Greetings one and all, welcome to the new week.
It’s all been somewhat hectic at hobbit central over the last few days, both professionally and personally. I’ll not bother taking you through a blow-by-blow account of the South of England Show, rather I’ll treat you to a few thoughts from the trip to Ardingly that I feel I really ought to share.
Now each event I do has it’s own flavour, for want of a better word. Some of the smaller markets are quite quaint, like Sherston Market. Some are quite agricultural in their look and feel, the Royal Cornwall being the prime example on my calendar. Some are really buzzy, like Frome Independent. But the one word that sprang into my mind for the South of England – and this is not a word that is in everyday usage in my world – was haughty. Given that the event takes place in Sussex, which I now realise houses the EU Tweed Mountain, that probably shouldn’t come as as shock. Now I’m not saying that anyone actually looked down their nose at me (although at my height that’s an occupational hazard), but the bearing of the ladies especially was from the Margo Leadbetter school…very proper, very well dressed. very well-to-do, and lots and lots of hats.
The male version of the hat fetish was a certain dress code that seemed to revolve around intensely starched (but somehow casual) shirts, a sweater draped artistically around the shoulders in a way that can only be done with a lot of practice in front of the mirror, and – the truly defining aspect – mustard coloured trousers. Usually corduroy. This is unlikely to become a fashion trend amongst chilli farmers, who of course seem to prefer jeans and nerd level t-shirts, but it was so prevalent at one point that myself and Jon & Joanne from The Rather Tasty Tea People stall next door started counting them as they went past.
Now it was, at it’s heart, an agricultural show, and the smells around the livestock sheds testified to that. I was admiring one of the pigs one morning as I had a bimble around, and was idling thinking ‘boy or girl pig?’ when I spotted what can only be described as a frankly enormous pair of testicles. I mean oh my God how can he walk size ‘nads. I was truly gobsmacked Of course I am no expert on this kind thing – there is a name for that sort of person, usually followed by something along the lines of ‘how do you plead?’ – but I was so bewildered it almost put me off my bacon butty.
Talking of which, the new diet craze for the event was the P-Plan Diet – the P standing for Pig. Basically it revolves around bacon with everything. Bacon sarnie for breakfast, pork scratchings for lunch, bacon cheeseburger for dinner. I fear it’s not a diet for a healthy life, but Sam Vimes would be proud.
One diversion from the bacon theme was found in my hotel, where the towels somehow managed to smell of curry. Now I know that when you’re doing laundry on an industrial scale you don’t use the finest ylang ylang with a hint of moonflower and rose petal detergent…but 1970’s Vesta curry flavour? After day one I thought that it must have been a trick of the nose, but day two’s towel has the same unmistakeable Eau de Balti twang. Odd.
I had a few other notes scribbled down to wobble on about…jellied eels…Bluetooth headsets…Keep Calm t-shirts…but I’ll rant about them another day…
Back in personal land, this was the weekend when I had to rush back to make sure I was available for the Christening of my two granddaughters. All went well, the weather behaved, and the elder of the two girls high-fiving the vicar was a genuine highlight, as you’d expect. It was lovely to see everyone have a good time and both my daughters and granddaughters looked lovely. Proud Grandhobbit 🙂
Back to work matters, and the week ahead. We’ll all be out and about as usual, with myself back in commuter belt territory with a Feast Weekend at Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, which promises to be fun. Elsewhere, Simon M will be in Glasgow, Bond will be in Reading, the Pink Chilli Hobbit will be in Gloucester and Jamie will be in Corsham and Swindon.
Right, I’m off to prepare another cordon bleu microwave meal, feed the four-legged ginger whinger and prepare for the final episode of this season’s Game of Thrones. I suspect I’ll need counselling afterwards.
Keep the faith, see you at our events, and watch out for them English.
Why isn’t the word “phonetically” spelled with an “f”?