I fucking love Notting Hill Carnival.
But I feel like you never really hear about the very best bits. We’ve all read the papers, we’ve all seen the Met Police having a dance off, and yeah the floats and music are good. But here are a few of the other, lesser reported highlights.
1. You get to wee in other people’s houses
Forget portaloos. Got a pound? Step this way to the VIP toilets, my friend: Flat 29, first door on the left, it’s like a big west London-wide game of Through the Keyhole.
2. You can rave everywhere and anywhere
There’s no need to restrict yourself to the space behind the floats or soundsystems – when the Carnival’s in town, the only reason that fence, wall, bus stop, or DHL truck exists is to cater for the rhythmic swaying of your ass. So get up high. Your city demands it.
3. The kerb is your friend
Sitting on the kerb with a box of curry and a drink is usually a sign that you’re too drunk to get into Dalston Superstore, but this isn’t the case at Carnival. If you’re hammering back jerk chicken and pausing only to sip booze from a glass adorned with feathers that match your splendid headdress, then it’s time to reacquaint yourself with the pavement. Just, err mind the broken glass.
4. String vests are actively encouraged
Against the backdrop of west London’s grayest estates, the brighter your clothing the better. Want to wear feathers? The bigger the bird, the better. A crop top? Get it all out. Nothing but a loin cloth and a string of beads? You do that, my man. That string vest languishing at the back of your wardrobe? This is your time. This is also the only time you can legitimately borrow a policeman’s hat without getting arrested. Apparently. Rumour has it. Not that I’d know.
5. The residents (mostly) love it. Don’t they?
We were trying to weigh up whether Notting Hill residents love it when the Carnival happens, or if they all get a bit “oh, for gods sake, why are all these people urinating in my porch when there’s a perfectly good loo inside for £1 and also I can’t hear what’s happening on Coronation Street”. If this picture’s anything to go by: I reckon it’s a bit of both.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t rain, that we all get to pat a police dog and everyone has an excellent time.
Bring it on, you massive Carnival.