It is the village fete and the weather that sets the mood, has decided to choose greyish and mild. The fete is on the memorial hall field. It has views all the way to the coast on a clear day, to the wind turbines at Dungeness. As we walk up the high street we can hear the muffled tanoy going over the running order for the day. The wind catches the words and I get a jumbled picture of events to come – dogs; vicar; something about luck did he say; cakes? Perhaps cakes and ferrets!
Change jingling in my pocket I breathe in burgers and bangers on the barbeque. Suddenly hungry I join the queue. Later having polished off sausage with onions and ketchup (of course) in the obligatory white bun, it is time to visit the stalls.
There is a cocoanut shy where the small boys take perfect aim and win. I’m too scared to have a try. I might do one of those classic backward throws and break a window in the scout hut. A bouncy castle, I am too tall for that and lots of other things. There are no cakes though and I wonder what he was tanoying about.
“Try your luck” I see a hand painted sign and go over to find the “Tombola” and “Bran tub”. When did lucky dip become the bran tub? Putting your hand into the unknown and being lucky to get a prize sounds grand. Putting your hand into a tub of bran to … what exactly? Contribute to you five a day? Sounds all wrong to me.
Anyway; 3 tombola tickets in exchange for a coin of the realm. Bargain. I have a go. I need to get numbers ending in five or zero. And that’s the beauty of the tombola you don’t see what you get. Will you get nothing, no prize at all? Will you get something you take politely and feed to the cat, put in the bathroom cabinet or pour down the drain? If you are lucky enough to match the numbers you might win something proper.
It took ages to track down my prizes – yes prizes – I won three; wine; squash and a packet of tea. Delighted with my winnings I consumed them all (not at once you understand!). I enjoyed the memories of the day as I imbibed and I am very happy that I have started the journey into village life.