Early May in Richmond, lilac blooming means one thing for me...the Richmond May Fair. I have rarely missed it, but this year I can only remember the past pleasure.
There was the family mutt to be dressed up in fancy dress for the dog show as a ‘cross boxer’ in red T-shirt from the LA Olympics (she was seldom angry but was a mixed breed Boxer and tolerated the boxing gloves around her neck); rides on the carousel for excited grandchildren, the lucky dip stalls where if fortunate enough to draw a winning number, one inevitably landed up with a dubious bottle of liqueur made from cactus flowers or the like. Fairground music, smells of hotdogs, huge balloons, with either unseasonably hot weather in T-shirts or wintry wet winds making gloved stall holders skulk under inadequate shelter hugging their thermos flasks. For the last few years, grandchildren grown up, our old dog gone, we had to add another ingredient to the excitement of the day. BusyBee Hazell doled out a tenner to each family member.....and they come a long way for this event......with the aim to buy something/s unusual, and then mid afternoon we would have Show And Tell back at my house. You have no idea what fun this provided and the variety of treasures found was unbelievable, Indian copper Thali pots, gentleman’s white kid gloves, a brand new camping refrigerator, a black suede skirt to be up-cycled into craft objects and enough books to sustain a bored isolator in a later year. Could that be 2020?
I found this beautiful silk scarf with white background, tasselled camels and in the centre, the Peacock Throne. Can you imagine, I even had change from my ten pound note! I don’t recall what else I bought. Since then, I have researched the history of the Peacock Throne and the story brings me right back to HM the Queen who inspired us all last night remembering VE Day. We first know of the throne in the Red Fort in Delhi, a magnificent edifice costing twice as much to build as the Taj Mahal! The throne had a chequered history being spoils of war, taken to Persia and even Afghanistan, by then taken apart for its gems, the most stunning of which was the Koh-i-Noor Diamond. After the Treaty of Lahore, the diamond was transported to England by the East India Company and would end up in Queen Victoria’s crown. When our Queen Elizabeth is dressing down and not wearing it, you‘ll see it in the Tower of London.
I leave you with a ditty.
We’ll gather lilacs in May, a classy scarf on the way, Beware spitting camels, they ruin dental enamels. What good is it pinching the Queen’s Koh-i-Noor? Lockdown means..... I can’t show it off anymore!! I probably bought some earrings with the remainder of my ten pound note. Wearing my classy scarf, the bits of glass might pass as diamonds.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!