Monday, 19 August 2013

It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts.

It's been a busy week here in my little corner of East Devon.

As you'll from my previous post, last week was our annual Regatta week. Many years ago this would have meant a few sailing races but now, however, it involves a week of activities from fishing competitions to barrel rolling races in the main street and most importantly for me, Dear Sister and Dear Cousin; the fancy dress competition.

It'd be fair to say that my Dear Family and I fully embraced as much of Regatta Week (capital letters as very important.) as we possibly could and consequently are after a full week of day and night shenanigans, are now fully exhausted. The flags are down and it feels like Autumn is round the corner, despite having 3 weeks of the school holidays remaining.

As an eternal optimist, I always try and see the positive side in situations as often as I can, so as I sit here with an 'it's all over, now what do I do?' feeling I'm searching for happy thoughts from the past week to cheer myself up.

It hasn't been difficult as there were so many and here they are, in no particular order;

1:  My Dear Son and Nephews taking part in the relay and running races.  
And still enjoying the taking part even when they didn't win. Best moment of this day was Dear Son and his friends being so enthusiastic that they even entered the 13 - 16 year old relay race, despite only being 9! Seeing these boys running their absolute fastest against towering, giant, teenagers. and just enjoying the moment was priceless.
2:    Dear Nephews dancing their hearts out in the disco dancing competition. 
There was no enjoyment in their method of dancing,  this was two little, competitive,  Oxford boys dancing to win. Eye's firmly fixed on the judge and with every dance move pulled out of the hat. To add to my entertainment, I also got to see 30 plus children doing Gangnam Style. click here to see it 
No TV dance competition will ever compare to what I witnessed that night in the village hall of my little corner of East Devon. You'll be relieved to hear that we did leave with a dance medal that evening.  

We also left with 3 little boys who had eaten thier weight in sweets and then promised a sleepover at my house. Lucky for me, the intense dance off had exhausted them so much that even an additive laden trip to Willy Wonka's wouldn't have kept them awake.

3:  Tuesday night barrel rolling. 

Now some villages have cheese rolling, some have tar barrel's on fire. We have beer barrel rolling. 

For many years past, this was a major event which saw the main street shut off and lined with hundreds of people watching teams of children, ladies and men push a large beer barrel up and down the street. It was as simple as that, and we loved it. But due to insurance costs this was moved to the football field for several years, so you can imagine the buzz in the village last Tuesday as huge numbers of people turned up to watch the event return to main street. My happiest thought was seeing Dear Son take part. I'm not sure he entirely knew what would be involved, or the sheer number of spectators, but he did it. (We did have to reiterate a few times over that it was the taking part that counts, as it appears pushing a barrel between four 9 year olds is harder than he imagined)      

4: The fancy dress competition.
 If you read last week's blog post, you'll know that it's a Regatta right of passage to take part in the fancy dress parade. This was our third year of entering into this competition which I had also been part of in my younger years and this year we were going for some silver wear. We have won a comic category in the past with our Mr Men creation and runner up as Little Jack Rattenbury's. This year, however, our mission was to take home something to display on the mantle piece to mark the blood, sweat and tears that had gone into our creations. Our theme, Maid Marian and her Merry Men, was all based around the 'awwwwww' factor; our 7 month old Maid Marian and our  comical toddler Friar Tuck.

During the run up to fancy dress Thursday everything seemed to being going unfashionably well.
 All outfits were compete by Monday, thanks to our personal seamstress Dear Mum and Pearl,  we'd made our bows and arrows by Tuesday, torrential rain on Wednesday meant we had time to make our sign and by Thursday morning all disputes over who was going to be Robin Hood has ceased following the discovery by Dear Son that Little John was actually the tallest, and always willing to play the tall card, he decided he was simply too big to be Robin.
So that brings me to the end of this post and just enough room to let you know the result.

With everything crossed and our competitive boys fully embracing their medieval attack poses we came 1st!
And our little Maid Marian won us a trophy for prettiest costume.

If I'm being completely honest a little, happy tear was shed. It's something I'm not proud of as it really doesn't compare to my past tear shedding moments such as Mo Farrah winning gold or Wales winning the rugby, but I guess it shows my human side which is why I'm happy to share this with you.
My ability to cry at happy moments is often a great amusement to my Dear Family, Saturday night TV is often accompanied by groans of  "mum's crying again".

And finally, to show how much of the regatta week we embraced, our winning streak didn't end there. Dear Teenager won the pavement artist competition, a fact I'm a little embarrassed about as it's the one event I organise, but in my defence, I have no part in the judging so he did win it fair and square. Dear Son also won the scavenger hunt and Dear Teenager came second  (which is actually more of sprint race for us that a hunt.) and finally Dear Nephew came second in the window spotting competition.  I guess you could say we had a very lucky Regatta.

So there you have it, a few happy moments to get me through the comedown of a fabulous Regatta week.     

I'm off to start fancy dress planning for next year, only 51 weeks to go.

Any idea's greatly appreciated.

With love from lovely Devon

Awaiting the judges decision

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