That it is a year since our last Spring Fair - and more, as the Saturday previous to early May Bank Holiday has now leapt forward by a week - is hard to credit, but so it is, and this year, as everyone kept telling me, the weather was perfect. I thought perhaps it was too perfect: a long-predicted warm and sunny weekend is liable to send locals to the coast rather than the recreation ground in Hornington to walk around the biggest event in the Swanvale Halt calendar. But at this point it seems as though enough people came to make it a success. We'd had one upset, when the Council decided the beer tent needed a Temporary Event Notice too late for it to be granted, and after (so he told me) informing the landlord of the pub supplying it that it didn't need one. But my wonderful parishioners came up with the idea of supplying cordial instead and that worked splendidly.
The number of stalls was in fact well up on last year, and there was barely a moment unoccupied if you wanted it to be filled. Making my rounds of the field I was waylaid beside a stall attempting to publicise the health-giving benefits of aloe vera, not just as applied to the skin but taken internally: 'People don't drink it for the taste', warned the personable young woman who was the public face of the business after I selected a shot of unflavoured gel, and on trying the experiment I saw her point. The sky was a pellucid blue (almost a painful blue at times), the infants danced and the dogs at the dog show went through their paces. And I wandered about trying to be useful and smiling, and I am glad that's done for another year!