Monday, 10 August 2009

I didn't plan to go here......


This weekend was weird. Okay let me re-phrase this as all my weekends are weird at the moment as I'm not home much. Picture the scene, Friday afternoon in the office. Sun splitting the paving stones and the boy blogger was wondering what to do at the weekend. A few options were in the bag, but as he mulled these over he began talking to a colleague who'd just returned from Northumberland, and was loving it. Ohhohh that's an option, I haven't been there since Easter. So I rang parents, and well in a little over 5 hours I was in my parents gaff, quaffing tea and discussing what to do for a relaxing weekend up't north. A bit mad really as I'll be back there in 2 weeks with a pair of Canadians, but what the heck - we only live once - so what if the grass hasn't been cut in 6 weeks - it's a wildlife garden after all ?!!?!

Saturday morning rose fair of face. What shall we do? was the discussion as I sucked on a spot of toast and marmalade while my parents hoovered into the egg and b with I have to say the speed of a starving army. Reading the Journal, an advert for the 150th Slaley Show, this very morn. Now Slaley just south of Hexam is an area I know for only one thing, blackberries. When I were nowt bigger than a gnats knee in short pants, my father and I would be dispatched by my mother to Slaley to plunder the blackers in the hedgerows. We used to come home with tons of the stuff (it was probably drift from all the chemicals farmers used in the 1970's which made them so big and juicy). To this day though an apple and blackberry pie makes me shiver with fear, remembering the terminal lacerations we both endured to get that "perfect" specimen of a blackberry just out of reach before crashing bustle over apex into the thorns. Who needs Facebook or the Internet when there's quality entertainment like that outdoors.

Anyhow it was a bit too early for blackberry picking so by lunchtime we were there. Advertised as a traditional Northumberland show, it contained Llamas, Irish Dancing, a Roman Centurion doing a re-enactment by himself and the dog-able-to-do-the-best-tricks competition. If that's Traditional Northumberland events I'll eat my grannies clippy mat. But having said that it was a fabulous day, not least as I met up with my ex-lollipop lady (Mrs S) from my junior school, who's daughter was in the craft tent with very nice jewellery. Have a look here.

Though I have to say it was a bit worrying, when Mrs S said after we'd had a hug and a greeting "you haven't changed since you were that high, waving her hand somewhere around my nether regions, I recognised you immediately, you haven't changed a bit" Do many of you know any 17 stone, bald, pot bellied children under 10? Some of the girls maybe... :-)

Well enough of this rubbish, lets see some photos, stop the chatter.... not much wildlife I'm afraid, but Judy in Canada, this is what the UK is like. These photos are for you and Miss B. Click to enlarge if you can cope with the thrill of it all.

10 month old llama's with wellies on!

An incomer from Leicester

Always controversial, but hunting still exists, the Haydon Foxhounds

Muckle gurt tractor - I want one for the Bristol traffic - no messing !!

Eye Eye what's this then, a Highland Cooooo

What I love about shows, the produce tent. Here's a tiny selection of an hour mooching about looking at a wonderful side of eccentric English life.

Highly Commended Dahlias

Quicksilver's Father with a large cabbage - he's the one on the left

Veg in a basket

Always a crowd stopper, "silage in a Tesco's carrier bag" Gets my vote!

Children's classes are great fun - this one was just hilarious, and very very inventive !

What on earth?? Gordon Brown maybe?

thought this bat was excellent - it didn't win a prize sadly

Scrummy cakes and scones and well just mouth watering

Stick Dressing (making sticks using horn, wood or other objects on a stick) is alive and well in Northumberland, a fantastic craft. I tried it once. The stick was okay, but the carving was well shall we say, good firewood.

Somehow we missed John Grundy.... who I never knew until Saturday was the person responsible for listing my parents house as a Grade 2. It's his fault then??

Music to my ears..... will they though be bleating something by "Baaaach"

Even the carpark had a canny view owwa the hedge.


  1. I love, love, love English village shows. My definite favourite was "silage in a Tesco carrier bag" Did 1st go to a worthy winner in your opinion? just pure magic! I'm going to suggest it at our next show. It will fit in well next to "longest runner bean" and "strangest potato shape" My Mum had 1st prize for her scones for 3 years in a row at the South of England Show in Salisbury... It's her main claim to fame! Love the llama pics. We used to have llamas in a field down the road... they've gone now... maybe they've migrated to Northumberland???

  2. After a fairly fraught day, your post had me giggling.... Thanks Andrew for letting me unwind :D :D

    What great fun village "dos/shows" are!

  3. Honestly, your posts usually have me in gales of laughter and this one is no exception. Love the photos. The girls jewelry is lovely. Hope you have fun with the Canadians.

  4. Thank you Jane, Tricia and Oldcrow. good to know somone understands my Eccentric sense of humour, and of course the rich pagentry of English Village Shows