22 July, 2008

A beautiful day in Builth

Today was day 2 of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show at Builth Wells, and we went. Tom, two women (me and my cousin's wife Nil), and five girls between 9 and 3. Apparently around 60,000 other people also went. It was very busy but it was also very very well organized. Especially the car parking. I know it's dull to start a post extolling the virtues of good car parking, but anyone who's ever tried to leave a music festival in a car will know what I mean. In this case, they park you a couple of miles away and bus you in. You don't need to go anywhere near Builth for which the Builth residents are no doubt grateful, and you don't have to pay for the coach or wait for it in horribly long queues. So worth extolling. For what it's worth, we also didn't have to queue long for tickets to get in, were found seats in the grandstand easily and there was hardly any queue for ice creams - the last one very important given how long we'd managed to hold off the kids' demands.

This show is huge. We missed out most of the trade sections - not being in the market for a tractor or its many and unbelievably varied tools. Makes a KitchenAid seem tame and under accessorised. I did wonder whether we missed some things that would have interested us. In particular I was looking for green stuff and found very little, and also for experts on chickens. I found the chickens but no experts. There were lots of lovely chickens in all shapes and sizes and lots of broken eggs on plates, congealing in what was turning into a lovely hot day. The broken eggs were post-judging so many had rosettes.

The show is a great spectacle. It's hard to explain how cattle can be breathtaking but these beasts were simply stunning. Huge beautiful animals with great shaggy coats. And all sorts of colours and types.

And the Cossacks of Ukraine were also wonderful. As Tom put it, "I couldn't do that". Er no.

There is something wonderful about these shows. Round every corner is another specialism with people sharing their expertise, exhibiting their animals or produce, or egg yolks, for judgment by their peers. Here's the last thing we saw as we left for the car park.

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