|THe armchair sportsman: couch potato rounds out the subject of sports of this year's carnival.|
I don't often get the chance to be around a lot of happy kids but a folk festival like the Nice Carnival is the place to be if you want to be enveloped by tiny fistfuls of confetti, have "silly string" stuck in your shoes, a thrumming dance beat in your ear and the sight of ranks of little kids trying to absorb the overstimulation of exaggerated sound and imagery.
The magnificent floats or "chars" in the traditional parade are professionally designed these days and have taken all year to achieve. Somewhere in a big hangar in Nice lots of craftsmen and artists were hard at work for this years sports theme.
I have avoided the carnival in the past. I am not really a "crowds" person and mostly it was barricaded to non-paying guests. Not anymore. There is a whole area for standing and following the floats without paying for a seat.
In fact it's more fun to move and follow the parade after it leaves Place Massena.
So having never seen it and having pals beckoning... my curmudgeonly side crumbled.
What was it Mark Twain said: "Grief takes care of itself but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with." And yes, with friends, it was fun.
And now as I write this I hear the fireworks from my living room. ...as they burn the KIng of the Carnival at sea. The King is gone but we will still be shaking confetti out of our clothes for some time to come.