More than a year ago, a group in Farnham decided that what we needed in the summer was a day of soapbox races. After all, they reasoned, we have an amazing course already in place. The plan was to block Castle Street off and use the smooth, steep curve of the road as the ideal venue. And, after a year of planning, today was the day of the big launch.
As I walked into town, the rain started. It seemed like the closer I came to Farnham, the wetter it became. There was a little bit of relief when I spotted what has to be my favourite road sign…not that I actually have favourites when it comes to roadside instructions but I do love a lack of traffic.
Castle Street had been transformed into a network of steel barriers and hay bales, ready for the brave souls who would descend the slope at speeds in excess of Mach 10. Almost.
There were a lot of umbrellas already in attendance with more arriving each minute, ready to grab the best spots along the barriers. Starbucks was awash with wet family groups vying for hot beverages to prepare their bodies for the rigours of standing in the rain. This was equally true of Nero’s and Costa where further crowds swarmed.
The best place to be (apart from home) was in Waitrose. The usual Sunday crush was absent and I managed to fly around without any hassle. I didn’t even have to queue at the check out.
Armed with my shopping I headed for home. I had to tackle the Borough because Mirinda (sick again) wanted a ‘lovely French magazine’ which meant going to Smiths. Not pleasant at the best of times, the narrow footpath to Smiths was brimming over with eager soapbox fans heading towards me. Like a boulder in a river, I stood my ground as little creatures scattered around me.
I somehow made it home. Mind you, the all weather path in the park was like walking through peak hour traffic.
I didn’t see any of the soapbox races though I did hear a lot. The wind was coming from town to us so the music and announcements floated to the house most of the day. In fact, when I took the girls to the park, the announcements were particularly clear. This was despite the fact that I was listening to the final exciting session of the Second Ashes Test.
Having declared, England were determined to bowl us out and they came close. All we had to do was play defensively for the draw but losing two quick wickets gave the English team the boost they needed. Bit between the teeth they bowled like the devil was biting their elbows. And Australian wickets reached six. But then, it was all over. A draw.
And, even better, the rain stopped and the sun shone for the rest of the day…apart from a brief flurry of storm activity around 7pm which brought a massive and beautiful rainbow in it’s wake.
Late on the day, I was setting the table for dinner, when I took out a couple of serviettes from the kitchen linen drawer. They were folded by Sharon. I mentioned it to Mirinda who, after looking at the remains of her floral arrangements, gave me today’s title.
And here’s a short video of the soapbox track taken from Twitter: