Morning…I have indeed escaped to the country for my see, smell and explore of the annual New Forest Show exhibits and demonstrations which starts today. I have been going every year, since I was a child, when it was a one day show on a Wednesday, because way back then, it was half day closing for all shops and meant that all the local community could attend…how times have changed! In the modern consumer world you have to work Sundays, night shifts, you struggle to get any key days off and shops are open 24 hours!
Nowadays, the New Forest Show is also a vast three day show, with several event rings, animals galore, crafts of all sorts, thousands of people from all over the country attending and it takes three days to see everything properly! It no longer has a fairground which is also a sign of the times. I remember in my youth, we often returned home with a goldfish in a bag that we won at the fairground and added to our fish tank.
One unfortunate memory etched in my mind is of a scorching, hot summers day when all the goldfish, who had been hanging outside the fairground stalls for hours, were struggling to survive. We won a couple of fish and got home to worryingly find the fish had started to float to the top of the water. The mother of the friend I was with, who was slightly eccentric, found some thick plastic tubing and tried to give the tiny goldfish the kiss of life! Is this possible? She put the tube over the fish’s mouth and started to blow. The fact that the tube was twice the size of the fish is still a vision I can’t erase from my mind forty plus years later. Sadly the fish did not survive, but the vision of her efforts to keep the fish alive is still something that makes me smile and I have never forgotten.
My mum is a Fellow member of the show and always gets three tickets for each day, so the two of us pace ourselves and go every day, knowing that we don’t have to panic buy and can always ‘think about it’ and return the next day should we so wish . This year, after her illness and being in the middle of chemotherapy we will have to see how she manages with all the walking, as it can be quite tiring. We will not however be adding to our pet collection like last year, as Winston the rabbit is lucky to have survived a year in his free two storey mansion (thanks to a friend) and roaming his country estate grounds. (our garden!)
Sadly my plants and garden have not had such a lucky year…it comes to something when my recent potted plant pots are having to be raised out of eating level and the garden bench can no longer be used for its original purpose of sitting!
After a morning of perusing craft tents, the honey and bees where we always get a scone with a choice of honey, the antiques tent and a quick stop off at the church tent for a cup of tea we stopped for lunch in the members enclosure.
Today’s lunch was a very civilised smoked salmon sandwich with a cup of tea, whilst listening to the brass band play and watching the donkey and carts being judged.
We wanted to watch the Household Cavalry Musical Ride which is this years show main event, but it was so crowded that we gave up, wandered for a while and left earlier than usual as it was so hot. Before going home we went to our not quite so busy ice cream shop in Lymington high street, where there is a sign from Chris Evans saying that they make the best ice- cream he’s ever tasted! Mine was indeed delicious…both flavours. Mum had coped very well with day one