Yes, I’m afraid the above is true. Freya hates stubble. Not the stuff on my face, you understand. Oh no. In fact, that’s something she shares with Emma. They both like rubbing their faces against my stubble. No, the one she doesn’t like is the big pointy stubble you find in a field not long after harvest. The type of stubble that reaches higher than Freya’s tummy and is impossible to walk over without it scraping her belly.
And the reason we were forcing Freya to walk over stubble? Well, today was one of our favourite days of the year. It was the other half of the Surrey County Show. It was the Country Fair and Ploughing Match held at Loseley Park…though, to be completely honest, the ploughing was not at Loseley this year. It was held at Eashing Farm, advertised as a short drive from Loseley. (Whoever measures these things clearly has a different gauge by which they determine the length of ‘short drive’ because I wouldn’t describe it as anything of the sort.)
Because it was held in a different location, we decided to pop over and see the ploughing first. Now, I’m not sure whether it was because we were early but we only saw two teams of Shire horses. The rest of the competitors were either driving tractors or pushing big motorised ploughs, the likes of which I’ve never seen. (It did occur to me that there should be a section for ard ploughing. That would separate the boys from the men!)
We managed to walk the length and breadth of the field and checked out everyone’s furrows. We’d pick Freya up when she had to go across the stubble, otherwise she walked as well.
The three dogs were fussed over as you’d expect and we fussed over the other dogs in our turn.
And it was Freya’s first big outing which is a coincidence as last year’s Country Fair and Ploughing Match was also Emma’s first big outing.
The thing about the ploughing, it seems to me, is that the farmer has to leave off every few yards in order to check something. It might be the straightness of the furrow or the tightness of the bolts on the plough or the horse brasses but, whatever, he seems to spend more time checking things than actually ploughing. I’m of the opinion that it’s not a speed thing.
Having satisfied ourselves that all was right down on the farm, we loaded into Max and headed for Loseley Park for the rest of the fair.
And who should be there but the same riders that we saw at the Surrey County Show! Then they were doing a riding show based on the signing of the Magna Carta but this time it was not so clear cut a story. Actually, it wasn’t really a story at all…unless you think the ingredients that make up a Pimms constitute a story.
Possibly the most amazing thing was when this guy rode two horses around the ring. He was standing on the saddles of each of them as he guided them around. He even jumped a burning hurdle on them. Quite amazing. I then mentioned to Mirinda that that was probably it. I mean how could he possibly ride three horses at once…
Quite an amazing horseman, this guy. As were all of them. Very entertaining.
We then spent time wandering the various stalls, bought a hog roast lunch then ended up at the cooking tent getting something yummy for dinner (four of the tastiest pies I think I’ve EVER eaten…which is saying something given I’ve eaten at the World’s Best Bakery).
While Mirinda went shopping inside, I sat with the puppies, soaking up the adoration that comes when you have a small flannel-like puppy and a teddy bear sitting with you. Not that we were alone in having the dogs with us. Just from where I was sitting there was a constant stream of dogs walking by. Here’s but a few.
But then, it was time to go home. We hitched the dogs up and set off for Max and then, home. A splendid day out. Even Day-z thought so.