We spent today in the tiny West Sussex village of Ebernoe for their annual Horn Fair. It's a centuries old tradition involving cricket, a roast ram, a fun fair and hot air balloons, among other things. It was a bit like being in an episode of The Archers, which is about the highest compliment I can pay.
We are currently staying with my friend Abigail. Her family has strong links to the village and it's traditional for them to get together at the fair each year, otherwise I don't think I'd ever have known of it's existence but I'm so glad we went.
It is incredibly, deliciously English. It's the sort of thing that village communities do so well; cake stalls, loud speaker announcements, tea tents, beer tents. There is a funfair with enough bouncy castles, rides and sugar to keep most children entertained for hours.
When the cricket match breaks for lunch and tea, the grass is suddenly filled with people making a bee line for the tea tent, or running around if you're little.
Someone had this giant wand-thing for blowing huge bubbles, and the kids had a lot of fun chasing them, trying to pop them or catch them in their hands.
We ate our picnic lunch under some big, shady trees with a good view of the cricket. I don't really understand cricket if I'm honest - it seems like nothing is happening then suddenly people burst in random smatterings of applause - but despite this I'm quite happy to watch it or listen to it. John loved it.
It was a long, meandering kind of day where lunch rolled into tea in between visits to the bouncy castle and cake stall. There was no mobile reception. I didn't really know what the time was all day. When we finally left around 6 the fair was just warming up for the evening's entertainment: the town band, the carving of the sheep roast and a hot air balloon. But the kids were all getting very tired and it was time to go. Next time we'll stay longer.
Ebernoe is very beautiful, as it the whole area. We drove through village after village filled with pretty cottages, attractive pubs, charming village greens and I kept saying to John "Let's live here!" and then we got back and I looked at the house prices on the internet and then we fell about laughing. Maybe when we win the lottery.
Thank you all for your lovely comments on my napkins and the playhouse. And hello new followers, you are very welcome! I will try and get round you blogs and say hello over the next week or so.