Notting Hill 2013

“I live in Notting Hill, you live in Beverly Hills.”
– Notting Hill, 1999

Notting Hill, one of the poshest bits of London, goes totally Caribbean for the August Bank Holiday. Since all the shops and businesses close down for the day (not a few actually board their doors and windows to keep some carnival goers at bay), Jeff and I couldn’t make any progress on our (lengthy) To Do list, so we threw up our metaphoric hands and decided to enjoy the last big hurrah of the summer.

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This…

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…turns into this. It’s glorious!

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It’s one of the largest street festivals in the world, a celebration of London’s West Indian immigrant community. Groups dress in South American/Caribbean carnival costumes (emphasis on scandal), whole streets are dedicated to grilling goats and chickens bathed in spices, and the day drinking is out of control. And for all that, it’s usually fairly mild and brings thousands and thousands of people into the community to squeeze every drop of fun out of the holiday.

Monday was bright and gorgeous. British weather is notorious for a number of reasons, but I’ve always found that they can really get summers, brief as they tend to be, done right.

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Nothing’s on fire, it’s just some some very serious barbeque. Also, that lovely lady in white looked a lot more put together than I could manage. In my defense I’m still living out of my carry-on.

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The results of said barbeque, by the way, I heartily recommend! After stuffing ourselves with jerk chicken we decided to take in the costumes in all their glory.

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Feathers, beads, and massive headdresses very much required!

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Jeff is also living out of his carry-on, but he was much more photogenic. Watermelon and coconuts to end the day and steel us for the battle ahead of getting our utilities set up the next day. Wrangling the local Councils definitely requires a bit of reinforcement.

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