Said my friend: "I refuse to eat anything on a stick" - words to live by

4/09/2013 10:44:00 pm

I last went to the Royal Easter Show in 1997; the final year that it was held at Moore Park. I don't remember much about it except some disparaging remarks made about Pluto Pups by my mother, and my father's dark warning to choose our showbags well because there would be only one each. My brother's contained a comically large inflatable hammer, and maybe also a horned Viking helmet, and then proceeded to bash the shit out of me whenever he got a chance over the next three days, until the novelty, and the glue holding the hammer together, wore off.

My showbag was full of sickly sweet lollies, with sticky neon colours that stain your fingers and mouth and are found nowhere in nature. I'm quite sure that I ate 90% of the bag's contents that night and spent the next 24 hours in a state akin to a diabetic coma. Some things never change...

For me, there are only a handful of must-see things at the Show. These include, but are not limited to, agility dogs, diving pigs, racing pigs, sheep dogs, sheep, goats, baby goats, pigs, ducklings, chicklets, cows, horses with big feet, people riding horses, obedience dogs, baby pigs, exotic chickens, exotic ducks, giant pumpkins, depictions of country Australia made entirely from vegetable products, wood chopping, cake decorating, lace work, knitting, and decorative art made from curled up pieces of paper. Not necessarily in that order.

I don't care about the fruit and vege as much as the categories: "Excellence in class 611 - three tomatoes with stalks." Also also, that pumpkin is 618 kg!!

The knitting, especially the open lacy patterns, reminded me of my Aunty Madge. She used to knit me cardigans and other lovely things.  It's a lost art in our family now, and that makes me sad.

And scones with jam and cream, too.

In two weeks, more than 30,000 scones are made fresh by the CWA ladies, and devoured. They are light and fluffy, and sort of amazing.

I'm not going to lie to you: I had to go back a second time because I couldn't fit everything in on the first day I went. That was partly to do with it being 34 degrees in the shade, and all my most desired things, like dogs running through tunnels against the clock and pigs jumping into swimming pools, were in full sun (at one point I thought I might pass out, but the Show is also full of lovely people in uniforms, so...). It was mostly because I needed to see more baby animals.

And I definitely wanted more dog loving.

So sleeeeepy. AND... That poodle... It's owner!
I have seen the what's involved in making a sheepdog that fluffy... those dogs have more product in their coats than a skank on a Friday night. I actually saw whitening creme being applied to one husky, then they brushed some kind of volumising powder into his tail to make it nice and bushy.
 It's hard work being a show dog: the indignity of a blow dry, followed by getting your bits squeezed by the judge...

Apparently, going to the Show when you have children is actually an exquisite form torture rather than anything vaguely resembling pleasure; at least three harbingers of doom told me so. I can understand, on a philosophical level, how that could be the case. The crowds, the potential for a screaming tantrum, the food on sticks. But I just don't see how anyone could fail to have a good time with all those farm animals and dogs and people wearing RM Williams!

All of these things are made from sugar paste! Can you believe those flowers!!? I also have to declare my undying love for the category, "Miniature cake - novelty themed"
Those two bulls, Gladiator (L) and Goliath (R), collectively weigh 2 metric tonnes. That is a lot of steak.

I guess I have a couple of options for the future: either don't have children, or don't take them with me to the Show. Decisions...decisions.....

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