March 15, 2009
STRUTH! David Ellis looks at the world's more weird and whacky
IN HIS CONTINUING SEARCH FOR THE WORLD'S MORE WEIRD, WHACKY AND UNUSUAL, DAVID ELLIS discovers that last weekend several hundred people descended on the British beachside town of Brighton – not for extra-marital activities on which the town founded much of its past reputation… but for Britain's first-ever Divorce Fair.
Organiser Suzy Miller said she got the idea of her "Starting Over Show" from the success of wedding fairs that bring together representatives of all the goods and services needed to organise the nuptials.
"So I thought why not put on a more positive spin on what to do when going through a divorce?" she said. And the response was instantaneous: over thirty exhibitors set up stalls offering services from legal representation to accountancy and sorting our your finances when a marriage breaks up, divorce counselling, dating agency services, image consultancy, places to escape to to consider the future, and even chocolates to help see you through the divorce process.
And a team of pole dancers – because Suzy said they tend to give some women a sense of self-esteem.
"Divorcees feel a strong emphasis on moving on, and this Fair helped those who came along look at the best ways of handling what to do next," Suzy said.
FOOTNOTE: The Continent's first-ever divorce fair two years ago was in Austria, and took a different approach. There the exhibitors were mainly gumshoe private detective agencies, DNA testers and "discreet photographers and sound engineers."