I feel like I've been in perpetual motion the past week and a half. Last Wednesday and Thursday I was in San Francisco, then flew to the UK after a day in Ann Arbor. From there I was in Montpellier for roughly 36 hours and am now back in the UK.Lots of places, time zones, airports and flights.
Amongst all this I found myself at the Notting Hill Carnival last Sunday.
This was accidental in that I'd not really realised it was "Carnival" weekend.Given the riots of a couple of weeks back, there'd been talk of cancelling Carnival all together.
The organizers were determined to carry on and with an early closing every day ( 7pm) as well as 6500 cops policing the 600,000 people in attendance, the party went on.
I was there with my wife from Rio.
Though she enjoyed it she was confused by the name "carnival".
It's nothing like her home city's annual party.
Fun, but very different.
Enthusiastic fellow above huh?
What follows is a collection of pictures taken over three hours or so.
The mood was upbeat and positive and it felt as if the riots of a couple of weeks earlier had happened on a different planet rather than the same city.
As mentioned earlier, there were lots of cops. As far as I saw they seemed engaged with the crowd.
The mood was very relaxed.
Police hailed the two days as "peaceful" with only 245 arrests.
Not bad numbers given a sizable proportion of the 600,000 folks in attendance were drunk (or something else).
One of the wildest groups dancing in the parade was "Chocolate Nation".
All of the dancers were covered in chocolate and weren't afraid to throw chocolate sauce into the crowd.
Food is a big part of the day, though I confess I didn't really find the grub terribly appealing.
Promising at first sight but the proof is in the eating.
Sadly, in my case it didn't deliver.
So in summary,
The Notting Hill Carnival coming so soon as it did after the recent unrest, proved that London at least, is a tolerant, positive place.
People can celebrate diversity and enjoy themselves.
Hopefully the storm clouds have beaten a retreat.Love to all