Friday, August 29, 2008

Reporter Trin

"Debs, I've been invited by ITV Meridian to the 'Dorset Steam Fair' as a blogger"
"Really! why you?"
"Mainly because of the S&D Blog"

So started our experience into the world of social media. I wasn't meant to go. I wasn't actually invited. Steve didn't want to go without me but it was ok. I would be ok on my own there. My mate Lyn had said there was a huge range of shops and I do love to shop. But one by one the chosen bloggers dropped out. Silly people, missing the experience. Steve mentioned me to the organisers. Told them I blogged and hey presto I was in. I wasn't exactly thrilled mind you. I was a bit bemused by it all. After all what did I know about steam and engines and machines?
Steam energy is one of the things that us at Transition Bristol think about for the future though. We've been transition members for a year or so. We ARE Transition Hartcliffe at present. Steam is a sustainable energy that will possibly play an important part in this fuel depleting world of ours.
So onto our day. We got up early and got there on time. We were met by Colin from 1000 heads
Colin was a good bloke with a nice hat. We had a walk around then met Sharon an editor for ITV and her quite adorable child Vincent who, trust me, really was quite a character.
me doing reporter stuff!

They wanted us to peruse the fair with a camera. Chat to some locals, film a bit and just get a flavour of the place.
As you an imagine this was right up my street. I have been waiting to be 'discovered' since I was 18 months. Somehow though I fear it will have to wait till the next life ;)
We started off at the steam engine things. A long row of shiny smelly colourful engines all billowing out smoke. All surrounded by men in sooty clothing huddled in groups in deep conversation about bits of machinery. And they say women chat?
I filmed a couple of men who wouldn't give me their names at first. Shy!! right. But basically if you asked them about the machine their eyes glazed over in some obsessive cloud and they could chat for England.
I got the impression that Nostalgia was the name of the day but you see I was looking at it all in a different way. These machines moved without any oil. This was good.
Moving away from the smoke the whole enormity of the fair hits you. It's HUGE vast sprawling. You never seem to reach the end. It's noisy busy and happy. There's people everywhere. Old ones in those motor wheelchairs whizzing round, kids in prams, Teenagers on the fair ground. And a lot of men mostly in groups in deep conversation. Whatever you're in to there's something for you there.
Around every corner there was one of those noisy organ music machines. I can't bear them but there were people sat happily listening to Abba and Cliff Richard played organ style.
I've been to quite a few of these fair type places in my time. The Bristol Balloon festival is a huge affair here in Bristol every year but this Dorset place was something else. They had every type of food imaginable. Everyone seemed to be eating something really nice.
Everyone seemed to have a dog as well. I filmed a lot of dogs.
Swiss Dogs

We walked miles...well it seemed. I had some lovely sweeties from a sweet stall to keep me going. We tried to find somewhere a bit quiet to film stuff but it was almost impossible. We found some owls next to one of the organs with a notice by them saying that they have their own mechanism for blocking out noise. I assure you it was needed!
They have camping at this fair. We almost laughed at someone wanting to camp out at a steam fair but there's no way in one day you'll even see a quarter of it. It's enormous.
We filmed and filmed. We filmed kids, dogs, people sat on hay bales, a man controlling a dalek, girls on the information desk, people sat outside drinking cider (think they made Colin jealous) Swiss dogs pulling little carts, men making hay with big machines, funny outfits, lovely army men (very helpful and informative and quite handsome!) people sawing logs with equipment only for display purposes(what's the point of that?)
Then we decided to stop for food and it all went wrong. I had the camera. I was holding it carefully. No chance I was going to drop it when I fell. I went down like one of those sawn off logs. I was more fussed about the camera to be honest. Got up quick and followed everyone into the food marquee. Steve asked if I was OK. YES I am a nurse. I exclaimed. My knee hurt and I took a glance. I knew it was superficial but there was a nasty gash there and it was bleeding. I thought I'd need plaster from the first aid a bit later.
Then it all got fuzzy because as we sat down I felt ill. Really sick and dizzy. I made Steve come outside with me and I had to sit on the floor. It seemed to pass and we went back into the marquee. Steve insisted I needed food and sugar but almost immediately I felt faint again and Yep I fainted. In front of Poor Colin, Sharon the ITV editor and little Vincent.
I must have been unwell because I am not the one to allow people to fuss over me and call an ambulance but St John Ambulance arrived to sort me out.
I think you tend to take them for granted at these events but they are pretty amazing. They were so calm and caring and I had a check up with a doctor and my knee seen to and felt really embarrassed and silly.
my ambulance

I did laugh though, there I was flat out on the ground all these people fussing and the non plussed unfazed 5 year old Vincent just sat through it all calmly playing his PSP game. Whatever he must have thought of it all!!
So we decided to go home. I felt I'd let everyone down a bit. I was very embarrassed but life is a big adventure and I did get first hand Dorset Fair experience of the emergency services. They told me that last year was a good year No one died.... hmmmm.
So what did we gain from it all?
It was fun, and I'd go again to see the fair. I was sad I'd missed my dose of retail therapy that Steve promised me. He was going to give me money to spend :(
I liked the interviewing and filming. I watching ITV West's little piece on the fair that evening. A young girl sat on one of those steam engines fawning about how steamy and noisy it all was and how she didn't have a clue about steam.
Missed the point completely.
I met some cool people. Colin the hat man, Sharon who really is a cool rock chick, knows more bands than me. I got to go on the ITV bus which was very interesting. And I'm still alive. Has to be a bonus surely?
The Rivals HTV West, they have the same car as us!

1 comment:

bigbikerbob said...

Hi, Glad you enjoyed the fair and experience before your day was cut short, I was one of the chosen ones that "missed out"but like you I would never had made it round.