Thursday, 24 June 2010


Just after cock crowed on Saturday morning I was like a rat on a sinking ship and abandoned mine. Hubby and the children were blissfully unaware as they woke an hour or so later that I was gaily driving to the Royal Cornwall show. By the time they were compos mentis, I had already meandered around the site and bought ‘stuff’ including an irresistible rake for the dog’s fur that promised wonders, a magic cleaner for the kitchen, a depilatory device that did not require wax, razors, pain nor mess and, after half an hour of lying on it, would have gladly paid £4000 for an amazing back loving bed. Problem was, had I signed on the dotted line then I’d have been sleeping in it alone. Hubby would have had a cardiac.
As it was he wasn’t best pleased. “Where the hell are you?” he asked.
“At the dog show at the Cornwall show in Wadebridge”, I whispered.
“You never said you were going”, he said, mightily cheesed off.
“Well I didn’t want to cause a furore”, I said even more quietly as I was very aware of a very large, cross lady, sitting astride a rather unforgiving shooting brake. At the end of a pink, sparkly lead laid a hot and panting Pomeranian, who looked as though he would have given the world to have been anywhere in the world other than a sunny field in Cornwall, all brushed and groomed and ponced up. I looked at him sympathetically and stroked his head.
“I have to go”, I said to Hubby, “I won’t be all day”.
I finished my coffee and walked up the rows and rows of stands. At the SeaSalt stand I bought Hubby an appeasement sweatshirt and the girls some jaunty Cornish t-shirts. Then I entered the food hall marquee. Apart from the farm animals this is my favourite bit. A bit of cheese here, a Cornish fairing there, a dip of this and a sip of that. Marvellous.
Stuffing my face at Baker Tom’s bread stall I got caught out by some farming friends.
“Alice! Rosemary foccacia is not ideal for the waistline”.
“No, but it’s wonderful for the soul”, I said, relishing the gloriously fragrant, olive oil infused bread.
“Shall we get you out of here and take you to see some animals?”
I nodded complicity before nabbing a little pot of chicken vindaloo. One needs sustenance at this show; one end of it is bloody miles away from the other and I’d be damned before catching a showground, shuttle-bus.
“Which are your favourite farm animals Alice?”
My friend rears pedigree sheep and whilst they are fine looking beasts and the lambs terribly sweet, you can’t, in my view, beat a pig.
“That’s handy”, said, Jer, “My father is a pig steward. Come and meet him”. Minutes later I shook hands with an awfully dashing gentleman, in a very pucker check suit and bowler hat. I was intrigued as to what a pig expert looks for in a pig, after all most of them are just massive and pink, the boars with the most enormous set of testicles I have ever seen.
“Ahem”, coughed my expert, “We call that their development”. Oh I see. He then went on to explain that what he looks for in sow is what he looks for in a woman, firm to the touch, sturdy, good pair of legs. I think he was teasing me. These farmers are fruity chaps.
I looked at the pigs anew and tried to use a steward’s scrutinizing eye but to be honest they still all looked the same, although some it could be argued, were decidedly more ‘developed’ than others. Leaving my friends and the fine swine behind me I went and sat at the main ring for a while, took in the atmosphere, watched a few turns then made my way to the car park. An hour later I was still there. God only knew where my car was.
Hubby was getting frantic. “Alice, c’mon, we seem to have a deal. You’ve been gallivanting so I’m going to the pub with your brother to see the football. You need to be here”. I know I did, the children and I were also meant to be at Mags’s barbeque in forty minutes. I tried another field. It all looked so different from this morning when the fields were relatively empty. I came across a girl of about twenty, crying. She couldn’t find her car either. And she had to be at work. We walked and we walked. And finally we found mine. Perhaps she’s still there, searching.
I had news for Hubby when I finally came home. “Whilst you’re already in a bad mood, you might as well know that I’m going to Cardiff on Tuesday”.
When I arrange these coach trips we leave at the crack of dawn to have a full day at our destination. On Tuesday we didn’t leave until just before nine. I couldn’t complain though as the local Pensioners Voice had allowed me to gate crash their party and for only £12.When we arrived at 12.30 after a comfort stop that saw one of the ladies so bewildered by the automatic flush in the loo that it went off as she was bent over trying to haul her panty-girdle up, my God-mother was there to meet me.
We had just enough time for lunch at Jamie Oliver’s before going ball gown shopping. I tried on a stunner. By the time I’d got dressed, she bought it for me. She’s more a fairy god-mother. At 4.30, clutching bags with tissue billowing out of them I was the last to board the coach. Waving and blowing kisses out of the window at my God-mother I swear that she seemed to disappear into a puff of smoke, or was it just perhaps the coach’s emissions?

1 comment:

Sally said...

Gosh what was the ball gown for? Are you going somewhere nice? Ia vhe managed to post btw. i need to get back into the ahbit. One a month is better than none though!