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Notting Hill Carnival
© Maria Brosnan

A spotter’s guide to Notting Hill Carnival

There are some things you only see at Carnival. Keep your eyes peeled for this lot at Notting Hill Carnival 2017


1. Dancing policemen

There are those who dance and those who get danced on. Win seven points if you spot a copper who’s perfected the bogle.

2. Traumatised tourists

They wanted to see the blue door from the Hugh Grant film. Now they’re rocking in the foetal position while people conga around them. Win four points for witnessing their holiday calamity.

3. Opportunistic locals

A fiver to use your toilet? I’ll take a bath and use your best towels for that. Win nine points if you see someone leaving a W10 townhouse in a dressing gown.

4. Trustafarian Babylon

Three points for seeing a posh kid in a Bob Marley T-shirt. An extra ten if they can name one of his songs.

5. Limping dancers

Spot the ones in new shoes. Carnival is a marathon: you need to break those bad boys in, girls. Fishnet toes hanging over the edges is not a good look either. Go on, give them a piggyback and collect six points.

6. Laughing vendors

Win three points if you see a punter ask for some cutlery with their roti. They especially love it when you say: ‘Gimme all the chilli sauce’, y’know.

7. Desperate masqueraders

Have you tried doing anything in a massive feathered headdress? It’s a logistical nightmare. Bead-fringed bikini bottoms add an extra element of awkward. Let her go in front and give yourself five points.

8. Furious internet addicts

With all those people in one space, good luck getting 3G signal. Spotted someone trying and failing to Instagram a can of Red Stripe? Collect a point.

9. Defiant percussionists

The police might call time on the amplifiers, but those masqueraders are an inventive bunch. Three points for spotting feathered folk making music after hours by banging bottles with sticks.

10. Drunk diallers

Take two points for every rum-drunk office drone you overhear on Monday evening leaving their boss a message that they can’t come in on Tuesday. Word of advice to anyone pulling a Carnival-inspired sickie: step away from the static soundsystem first, and don’t tweet that selfie with those nice policemen.

Read our full guide to Notting Hill Carnival 2017

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