Sunday 6th July 2014
Summer Country Fair, through British tinted glasses
The Sunday before last saw the seasonal small holders show happen in Ardingly, Kent.
My Mum and I are regular goers to the Spring and Autumn offerings, but often back off the Winter ( too damn cold/usually wet for wandering round an outdoor market ) and Summer ( more geared towards lifestock ). But as we hadn't managed either this past year, we were having withdrawals.
Myself, my mum, aunt and dog in tow, made the drive, and boy was it lovely.
For anyone out there not from England, I think you would struggle to not picture this setup in your imagination. A typical English country fair, of stalls and welly wearers, but with a few surprises. Entertainment and Craft was also a plenty - surprisingly, many from round our end, along with these gorgeous Kenyan crafts pictured below.
Handmade Kenyan Dog Accessories / Pimms O'Clock / Mum in her natural habitat
A main arena, ft different performances throughout the day, was new to me.
We watched the Shire horse, and Sheepdog demonstrations. It's incredible to see the different personalities of the dogs; one simply waddled when called, other's so eager to please - but when the sheep were in the ring, game faces were on, and the obedience is amazing. He must have controlled 8 dogs at one time, using 'away'/'come by' etc in different languages, and other phrases - my fav being 'Gin & Tonic'. Although you would call them 'working dogs', they also seemed to be loving it! The sheep get to graze, the dogs get to stalk, and we all have a merry good time watching it - the people with Pimms even more.
^ My favourite dog almost rippled across the floor - All were Border Collies, but coat colour and size really varied.
Children were highly catered for this time round, which I thought was a lovely touch. The fair ground attractions are a fixture rain or shine, but there were also horse pulled carts, Indian and Morman craft performers; a talking scarecrow show, variety of Bands ands and Clowns, just to name a few. Although I think the event it aimed towards the 'middle ground/age' market, all ages are sure to find something they'll enjoy; although, I would never say that shopping, music and food, are just for grownnups.
I've just had my face licked shot
For reference this show (and many others) was held at the South of England Showground; though if you missed it, watch out for the next Autumn, Winter and subsequent Spring dates. If you live in the S.E.England Area, I would highly recommend a stopcome by - pardon the pun.
The usual indoor buildings (bar food court) were closed off, in space for using more outbuildings and livestock! Everything from turtles, and Lhamas, to household pets and farm animals were on show. There are many charity and specialist area stands; you can also enter your pets and produce into competitions. Maybe next time Maj.
Testing out the sausage samples
With the focus more on food than with the other shows, ft. lots of locally grown - often seasonal produce, you could easily go round having samples enough to fill your lunch belly.
This is my aunts dog Magic ( to anyone who is new ), she is beloved by me, and here on AmBlog.
Bless her, she wanted to make sure we were all together, yanking the arm off who ever was holding her, and greeting us with love and licks if we ever went astray . Because she was lead bound, she was so sweet and well behaved, never had some much stranger love for my babe!
- Thankyou to her, and Hewson x2, for making the day bliss.
I hauled A kilo of cherries that were mostly gone by the time we were home (fruit of my life) a scrummy looking brioche/ham sandwich, and a drop price fine knit from a clothing store.
Where there can always be found 'county' clothes, leather goods and 'Tit for Tat' stalls, there was also a theme of what I would call 'British expats abroad' clothing - thin, Italian, pale pastel, swooshy clothes. But you know me, happy to nose through nearly any old shop, to which I came across this. A long sleeved top, in the finest knit form. Well OFC it deserved a second look! Lace trim and colour (white) made me happy, but the price got me. £35 originally?! yikes. But down to £15 because of a smudge. Of which I am hopeful to get out/ my hair down covers it anyway. £15 still made me pause - It is fairly sheer, so I'll need to invest in a Bralet to wear under it, but my enablers made me think what the heck! The hearts are cut outs lightly sewn on, and will be unpicked, as embellishment isn't for me. I paid for it with some birthday money from my aunt, and I think she was pretty happy with where it had went.
Unfortunately, the one thing I was looking to buy - my treasured homemade fudge, was not to be.
Apparently, there are 1500 types of fudge, and 'strawberries and cream' just hadn't made the weekends 15 strong cut - but why would my favourite not be top of the list? A factor they promise to rectify if I return next year? Sounds like a deal.
All in all, a 'Jolly good show' - how very bastard British.