Charlie is a bear. A cheap little yellow cloth bear, dressed in a pink vest and black bow tie. He doesn’t actually resemble a bear of the furry persuasion, but he is one of the most important bears in our collection.
Because he is the first thing Hubby ever gave me.
Of course they look totally different and dull in daylight, but at night, the whole site comes alive.
The noise as always was deafening. Different popular songs were being blasted from different stalls, screams from punters on various rides battled for eardrum supremacy, the Carnies calling to the crowds as they offered hoops, balls, water jets and rifles to win ‘something for the lady’.
I’d always loved the simpler stalls. Roll 5 balls and get a certain total number, or hook a plastic duck in their ‘pond’ and if the number on the bottom corresponded with the chart, you’d have a choice of tacky prizes or maybe a goldfish in a plastic bag that if you were lucky may live a year or so.
I’d never been one for the major rides, and although I could never get the hang of driving the dodgems, I always had a go and enjoyed the atmosphere more than anything else.
Candy floss was in abundance and multiple colours, and there were toffee apples, burgers, chips, hot dogs, and all the other brightly flashing paraphernalia that goes with a fun fair when it visits one of our UK towns.
Technically, this was our first ‘date’. We didn’t count meeting up at the pub on night one, or my birthday which was 2 days later when he was invited round to meet the family.
It had been years since I had a fresh coconut. Hubby said he’d try his hand at winning me one.He got 3 balls for £1, and missed.
Not to be outdone, and determined to win one to prove his ‘manliness’, he parted with another pound. He hit one nut smack in the middle, but as it didn’t fall off it didn’t count, so we laughed and moved on arm in arm to something else that had caught his eye.
Again for a pound, he decided to try his luck on the rifle range.
He didn’t score enough to win the ‘Star Prize’, but was given this little yellow ‘bear’ as consolation for his efforts. With a slight adjustment of the sight, he handed over a further pound, and hit all five bulls-eyes with a grin of satisfaction.
The stallholder wasn’t very happy at meeting Wyatt Earp but when I said all I wanted was a coconut, he was happy to give me the biggest and kept the stuffed donkey to tempt some other passer by. (He also tweaked the rifle sight out again) .
Hubby couldn’t remember ever having a teddy bear, so that made Charlie even more precious.
The rest, as they say, is history.