My Enchanted Carousel

Ok, so it’s  no secret I love the whimsical & magical – even if it’s just a state of mind. As far as I’m concerned, unicorns DO exist & there’s no use trying to convince me otherwise. I was reminded of just how much I love this happy ‘place’ recently when I was involved in a gig that was at the Adelaide ‘showgrounds’. The various buildings within the grounds are utilized throughout the year for functions etc to which we were involved. Now that it’s ‘SHOW’ week here in Adelaide.. I’m now in the mood for ‘Showtime’! The show had humble beginning’s in SA and in 1839 the ‘The South Australian Agricultural Society’ was born, only three years after the white colony of South Australia was settled. Many illustrious years have come & gone since then & the site I know as the ‘showgrounds’ started to germinate with the use of the colony’s first exhibition hall in Wayville where it continued to grow & change to where we are now in 2012. Previous to this, it’s exhibitions/shows were held in the city of Adelaide, in the Botanic park area.  (info & vintage show pic’s curtesy via Royal Adelaide Show)

Sweet vintage show pic's capture the children's love for showtime!



















Driving through the deserted show grounds just on dusk that night recently, gave a slightly eerie feel. Not scary, just as if something was missing – its soul perhaps?! You could hear  the sounds & smell the smells that only a show/fairground can produce, if only in your memory. Home grown in Adelaide, the yearly show is the Royal Adelaide Show – royal agricultural & horticultural society. The term ‘fair’ or ‘carnival’ maybe more of a familiar term to you if you’re not from these parts – & although they may differ slightly, the gist is the same. I couldn’t help think of all the times I’ve been to the Royal Adelaide show in my life. I could hear & smell each & every was wonderful! I dove past the area where, when I was a child, the ‘sky lift’ operated. This was like a ski lift you’d find in the snow fields. It would take you from one side of the show grounds to the other…I remember  I couldn’t wait to be old enough to go on it – even if there was slight terror as the worker would hurl you into a moving seat! ARGHHH!!

I was blessed with parents that spent time with me & took me to ACTUAL events – not just ‘sideshow alley’, as Dad would say.  Dad’s fav was watching the wood chopping events!  Many years on, my children share memories doing the same with him.  Mum & I would file past the ‘cake decorating section’ – still a popular spot in 2012 – ahhh, some ‘old fashioned’ things live to see another generation.

Woodchopping events!








Every year, without fail, as a child I collected a ‘show dolly’ – this consisted of what was pretty much a Kewpie with a pretty tulle dress & glitter for her hair, propped up on a hooked stick! I have no idea what happened to them all now, probably Mum thought, ‘that’s enough’ & out they went – well, you cant keep everything! This is one I recently bought from the wonderful people at Hobohemia – isn’t she a DOLL!! I think about all the stories she could tell & the cheeky secrets she’s hiding behind those averted eyes!!! She’s a grand vintage Miss that  is keeping her many tales close to her glitter! 

Rekindling my vintage show doll memories!!











The thing I adore most is the whole ‘vintage’ & historical aspect to a show/fair/carnival. The fact that a tradition, started so long ago, still continues today! – &  despite the changing times & technology – interestingly, little changes with it! I find that amazing. The charm it brings & the feeling of magic around every can’t buy that nor the memories that live on because of it. I love how a carnival/show has a slightly ‘unknown’ element to it too, that for all it’s bright lights & sparkle there’s also a little mystery, almost a little eerie?! I love that edge, I love how it fires my imagination!

Side-Show Alley!












ferris wheel enchantment! -





All sugar coated... But of course!! -








,,,all the fun of the fair!












Side show intrigue!










Our show - via









My great love & passion for carousel horses stems from my love for all things Royal Show – if I could collect them I would. Sadly they’re not the easiest to acquire!! BUT Mr B did manage to buy me one a few years ago – vintage, of course, & I’ll treasure him to the day I leave this life…

An absolute love of my life - My late 1800's carousel horse!











Her sweet face - she's ALWAYS smiling at me.











Charming hand painted detail.

Imagine the stories she could tell & the happiness she brought to so many children.











My gift - A framed photo, by my daughter, of a horse from the Royal Adelaide Show











Fabulous carousel horses in all their magical splendor!









A number of the pictures here are not mine, I have tried to supply sources for them. You can also check out my board on pinterest for more fabo pic’s  I acknowledge with much gratitude all the wonderful photographers & their ability to capture something I love so much! They are a visual inspiration & tribute to all things enchanting about a show/fair/carnival. The  magic it brings with it – every year, and even though you grow up, no matter how cynical we may get about the show, you can CHOOSE never to loose the magic & mystery it brings, or once brought to you as a child….even if it’s just a feeling, a memory & a thought that stirs in your own imagination….THAT is the gift it gives to me, and always will!

Love, Love

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