard on the way up to the street level. Had to feel sorry for any police whose duty it was to keep an eye on the happenings underground though - a few hours of that party sound might not be as enjoyable as it was for the rest of us.
Once you hit street level, its somewhat chaotic, you are dragged along by a sea of crowd - some of which knows where they are going, but a heck of lot don't. Some are going against the tide. Which just adds to the confusion. Eventually though you get on path and start the parade proper..where the fun begins...apologies for the photographs...a lot of them are just overhead shots trying to get past the camera phones and above the fantastic hair line level which puts my lack of effort in the hair style to shame.
It was a fun day, not without troubles. For most its an excuse to party and celebrate like any carnival should be. For some its an excuse to use the crowd as an opportunity, I had a backpack that was a temptation. But with one camera around my neck and another in my hand I had nothing in it worth taking. An unfnished book intended for the travel home wasn't pilfering but its certainly worth being smart about what you take with you. Other than that a couple of moments of chaos when the crowd surged is nothing to really write about - its to be expected, not so much when a line of police run away from the surge....that was more worrying. Just as I was about to take a picture of what at the time looked like some very bored policemen. My timing sucks!