Thursday, August 15, 2013

Country Life

Any summer spent in Yorkshire must surely involve at least one trip to a country show. So yesterday we went to Danby Show. Danby is a picturesque village on the Moors, and their show includes all that you would expect: livestock and produce being judged, little girls on ponies, horse feed for sale, and lots of farmers milling about.

There were competitions for the best jams, curds, cakes and floral arrangements. Naturally there were prizes for the best (biggest?) onions, marrows, tomatoes, and so on. Walking sticks, eggs, tea cosies were also pretty competitive categories by the looks of things. And of course there were all the animals - we watched a selection of sheep being judged by a couple of elderly gents who were very seriously and closely examining their feet. They looked identical to me, which I suppose is why I'm not a judge at such events. The same goes for the ferrets. There must have been two dozen ferrets in the ferret tent, with prizes for the best 'working ferret' and the best family pet. Which begs a couple of questions (if not more): what does a working ferret actually do? And how does one judge a ferret? Probably a field best left unexplored.

For an urbanite like TLOML, it was quite an eye opener. This is a man who has lived in big cities all his life. Our spell in Saltburn is his first time not living in a city (unless you count Malibu, which I don't).  So to be surrounded by prize sheep and cows, to see shetland ponies and cart horses, and the aforementioned ponies, was almost overwhelming. He had worn his flat cap in order to fit in (it's a Yorkshire thing) but I'm afraid his constant exclamations and snapping of photos on the big SLR camera gave him away rather as a tourist.

And Lady P? Well she loved it too, of course. She loves most things, to be honest. Just being toted about in the sling with a lot of things to look at made her day. I think she enjoyed seeing people on horses, and seeing sheep lined up for judging, and little prize calves being led round a show ring by their proud owners. But her favourite exhibit of all was TLOML's face.
We left with a bag full of country fare (well, focaccia and cheddar) and big plans to make Danby Show a part of our summer every year from now on. And when she's older we're hoping Lady P can enter something. Hopefully it will be in the 'children's table piece' or painting category, and not the 'Ferret - family pet' division.

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