As far back as I can remember, Folk Week in Broadstairs has been a massive highlight of the year, from the daily children’s session, called the Hobby Horse club which I went to as a child and am now really enjoying taking my own children to, to the live music in all of the pubs, bars and streets and along the prom. The town comes alive as people descend on it from all over, keen to share in the atmosphere.
I have many happy memories of wandering down to the pub or jetty with my parents to catch a live gig by a group I’d not heard of before (these aren’t your usual Radio One fare) and tapping my feet along to the tunes. Folk music is gaining in popularity, but thanks to our annual Folk Week exposure, I am not surprised in the slightest as it is such a welcoming music genre and really encourages you to join in.
This year, as usual, we have been making the most of every second, arriving for the start of the Hobby Horse Club and then hanging around, just wandering along the seafront, taking in the ambience, watching the jugglers and morris dancers and popping into beer gardens to watch bands perform live for the customers.
We bought the programme and have already picked out some of our favourite bands from previous years that we hope to see again and are planning picnics in the clifftop park, fun on the beach and catching up with friends old and new as we bide the time between gigs. I won’t deny that I do miss being able to go along to some of the evening gigs in the pubs, but this isn’t practical with young children (or fair on them either), so for now we’re making the most of what we can catch outside during the daytime.
As I’d hoped, this year the girls are both old enough to really enjoy it and are joining in the children’s activities almost without encouragement, singing along to songs (they don’t know) and dancing in their own unique ways to the music. They are running around the park, squealing with delight at the buskers, making new friends and gorging on chocolate raisins and ice cream.
One problem has arisen this year though. For the last couple of years, Bunny has had a bit of an obsession with Clarence the Dragon and the Osses (or hooden horses) which manifests itself in constant references to them throughout the year, but then hesitation and caution when she sees them again. This year she was determined not to be intimidated by them and ran straight over to give Clarence some money (as the song goes, he likes eating money for dinner every day…) and laughed along at the Osses mischief. Then, during the evening parade, an oss snapped his wooden jaw in Bunny’s face which completely surprised her and has scared her beyond recognition. Now when they arrive at the bandstand, she squeals with terror and hides behind my back. I began by thinking it was just dramatics on her part until I saw the tears streaming down her face. I have never seen her so hideously frightened by anything before! Yet minutes later, she was laughing along with them as their act got underway! Children are funny things sometimes!
We have lots more fun ahead this week and so far the forecast is looking good, so we’ll definitely be out and about as much as possible to make the most of it. Until the girls flake of course!
Linking this up with Podcast Dove’s What’s the Story linky and the Oliver’s Madhouse Magic Moments linky.