Friday, August 28, 2009

A simple day out in the sunshine

Yesterday I had yet another dose of nostalgia - a really lovely day.

A girl friend rang me at the beginning of the week and asked me if I wanted to go out for the day, to the Bucks County Show. My initial reaction was, oh no, been there, done that, throughout my childhood, with my father and brothers. Not the Bucks Show, but elsewhere. But - on reflection, I thought, why not, a day out would be fun, I do get stir crazy these days, trying to sort out my maelstrom of a life.

Thursday dawned, hey, NO RAIN! A day out in the sunshine suddenly seemed attractive. We set off, waterproofs and wellington boots flung into the boot of the car, and chattered all the way until we hit the most monstrous queue, waiting to pile into the showground car park. An hour later, we joined the queue to get into the showground itself. Not quite what we had envisaged. Eventually we paid our £9.00 apiece, thinking that is soooo expensive.

We were to meet S's husband in the Members Marquee for lunch. As we dived into our handbags for our special badges, we both simultaneously realised that we had automatic entry included to the showground. Idiots - £18.00 down the drain! We are now going to have to write to the Show Secretary to see if we can get a refund. Doh.

Lunch was delicious - washed down with a good bottle of chilled white wine, and I was taken right back to my childhood. S's husband knew so many people, the farmers, hunting people, country people, and it was as if I was with my father again when I was a little girl, being introduced to everyone. My father was a great countryman, and hunted all his life, he was a great character, my girls used to call him Grandpa Horse, and we still miss him. It was lovely to be reminded of him yesterday.

Outside the marquee, tables and chairs were set around the show ring, and we watched the hunter classes, and various displays. Then we went to look at the sheep in their pens, the cattle deep in straw in their special sheds, rosettes proudly displayed. The only new aspect was that outside each display area, there were foot trays of disinfectant and hand washes to use if people had handled the animals. It was good to see these precautions in place. I am afraid I then became a member of the fluffy bunny brigade - I found the beagles, the foxhounds, the baby alpacas, and child that I am, felt the urgent need to stroke them all!

It was such fun - and it was interesting to see how everyone was enjoying themselves. It waa a real step back in time - families, children everywhere, eating ice creams, tugging dogs along on their leads, so many dogs, all shapes and sizes, and I spent the day counting the whippets, they were all poor specimens, not a patch on my beautiful Billy. The fairground was doing brisk business, and the various stalls were packed with people shopping. Very interesting - to see that things have changed little in 50 years. So many people having a great day out, enjoying simple pleasures. It was life-enhancing - one get's so wrapped up in the drama of life, that it is just calming to enjoy a day out that is uncomplicated, and fun. I was exhausted when I got home, a good clean exhaustion from a day out in the sunshine and fresh air, in the company of kind dear friends.

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