It’s very important, when entering ploughing matches, to keep your line straight and your furrow even. If you don’t, you’ll never win the competition. While this might be easy in a tractor (and I’m not saying it is) when it’s one man, two big shire horses and a small metal plough, it looks very difficult. It also seems a bit pointless.
The Surrey Ploughing Match was on today and, while we only saw one guy and his horses, the ploughed fields left over from earlier competitors were all too apparent.
I must say, I’m a bit confused by the rules. It seems it’s not about speed as the guy ploughing stopped and started many times to give little adjustments to his plough before starting off again. One imagines he can’t have managed much ploughing at this rate if it was with the intention of creating a field of crops.
Today was the Surrey County Ploughing Match and Country Fair at Loseley Park. It was a bit disappointing because we couldn’t find any sticky ginger cake (you’ll have to dig back through previous posts, going back a few years to get the reference) but otherwise, it was everything you’d hope for in a country fair.
The poodles, who generally sleep for vast amounts of the day, managed to stay awake for the whole thing. The reason for this is because they spent most of the time frightened of everything. The explosion of new scents and sights as well as the explosions from the starting gun just feet from their noses.
The starting gun was used during the gun dog demonstration. An assistant would fire the gun, make a sound like a shot duck then throw a bag over a fence for the dog to retrieve. It was pretty amazing, though Carmen and Day-z were not enthused. I don’t think I’ve seen them more scared. It was like the usual tail wagging had run up their bodies and was shaking their entire bodies. Amazingly, all the other dogs showed no reaction whatsoever.
And there were LOTS of dogs. It’s lovely to see.
While, naturally, I thoroughly enjoyed the heavy machinery (particularly the Parade of Tractors late in the day) possibly my two favourite things were the aerobatics display put on by two planes (not together, I should add) and Mirinda shooting a clay pigeon.
The planes were amazing and we, quite by chance, ended up being directly beneath them when they put on their show. I reckon we had the best viewing spot because we’d just left the ploughing and were on our way back to the fair.
The first guy was in a single engine, single wing jobbie but was a bit too far away to get any good shots. He did some amazing stuff going up, up, up, twirling around like a lunatic then plunging down towards the ground. His loop the loops were amazing! It was very exciting.
Possibly more visually pleasing was this yellow bi-plane. While he didn’t do the twirly thing, he did fly very low and managed to fling the plane about a lot.
Possibly the oddest thing was the Punch and Judy man. While his puppet show was probably very good, he started off with a bit of a history lesson which, I think, almost lost him his audience. The evolution of Punch and Judy was very interesting but not to a five year old and not when it went on for so long. By the time the show actually started, I had to go and find Mirinda who had wandered off, bored, long before I did.
As we were leaving, watching the very long line of departing visitors in their cars, Mirinda decided that, rather than sit in the car, she’d like to shoot some clay pigeons. There’s always a queue for the £5 a go hide so she joined it. I sat on the grass with the poodles, at a safe distance for their ears. Fortunately I had my telephoto lens.
So, another year of country fare at the Country Fair and all is right with the world.