Finally! We have a windmill. It’s been a lifetime of waiting but now, moving with every breeze and annoying Freya, our garden has its own.
We almost didn’t get it…but that can wait.
Today was Show Day and, in my position as Vice President…
…it was important that we arrive early enough to claim our very close to the entrance car space. While we don’t mind catching the Park and Ride, parking so close makes windmill purchase a lot easier.
We had sponsored a couple of goat events (as usual) so our first stop was to visit them before the competition started.
While I sponsored full sized goats, Mirinda was down for the pygmy goats. In fact she was also due to present the ribbons to the winners but that would be later.
We then needed to check in at the members area ahead of obtaining our passes. I should mention at this stage that while I have been promoted to Vice President, Mirinda is merely a Member. This is fine, she said, because she’s a Vice President at work while I’m VP at the Show.
We noticed a few changes this year. The tiered seating was not in the member’s area, replaced by a couple of vans selling hot drinks and carboholic food. I think the lack of the tiered seating was because a Heavy Horse Village had been built just outside the Member’s Entrance which did reduce the space a bit.
After a few rounds of showjumping, we headed over to another of the rings to see the beagles. They are always fun with a chap telling us all about the pack before allowing anyone who wants to to come in and get mobbed by them. The kids love it as do the dogs. It’s completely disorganised mayhem. A highlight.
We would have hung around for the terrier racing but we were on our slow way to the goats for the beginning of the judging.
Earlier, while we sat and had a coffee outside the goat tents, a woman came over and asked me if I knew where Karen was. “Which Karen?” was my first thought. I then realised that she thought we were something to do with the goats. While obviously someone important (a VP) I had to admit that not only did I have very little to do with the goats but apart from my best friend, I didn’t know Karen. I indicated a chap setting up a cheese stall and suggested she ask him. She laughed then did so.
Now that we’d returned for the pygmy goat judging, the woman who had asked me about Karen turns out to be the judge. We assumed then that Karen was the person in charge. We also assumed that either Karen or the judge would call Mirinda over when it came time to hand out the ribbons to the winning pygmy goats.
The competition was keen and although Mirinda only managed to get a third place for the goat she thought was best, the ribbon giving was about to start. Would there be a call into the crowd for Mirinda? Would they just know somehow?
Then the unthinkable happened. Another person awarded the ribbons. Mirinda’s prior claim was completely ignored. She was deeply upset and will probably not recover. We left in a VP sized huff.
A short while later we were seated in the Member’s Area watching the most amazing motor bike display of sheer insanity. These guys performed ridiculously dangerous stunts on dirt bikes over ramps. I didn’t think I’d enjoy something so unsuited to the countryside but I was wrong. It was blood-pumpingly amazing and had us all shrieking with incredulity with every acrobatic feat.
Then came the very slow version of the scurry. It involved the heavy horses and wagons, ‘racing’ through an obstacle course. It was a lot slower but no less skill full than our favourite event which for some reason was not included this year. Still, although it was missed, the lack was filled with other exciting events…like the ladies riding side saddle. I was particularly impressed by the young girl on her pony in full lady-like garb, knee around her pommel, hat almost obscuring her entire face.
And so the day progressed with events and wanderings and the purchase of a windmill. The day was very hot and at one stage we retreated to the covered part of the Member’s Area to escape the strong rays. The girls were very much relieved and spent a lot of their time lying on the cool grass under the table.
While they may have been escaping the heat, they may also have been escaping all the attention they received all day. A lot of people with a lot of dogs almost continuously squealed with delight over our beautiful pair. And then there was Domino the Dalmation who took a real shine to Emma who, I’m happy to say, has finished her season and gave him extremely short shrift, much to the delight of his owner.
It was then time to head back to Max but not before stopping off at all the shops where Mirinda had left various purchases, loading us up as we went. We almost came a-cropper at the windmill seller.
I’d been forced to stop and pick up after Emma so missed out on whatever agreement Mirinda had made with the guy on the stand so I just followed her to the car park assuming there was some plan afoot. I met her in Max as she drove towards the entrance in direct defiance of the signs and car park attendants.
Apparently the plan was for the grandson of the owner to bring the windmill down to the car. So we waited. And waited. Then, sick of waiting, Mirinda sent me back into the showground to find out where our new acquisition had got to.
I stood and waited while the guy served a lady garden designer. He obviously confused me with her husband and handed me a flyer for his next show. He asked me if I knew Gilbert White’s House. The lady garden designer ignored me so I guess that explains why the chap thought we were married.
Anyway I told him that I did know where Gilbert White’s House was but that’s not what I was there for; I was looking for a windmill that my (real) wife was waiting in the car for. He looked frantically around, wondering out loud where his grandson had vanished to. He then showed me the two bits that constituted the broken down windmill. It was going to be impossible to do in one trip. I was about to suggest that I do it in two when the eight year old grandson turned up.
All was well and the windmill was packed in the car and we drove back home…after we decided to go in the correct direction.
At home, after a rest and a drink, I built the windmill while Mirinda snoozed.
It was another lovely show day and I’d just like to leave this post with a quote I overheard while watching the goats. It was from a guy who was walking with a female companion. She asked him if he liked goats to which his reply was: “I don’t like any farm animals.” The Surrey County Show would seem to be an odd place to come then.
To finish…here’s 1 minute 40 seconds of beagles…