The most fun you can have with your trousers on

What is...The 32nd Annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party?

Yeah, I went there. With my mom. And it was -- you guessed it -- awesome. It's at the Cow Palace for the next 3 weekends and I'd recommend going if you fancy a little "magic, mirth and mystery," being wished a Happy Christmas! by everyone you see, and herds of people dressed up exactly like this:

We feasted on hot cider, meat pies, Turkish coffee, shortbread, sausage rolls, copper ale, and butterscotch candies all while scanning the crowd for the likes of Oliver Twist, Fagin, Dickens himself, and my personal favorite, Uriah HEEP! I recently finished reading David Copperfield and I was simply tickled when that devilish Heep walked by slowly, his hands hanging limply folded at his chest, his back slightly hunched, whatever current evil scheme no doubt hatching in his twisted sweaty head.

We also enjoyed a number of performances including but not limited to some Scottish and Irish dancing (HELLO kilts!) at Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwig's dance party.

My, how this fellow could leap..

Also, a performance of The Mikado during which I may have fallen asleep if it weren't for the quite authentic-looking Victorian gentleman at the end of my row who kept chuckling heartily and shouting "Here here!" in a thick British accent. When the play ended, the gentleman deemed it the most fun you can have with your trousers on. And by jove, he was right! Speaking of trousers, we also saw The Saucy French Postcards Tableaux Revue featuring...live nudes! Yep, nudes. It was racy, and there was a man with an eye-patch patrolling the aisles for cameras.

Actual beggar children. I don't know where they got them.

Some of you may not have known what a huge geek I am, but there you have it. Don't ever tell me I wasn't open with you. If you want the whole truth, this is actually my second year in a row as a visitor to the Cow Palace's London. I remember thinking last year it was something fun to do once, but somehow, I couldn't stay away.

I even imagined a romantic scenario (something I do a little too much lately... time to up the social life!), in which I meet and fall in love with a hot man in character and a tailcoat, perhaps with those giant sideburns indicative of the time. We'd have a great story to tell our friends -- we'd pretend to be embarrassed about having met at the Dickens Fair, but we'd keep going back year after year. I'd dress up like a proper lady with feathers in my hair and we'd stroll through the foggy streets of London, arm in arm.


  1. I have wondered if this was a cool thing....thanks for your review of it!

  2. I love that Hornblowers Bitters sign!