The girls were not best pleased this morning when we set off and left them at home. It was because of Freya and her pesky season. Emma didn’t understand at all given she was forced to stay at home as well. I tried to explain to her that it’s her job to keep Freya company but she never listens.
Anyway, the reason they were staying home was because today was Surrey County Show day and while we normally take them with us, we thought it could be a bit of mayhem given the amount of dogs that generally attend. The last thing anyone needs is a frisky Freya to contend with.
So they stayed at home and we left the house at the unprecedented time of 07:45. The show opens at 08:00 and we wanted to get there nice and early in order to leave equally early after the first round of entertainment.
Because we’re both Vice-Presidents, we get priority parking in the black area. Last year this proved very easy to find and was a mere spit from the main gate. This year, however, things had changed. In some ways this change was definitely for the better but in one very important one it was horrendous.
From the Hogs Back there is always plenty of signage, indicating where the various options are. There’s a green square, a red square and a black one. Each one has signs that show where to go. At least they have done every other year however, the black ones ran out as we passed the Ladymead Shops.
We then drove around looking for the black parking.
Mirinda’s blood was starting to boil and her tension was stretched almost to the limit as person after person was asked where we were going. I thought she was going to hit the first guy who cheerily asserted that he hadn’t heard of the black parking let alone know where it was. To be fair he did refer us to a high authority who sent us quite good directions.
Still, eventually we found our special, secret entrance and parked. All the tension vanished as we realised this year’s parking was actually inside the showground and about 20 metres from the member’s area. In fact, we had to leave the member’s area in order to get our badges. Brilliant.
After this initial bump, the rest of the day was excellent. There was the usual visit to the livestock where we saw big bovines, boufy sheep and our favourite goats, two of which we sponsored. There was also a naughty ice cream.
I think the best thing about being so early was how we felt like we had the place to ourselves for the first hour. We could wander around basically unmolested as we watched the crowds gradually enter the grounds particularly through the entrance near the goats where we sat for quite a while.
Unfortunately we couldn’t find the Maypole dancers (though Mirinda kept searching for the little snail which was marked next to their name in the programme until I pointed out that she made the mark when plotting out our schedule for the day and it merely resembled a little snail) but we did see the same Morris Dancers we’ve seen every year we’ve been.
We also spent a long time watching a large variety of dogs running through an agility course. Some of them were very funny, particularly the tiniest ones. The idea was to get people interested in agility by showing that all dogs could do it and not just Collies. Some of them were just hilarious.
Possibly the oddest thing we saw (though I did see three separate lost items on the ground; a dummy, a small plastic container with tiny chocolate biscuits and a pair of sunglasses) was a couple of police horses with evil looking devil ears. I get why they are wearing flouro coats but don’t know why their ears are covered unless it’s the ear equivalent of blinkers. The last thing you want is a horse jumping at every load noise…if that is the case.
(I know I have a very limited audience – normally two – but if someone just happens to read this and knows why, I’d love to know.)
Back in the member’s area we went to the restaurant for a lovely lunch before settling down to watch the main arena entertainment.
I was a bit concerned when I read that the big entertainment would be Monster Trucks. I don’t really feel this fits in with a countryside, agricultural type show. However, it was a bit like last year when they had motorbikes. It was a taste of something we would never willingly go and see. It was also an incredible cack.
It was very nice to see a woman being the one in charge. And not a token woman either. Jane has driven the Monster Trucks and has earned her place as general co-ordinator and safety guarantor. I don’t think that’s her actual title but it does describe what she does.
Then, before we headed back home, we went from the combined 1,000 horse power of the Monster Trucks to the two horse power of a brewery cart. We were delightfully entertained by the slowest obstacle race ever as the heavy horses negotiated a path around the arena and tried not to dislodge the tennis balls.
We then packed ourselves up and headed for the car park. Five minutes later we drove home. A brilliant day.
Here’s a single moment of insanity from the monster trucks, in this case, Grim Reaper.