It was running through my mind as I chased them. Those little oinkers. All I could see bobbing in front of me. Pork chop and bacon.
Today was the big day for all of Surrey. The County show. Bank holiday Monday, the second one in May, is always Surrey County Show day. It attracts thousands from near and far. It is a raucous, joyous celebration of all things country.
We’ve never been. Before today, anyway. We were determined to go this year. For a number of reasons. One reason was the terrier races. Every year we miss the terrier races. A sad, sad state of affairs. The terrier races are hilarious. Having decided we were definitely going, it was a shame, therefore, to find out that there would be no terrier races at this years show. Damn it!
And then we read the replacement and we smiled. With typical British craziness someone quickly invented pig racing. Oh frabjous day! With what joy we left home early this morning.
And, indeed, it was a very good idea, leaving early. We wanted to get there before the crowds. And we did. We were directed to an almost deserted car park, right near the exit, and had no difficulty hopping on the free park and ride bus to the show ground. We were a small group entering the nicely sedate park.
We saw some amazing cows, some wonderful goats, a few Edwardian women showing off their donkeys and, the pig racing. The goats were especially cute. I love goats. I want one. I’m going to call him Satan. But he has to be a big evil looking brute. The ones at the show today were all cute and cuddly and you wanted to either take them home or milk them and make cheese.
We also saw black highland cows! I thought they only came in brown. And the cute little mini-cows, the Dexters. The whole day was just one cute farmyard animal after the other. About 800 breeds of sheep, countless dogs, beautifully sleek ponies jumping fences with 11 year old girls on their backs. But we mustn’t forget the pigs.
We were ready for the racing, standing by the fence, an excellent spot among the gathering crowd. This was going to be a very popular event. The woman started her chat to the audience and suddenly I was dragged, protesting from the crowd and marched around the back of a small horse float. Inside I was greeted by six crazy little pigs, just waiting for the off.
The pigs, with little numbers on their backs, continually jostled for the best position at the front of the float, waiting impatiently for the race to begin. The farmer was gee-ing up the crowd, the young chap in the dress with Heidi’s plaits was in the float with me, gee-ing up the pigs to a pre-race frenzy. The woman on the microphone was beseeching the crowd to give vent to loud shrieking and much raising of arms.
And the gate went up! Insanity reigned as the pigs flew up the track, leaping effortlessly over the little hurdles, me and Heidi in close pursuit, giving them helpful little prods. It was all pretty hilarious. I think the crowd enjoyed it. Three times I had to race with the pigs. It was like the bull thing in Pamplona only a lot safer.
We left soon after this as the crowds grew and grew. As we walked out the exit, a long queue of eager show goers was stretching up the street. We managed to get a seat on a bus and then headed back to the university where Sidney was now firmly surrounded by hundreds of cars.
A wonderful day. I’ve put some photos up here but here’s one of me and the pigs to start off with…