Cycling into Oxford this morning was like entering a new city; a city that exists but once a year. It’s like a city within a city; a whole other world that has arrived overnight and taken over Oxford. The Fair has arrived in town. I find that their are three worlds existing in the centre of Oxford today; that of the everyday, real one of cars and traffic and commuters getting to and from work; and then there is the secret after-hours one of the fair before its operational, quiet and mysterious; and the one during the day and into the evening which is loud and brash and claustrophobic.
I much prefer the second of these. When St Giles Fair is just a set of ‘streets’ which people to pass through to go about the business of the first world. I find the reality of the fair in action, too busy, too loud, too much.