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Saturday, 7 March 2009

Going Bananas in Beeston with a big monkey and an oversized human banana!

For those unfamiliar with Nottinghamshire, Beeston is a small to medium sized town on the outskirts of Nottingham. Today they had a Fairtrade event in the town centre and as I am a supporter of such events and probably a drinker of a fair few cups of Fairtrade coffee over the years, I thought it would be fun to go along and be Bananas for a while. Some have called me mostly ‘bananas’ in everyday life, but that’s another story. lol

I happened to bump into another blogger and fellow flickr member while I was there. He is a gentleman I know as Gail’sMan and we hung around for an hour enjoying the event in the sunshine. Two presenters from the radio station, Trent FM, Twiggy and Emma, presided over the event and there was some Calypso music, an attempt at World record banana eating, face painting and general promotion of the Fairtrade Organisation and its ideals. Some local children added to the atmosphere with their choral singing. These web pages explain it all:

Across the road from the market square is one of Beeston’s many and varied coffee shops. It is called ‘Bean around the world’ and has been on Beeston’s coffee scene for a fair few years. GM and my good self retired there for about fifteen minutes for a coffee and hot chocolate and got chatting to an elderly couple about their adventures raising money for a Chernobyl Children’s Charity based in Belarus. They told us that they, as man and wife, have trips around the world which they document with slides and they do talks for this charity free of charge and raise much needed funds for the stricken children. In the past they have had twelve young people visit their home, all suffering with varying degrees of Leukaemia and cancerous ailments and feel rightly proud in their endeavours to raise not only money but awareness. They had also been to a conference about the aftermath of the Chernobyl Nuclear plant leak some years ago and the organisers had been proud that nowadays the life expectancy of victims had been raised from 30 years to 35 years. It still seems pitifully few years for a person to have a life on earth.

They also told us interesting stories of two of their trips. One was to Norway where they travelled about on a commercial boat that went up the fjords and was used by the locals for transporting goods and people. Children often used the boat to get to school and back and they even came across some family using it as a way of taking a coffin to a funeral! The coffin was on a trailer towed on the back of a car.

On a Canadian trip the man said that he had missed out on a fantastic photo opportunity merely from putting away his camera too quick. He had been taking a few pictures (from their car window) of a black bear eating grass and they decided to move on and leave the animal in peace. Just as they were going and the camera was inaccessible, the bear picked up a dandelion and proceeded to munch on it, stalk first, leaving a brilliant chance for the photographer to take a photo of this magnificent wild animal with a dandelion balanced on its black and shiny snout. Alas the moment was gone before he could take advantage.

Mr GM and I never had a chance to find out the names of these two wonderful people and they left to get themselves ready for a celebration tonight of their grand-daughter’s 21st birthday
and a barn dance near Mansfield.
Bananas are good for you
After they had left the premises we both decided this would make a great blog and I scribbled all the basics of the information they had given us down in my journal. Mr GM was a fantastic help in reminding me of the principle information they had given us.

We also went back to the Fairtrade event expecting to see some people in fancy dress but none had arrived at that time. I did manage to get a picture of a young lioness though! And a big bearded man and his box of bananas.


Gail's Man said...

Nice article Phil & your photos have come out well too. Had an enjoyable time & see you soon.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

It looks as though you had an immense amount of fun...
Love the images and I am sure Monka loved the bananas...