Monday, January 26, 2009

Spirit Dampened

One of the big events in the Busselton Festival is the crowning of the Festival Queen and the Burning of the Festival Spirit followed by fireworks. This all happens down on the riverbank near the shire headquarters. Saturday night was the big night.
The Festival Spirit is an efigy constructed by the local Lion's Club each year, mounted on a raft, and set alight. The large head, as pictured in the local paper, is filled with paper to make it more flammable, and rests atop a seated body built around a metal frame. The raft is kept afloat by four 44 gallon drums.

Saturday night in the taxi was pretty quiet (except for the four young blokes who were dropping brown eyes at the passing cars on Layman Rd) so I went on standby and joined the spectators down by the river. The Festival Queen entrants arrived by barge and the winner was revealed, along with the charity queen.

Then came the moment to set the Spirit alight.

The local SES crew motored out to it in their runabout and one of their crew climbed aboard the raft and took hold of the flame to do the deed.

Suddenly, disaster struck!

The raft started to lean, then to tip and finally capsize, dumping the SES bloke in the river and causing the Spirit efigy to fall sideways into the water.
The crowd were stunned, then amused in the way that only a crowd can be at someone else's expense and misfortune.
The SES plucked their man from the water but before any sort of rescue of the Spirit could be effected, it sank, fully submerging the head and body, leaving only the 44s in the air as evidence of its presence!
The announcer, who had been struggling most of the night, came out with his best line in the circumstance: "Ladies and Gentlemen. let's not let this dampen our spirits, on with the fireworks"!

Without wanting to rejoice in other people's troubles, I suspect it will be the best remembered Burning of the Spirit in the history of the Festival!

We have spent a very quiet Australia Day, not even a barbie. Just a sleep-in, watching Sth Africa disdainfully dismiss us in the cricket and the tennis on TV. I went to Bunnings and got several sheets of MDF board cut into different sizes then brought them home and prepared them with gesso so I can paint on them. I'm planning an exhibition early this year and am keen to get as many paintings done for it as I can.

The Hair submitted his resume at a local fish and chip shop who are looking for staff. Whether they're looking for one with long hair, half a head of dreadlocks and a pierced nose remains to be seen!!!! He then went up to Perth with Lauren and some other friends to see the Australia Day fireworks on the Swan River.

This evening I got a phone call from Favourite Daughter to say that the car had over-heated just near Sue's Rd and could I come out and help her. A couple had stopped to help her and when I brought out 5 litres of water she was able to get it started and drive it slowly home the last 7km to our place.

The Heir has been working, sleeping, working, sleeping the last few days but he did go to Dunsborough with some friends this afternoon.

Sport Boy convinced his mum to go and play tennis with him this morning. She slept all afternoon!!

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