Now if only I had a quid for every time I heard the phrase ‘proper job’ last week.
As regular readers will know I have been in Wadebridge for the Royal Cornwall Show. This is one of my biggest events of the year, and is a challenge mentally, physically and – as it turns out – linguistically. Now I’m from the West Country. OK, some may question Wiltshire’s qualifications for being west enough, but it’s generally accepted that it qualifies. So I thought I was pretty well accustomed to all forms of dialects from down this way. That’s until about 4pm on the final day of the show when, after a weekend of hearing t’s softened to d’s (bread and budder puddin’, anyone?) and seemingly billions of the aforementioned proper jobs, I was confronted with a customer who I simply could not bloody understand. He was talking English, that much I could ascertain, but it was pure frontier gibberish of the highest order. All I could do was nod and smile, agree occasionally and hope to God that he hadn’t just told me that chillies gave him cancer of the rectum or that his Mum’s just been nibbled to death by an okapi. He didn’t leap across the table and wallop me, so I think I just about got away with it.
The show was it’s usual windy self, with much gaffer taping and buffeting of King Gazebo – not quite as bad as last year, but a little gusty nonetheless. There were apperances by the RAF parachute team, a singing robot, Plymouth Argyle’s mascot and many, many schoolchildren intent on tasting the hottest thing on the stall. This time round it was Septenary, and many an innocent mouth was left a little bit the worse for chilli. Proper job.
One consequence of trying to keep my costs down for the show was that I stayed on the festival campsite. Now I realise that there are compromises to be made when sleeping in a tent, such as pervading dampness, and loo breaks having to be carefully planned due to the bogs being 300 yards away (those two things aren’t connected, by the way). I can cope with most things, but for the love of all things that are sacred, what possesses the idiot youth of Cornwall to race around a campsite in a souped-up Vauxhall Corsa with it’s La Cucuracha horn blowing? Every…bloody…night… I’m not one usually prone to thoughts of homicide, justifiable or not, but if I’d had access to an AK47 and a clear line of sight you’d have been reading about me in the tabloids by now. At least The Fast and the Feckless went home on the Saturday, so I had the much more pleasant experience of waking up on Sunday morning to the sound of beautiful birdsong, cows mooing in the field next door, and the echoes of the guy in the tent next door snoring like a buzzsaw.
Whilst I was being blown about on the peninsula (that’s not a euphemism), the other guys made it to such exotic locations as Bromley, Swindon and Accrington. Now I never said that this was a sexy job, with fast cars and loose women at every destination – I wish – but Accrington, as in ‘Accrington Stanley – who are they?’ fame…I ask you. I’m led to believe that inoculations weren’t required prior to entry though, and as it turns out they really loved our stuff and the Bearded Blunder sold it up a storm.
It’s a time of much change at Hobbit Central, as I’ve just sold my house. Obviously there’s all that tedious and nerve-wracking bull-plop to go through prior to exchanging contracts, but fingers crossed I’ll be homeless soon. It’s an odd thing to wish for, but it’s a natural consequence of myself and the Pink Chilli Hobbit going our separate ways, and the family home was too big for just the one halfling anyway, however many cats there were in residence. So shortly I shall be looking for a new hole to call my own, or at least to rent and pretend it’s mine. If there are any billionaire brewery heiresses out there looking for someone to share their mansion (and anything else), feel free to get in touch. Low standards and a good sense of humour essential. Oh, and a fondness for elderly cats.
So what’s on the cards this weekend? Well, Simon’s at the Three Counties Show in Malvern, Bond’s at the food festival in Chinnor, and Swindon will see someone show up on Sunday…I’m never quite sure who it’s likely to be. I’ll be at another big event, the South of England Show at Ardingly, from Thursday through to Saturday. This is the first time the Farm has been to this one, so it’s a bit of an experiment to see how it goes. After four nights in a tent last week I’m quite looking forward to proper hotel accommodation, with it’s attendant proximity to food that doesn’t get cooked in a van and a much reduced risk of athlete’s foot.
I’ll be rushing back on Saturday evening to be ready for my granddaughters’ Christening on Sunday, so be prepared for photos in the next post of your friendly neighborhood hobbit looking very uncomfortable in a suit and tie. That’s assuming I don’t spontaneously combust in attempting to cross the threshold of the church, of course.
Right, I’m done for this week. Off to clean the sheets in preparation for visitors. I’m a domestic god, you know.