Well, I was, and it was great to meet up with Janet once again and, later, to meet Roger Clark, fellow CFT contributor. Many thanks to Janet for the selfie (and I guess you could have called this an outdoor editorial meeting!).
Image Credit (or blame as you see fit): Unless otherwise named, the culprit behind the images is Allison Symes.
I preferred the weather at this year’s event as it was reasonably pleasant with a good breeze. Last year’s event was baking in every sense and I managed to go home with a slight tan, which was definitely not planned!
Old Friends and Volunteering
Attendance levels were good this year and I managed to catch up once again with Andrew Kuttner of Bettermaths and Mark Miller of the Three Rivers Rail Partnership as I meandered around the Fryern Recreation Ground on Bank Holiday Monday.
It was also good to hear that the Rotary Club were supporting the Scouts and an announcement was made that about £3,000 had been raised. Many congratulations to all who helped raise that total. It’s a truly good sum and CFT understands this figure may go higher.
It was also good to see One Community at the event. They had a great stand with printouts showing various volunteering opportunities including at the Eastleigh Museum and the Bursledon Brickworks. Do contact them for more details if these might be of interest. They are also looking for people who can assist senior citizens with transport (travel expenses are paid) amongst other things so if volunteering is something you’ve considered but you’re not sure where to start, do consider getting in touch with them.
I missed seeing the good people of Thornden Hall here this year and I do hope repair works to the Hall itself continue. It will be lovely to have the Hall back in action again. (I also hope CFT can catch up with you good people again at next year’s Funtasia).
No Chance of Going Hungry or Thirsty
On a lighter note, there was no shortage of refreshment stands at the Funtasia this year. By the time you walked around the field you could have had:-
A cup of tea/coffee/Diet Coke etc and a cake from the refreshment stand near the First Aid point.
Icecream from either Marucci’s van or the Sammy’s one. (Both had very good trade!)
A hog roast
Doughnuts with ground coffee. (I presume the ground coffee was in the cup rather than in the doughnut but each to their own).
A refreshing drink from the “bar” (which, perhaps a little early given it was May, offered summer cup. I think it’s dodgy offering something like that in the UK as a summer cup could vary from something with lots of water in it (a wet summer) to something with barely any liquid in it (if we had something like last year’s heatwave again. Okay, okay, that’s me being pedantic!).
And after all of that toothache, indigestion, or both I’d have thought!
There were plenty of amusements to entertain the younger ones. There were good queues for the train ride, the pony ride, the bouncy castle, inflatable laser zone, the tall bouncy slide and the trampoline (where people were put into a harness). All of these things were best done before having anything to eat or drink from the refreshment stands!
New this year were a “duck and jump” inflatable where one arm would swing round that people had to jump over and then have to duck the other arm placed higher up. It was a good test of co-ordination! Not everybody passed. Mind you, I know I wouldn’t have done either.
There was also a mini tennis net with soft ball tennis being played. I am so glad I didn’t take Lady with me. She’d have had that ball for a start! But the game looked great fun and there was plenty of take-up for that.
The mini assault course also went down well.
Plenty of youngsters took part in the face painting. That one is easy to spot!
Music and Orange Trombones
The fire engine was out once again and there was music courtesy of the Chandler’s Ford Boys Brigade. I heard the main theme from Blackadder which was great and I’ve got to mention the orange trombone that was being played by one of the lads here.
Janet and I got to speak to the Brigade leader as the Funtasia drew to a close. The orange trombone is a plastic one (yes, I know – odd given the trombone is a brass instrument!) but the Brigade have a few of these and they are used to help learners. Also the cost of a real trombone is £1500 so you do have to pretty sure you want to commit to buying one of these. If you’re not sure (or more likely parents are not sure!), a plastic trombone makes a great deal of sense.
The bowmen were out once again and plenty of youngsters were queuing up to have a go at firing at the target.
I was pleased to see the Birds of Prey exhibition was there again. You could, if you wanted, pay to hold an owl but it was just a pleasure to see the birds, including the magnificent sparrowhawk close up.
The circus skills area also went down well and it was interesting to see a new addition this year – a portable trapeze set on an A-frame.
Flight – the amazing Working Border Collie
No surprises really that I’m reporting on this aspect! I missed seeing the Fair Oak Display Team this year but I was delighted to watch part of the herding display put on by the owner of the lovely border collie, Flight.
Flight was amazing as she herded geese into pens. Her owner explained what some of the calls meant. I was delighted to find the link which gives a comprehensive listing but for today’s event, the owner only had time to show a few. She also gave a short talk on the origins of the working border collie. All fascinating stuff.
My Lady has a strong circling instinct (as anyone who has met us over Hiltingbury Rec would testify!) and she’s fast on her feet, but Flight was something else and it was a joy to watch a dog doing the work she was bred to do and loved. Collies are not always the best family pets given they need plenty of exercise and it is crucial to give them good mental simulation too. Get that right though and you really won’t find a more loyal dog. Apparently, the word collie means useful. They really are.
Apologies I couldn’t get closer pictures here – the display was VERY popular and, as it turned out, I was at the wrong end of the arena. Note for next year to self: stand at the side, it is bound to be better!
Another fun thing to watch was the Eclipse Dancing and Cheerleading squad who lived up their name and put on a very cheerful display!
All too soon the afternoon came to an end and I hope a good time was had by all who went.
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