Visitor numbers are clearly down this year. The capitalists around the corner, who sell loo visits in their stucco villa for £2 a time, confirm this. The house is not well signposted, unfortunately for the woman who has to squat between two cars parked in the next road while as usual men are relieving themselves openly.
The still centre of calm is artist and carnival costume designer Helen Davenport, whirring away at the sewing machine to make one last skirt and deftly threading synthetic boning through the hem. She reminds me of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man. I am blown away by the ingenuity of her fresh monochrome designs for the children, eye-catching among the traditional brights, skirts swaying at a sharp angle (for photos see @heluvartist on Instagram).
There is a sea of single-use plastic. I point out the spent toy balloons, lethal for wildlife, used with the laughing-gas canisters. 'Waste of time,' she says. 'You feel good for five seconds then it's over.'