Every year around this time there is an interactive re-enactment of the mad tea party from Alice in Wonderland in the park near our house. Every year I forget until it’s too late and I swear I’ll make it the following year.
Yesterday morning I woke up early. The night before was the lantern festival, and then our new upstairs neighbours kindly (note the sarcastic lilt there) had an excruciatingly loud party until 5am, so I don’t know why I woke up early, but I did.
I decided to get a jump start on the day (and blow off some steam) by taking a walk around the lake before anyone got up. I shot a glass of V8 and headed out the door. The park was an absolute mess – garbage, melted candles and lantern fatalities everywhere. I saw a few park employees attempting to make a dent in the clean-up, and decided I wanted to help. After I made it once around the lake, I walked home, grabbed a garbage bag and pink rubber gloves and headed back to the park.
As I left the house, there was an uncharacteristic rumble of thunder and rain began to heave itself from the sky. Any other time, I might have shrugged and turned around, but I was determined. I spent the next 2 hours picking up and bagging garbage, and getting the nicest comments, smiles and thank-yous from people who passed.
Some park people drove up in a buggy (assuming I worked with them – and were surprised that I’d just jumped in for the hell of it) to pick up what I had, give me a bottle of water and offer some rain gear. I took a new bag too, which was so huge that by the time I filled it, I had to drag it behind me like a trashy Linus. I was sweating and my glasses were fogged up. It felt great! I felt like I was doing my little part for the community and the park we enjoy almost daily.
Finally I was soaked and so pooped I couldn’t pull the bag any further, so I left it for the next buggy and headed home.
Then I passed a big blue teapot. And a scattering of pink flamingoes. And a lovely tea set on a fancy tray lying on the ground. Then I ran into a friend who turns out to have the honor of being the Walrus. I’d accidentally stumbled into the set-up for the annual Mad Tea Party, which was supposed to start in an hour.
I went home to find Markus and Isak just waking up. I took a hot bath, and by the time I got out, the sun was magically shining. I suggested we head back to the park and check it out and we made it back just in time. We sat on the grass and then followed various characters around and it was all great fun. I don’t think I’ve seen so many variations of the white rabbit in my life. I took a few pictures and nearly tripped over a small fairy in the process.
We stayed for about half the show, by which time we were all hungry (I didn’t want to be forced to eat treacle or skin the dormouse for burgers) so we headed home.
Fun fun fun!!! I want to go next year too… 8 years ago