Friday 5 August 2011

Great day in the sticks!

We have our friend Catherine visiting from Vancouver right now and, as yesterday was her birthday, we wanted to treat her to a typically English day out. The Burwarton Show is an agricultural event held annually in Shropshire and it attracts thousands of visitors from miles around. Sadly, after weeks of almost drought conditions we woke to steady drizzle. Catherine lives in the rain forest and couldn't understand why we were so disappointed at the weather. Undaunted we set out determined that the rain would not dampen our spirits.

One of the highlights of the show is the produce tent where local gardeners compete for best flowers and vegetables. Catherine insisted I appeared in this shot - how else would anyone know just how enormous those cabbages were!

The carrots were also pretty impressive - can you believe how long those things are? Way more than a metre!

Of course the livestock competitions are the main attraction. There were some beautiful beasts including these long horn cattle. Huge but so docile!

Who would have thought there were so many different kinds of sheep - it's all highly competitive and serious when they enter the judging ring! The winners in this category will shortly be awarded their rosettes and wear them proudly for the rest of day. A few minutes later we saw fleeces being transformed into fine yarns by members of the local spinners group. Catherine was brave enough to have a go and produced a pretty good length of yarn for a beginner!

Some of the exhibits are more unusual - we were told by their owner that these young Alpaca tolerate heat and cold but hate rain. Oh dear - definitely not a good day for them, look how bedraggled they are!

If I could have chosen one special creature to come home with me it would probably have been this little fellow. He looked very relaxed on his folding chair! The owls were mostly rescue birds and the owner clearly adored them all.

After a fun day out yesterday we were out on the road again today. This time off to Wales to give informal gallery talks about the work in our exhibition 'With Hand and Heart' at the Cynon Valley Museum. It was lovely to meet so many visitors! Thank you so much for taking the time to travel to the show - we appreciate your support. Wasn't the welcome from the gallery staff wonderful? And what about the lunch they laid on? I'd be happy to drive that far again just for the chocolate cake!

The exhibition runs until September 10th so there's still lots of time to get there if you're in that neck of the woods.

It's late now and we're weary after our long day - I'll post pictures of the exhibition tomorrow once I've caught up with some sleep.

Bye for now - Linda


  1. Happy birthday to Catherine! It sounds like you had a fine day. We Northwesteners can find a way to have fun in the worst down pours. I love how the ag fairs are similar around the world. Have a glorious weekend.

  2. Sounds like a lovely day. Happy Birthday Catherine. Those cabbages are enormous! and again, best of success with your show.

  3. I forgot to mention how adorable that little owl is. It looks like it is waiting for the rugby match to begin.