Sunday, June 22, 2008
This day could not have been any more British if we had tried
On Saturday, my aunt, grandma and I went to the West Midlands show (with free tickets, because Starfish does their advertising). The West Mid show is kind of like our state fair, but a bit more animal-based. They have some carnival rides for children, but it's more for showing your creatures in different classes. It rained the whole day, and was so cold you could see your breath, but we still managed to have a nice time. Since we had free tickets, we were able to splash out on food, and I had a delicious curry, a hot chocolate, and an ice cream with a flake afterwards.
1. Joe, the 1700kg (3700lb) cow, as well as lots of other nice cows. The farmers were all busy brushing and shampooing them, even blow-drying their tails to make them extra poofy. I really don't like cows -- they're so large and looming and don't really respect your personal space -- but the farmers all did a nice job of keeping them under control. I wish my aunt could've stood by Joe (the cow in the top photo) to give some perspective, but a) she would probably have been eaten and b) she is very small so it would probably distort your cow conceptions even more.
2. Pigs and sheep. The sheep in Wales and the Midlands have been affected by some horrible Blue Tongue disease recently, so it was "very exciting" that they made it to the show.
3. Lots and lots of horses. They had so many horse classes here -- from the big heavy draft horses to the mini Shetlands. All of them were immaculately turned out, clean and braided, despite the awful weather. They didn't have as many jumping classes as we had hoped, but there were still lots of different classes to see. Since it was so wet and windy, a lot of the ponies were spooking and jumping around -- this is always much more entertaining (except when you're on them!).
4. My boss. In one of the food tents we ran into my boss, Alison, her husband Tony (who works the floor below us) and her son James. This was really strange as it was a case of seeing someone in an entirely different context than you're usually used to seeing them in. Obviously the West Mid show is a wonderful place for one and all.
5. So many doggehs. From dachsunds doing dog agility courses to terriers in yellow anoraks (complete with hood) to lurchers in tents, it seemed like EVERYONE brought their soggy doggy to the show.