Living in Notting Hill there is one bank holiday weekend I really look forward to, and that is the august bank holiday weekend. Yes it means it’s the end of summer, but what better way to mark the end of summer other than with the Notting Hill Carnival? This is one of the reasons why I had always wanted to live in Notting hill. Ever since I was a child going to the carnival, which I first attended at the age of 3, in a pushchair with my granny.
Carnival Sunday starts with J’ouvert at 6am in the morning. It’s a tradition from Trinidad which marks the start of carnival, where calypso music is played while the participants (Jab Jabs) get covered in paint and chocolate and/or powder. The idea is that everyone gets involved and the Jab Jabs will hug people, and any new comers that look too clean, to get the revellers covered in paint or chocolate. So be prepared at some point you may meet some Jab Jabs, I know I did but it was fun!
Carnival Sunday is children’s day, and it’s a real family event with kids taking part in carnival in their costumes, it’s very cute. I went to the carnival with my mum, sister, nephew and my boyfriend. This year it was my 3 year old nephew first time at the carnival and he loved it. He was watching the carnival, dancing and enjoying himself and he was not even fazed by the crowd.
Carnival Monday is adult day and it has a lot more an adult feel to the carnival. The adults are in costume and there is a lot more people enjoying the carnival, letting their hair down and celebrating the end of summer. I had thought of giving carnival Monday a miss this year, but I changed my mind when I heard the music from the floats as they were starting up – while I was eating breakfast.
I went with my boyfriend and we had a great time wondering around visiting the different sounds systems and listening to the music. We then went back to Ladbroke grove to watch the floats and enjoy the music. As it got more crowded we decided to follow a float in order to move with the crowd, which we then got invited in the cordon to join the float. They gave my boyfriend a t-shirt and we had officially joined the float. We were part of the carnival!! It was great we had a so much fun and the people were great, they really looked after us and my boyfriend helped with the barrier, making sure no one came into the co-ordinated area when they need it. I have always wanted to be part of a float at the Notting Hill Carnival ever since I was a child, we had only went about 500 meters but it took about an 1½ – 2 hours and I would defiantly like to be part of it next year.
Living in Notting Hill means I don’t have a far travel to the carnival as I live only a 5 min wheel from the carnival route.
If you have never been to the carnival before and you’re a wheelchair user I would recommend you going on the Sunday, it’s less crowded. There are portaloos dotted around and there are also wheelchair accessible loos, which are manned by attendants with keys.
People are generally friendly and welcoming and are generally happy to see you enjoying yourself and are happy to help, like making a clear path to manoeuvre.
I had a great time at the Notting Hill carnival, and have new carnival moments and memories to cherish until next year…
Now it is all about the recovery. I love the carnival, but I will be in lot pain for the rest of week.