Monday, 5 August 2013

Showtime: Hello Bonniconlon!

A few days ago, the In-Charge came home and said: 'It's Bonniconlon Show on Monday.'
Year after year, we hear people enthusing about Bonniconlon Show, but we've never been.
'We ought to go,' he added.
Later that evening I finally managed to track down the winner of a giveaway I'd organised for Country Markets. 'Here's my address,' she said, 'Or if you're going to Bonniconlon Show, I'll be in the Craft Marquee.'
That settled it. We agreed to meet there.

It started, we noticed, bright and early. '8.30am sharp' it said on the website.
8.30am sharp in Ireland generally means 'We'll start at 9am whether you're here or not.'
But an early start was fine by us. The In-Charge had promised to help someone later in the afternoon, so we needed to get back, and the statistics - which never lie, after all - had recorded 30,000 people attending the show last year.
Here in the west, 30,000 is A LOT of people, so we decided to go first thing.

The best laid plans etc etc... I'd overlooked the fact that I had to ring the florist in England first thing to confirm an order for flowers (it's not a Bank Holiday in the UK) - and what with one thing and another, we didn't get to the Show Grounds until well after midday.
It was packed. And quite expensive to get in, I thought.
But it was great fun.

By then, a smoky bacon and sausage stuffed bap was just what we needed to perk us up, and, happily munching, we found all sorts of stuff to look at.

The first thing that caught my eye was a model railway

And close by there were some homemade model farms.

I love miniature things.
I was poring over them, vaguely aware of some traditional Irish music playing in the background, and out of the corner of my eye saw three people sitting, playing. It took me awhile to drag my eyes away from tiny tractors and straw bales, but then I realised that the musicians were also models - full-sized model people.

A shame we hadn't taken Model Dog with us!
She could have posed alongside them.

There were lots of other dogs though.
Gorgeous Borzois - a rare sight here.

I'd forgotten just how big they are!

The Borzoi kissing his mummy

There were dogs all preened and prepped for the show

And dogs not remotely interested in being in the show

And some dogs far more interested in the possibility of poussin for lunch

I was pretty interested in the poultry section myself. I hadn't thought about it beforehand, or I would have taken an empty cage with me. The ravages of old age, disease and Monsieur Renard have left poor Wellington sadly depleted of wives over the last few months. (We won't mention the TeenQueen in relation to sorry ravages. It is time to let bygones be bygones.)

I was extremely taken by the headgear some of the ducks were sporting

In another cage, some duckings had opted to sleep the day out, perhaps in the hope that when they woke up it would all be over and they'd be back in their own little ponds at home. Bless them.

But, as the In-Charge didn't hesitate to remind me, it wasn't ducks I was supposed to be looking at.

There were lots of chickens, so it was quite hard to choose, but in the end we came away with 8 young pullets who are even now settling into the big pen in the hens field, happily exploring the boxes, dust bath, food and water bowl that I have hastily put in there for them.

They are not without an audience. The TeenQueen is extremely interested in the newcomers, and Mistress Bluebell looks quite outraged.

I will introduce you to them properly next time.

We didn't have time to do much else. It took us awhile to find the Craft Marquee, but eventually we managed to deliver the prize to our delighted winner.

A Talentui Organics box of goodies for the Country Markets Giveaway winner

The In-Charge paused for a quick gander at some of the old cars while I was negotiating the purchase of my hens, so the only vintage vehicle I saw was this one. A lovely specimen, though - I've always liked those old Austins.

After that it was time to try and find our way back to the remote field where we had parked.
We did spot a familiar face as we edged through the crowds. Beltra Country Market's sister from down the road - Ballina Country Market had a stall selling all sorts of things from homemade cakes and jam to handmade denim bracelets.

Their stall was starting to look fairly bare by that stage, as they'd already sold so much, yet when we finally got to the gates, people were still streaming in.

Maybe this year Bonniconlon Show has topped last year's figure of 30,000!

While I and my boxes of hens waited for the In-Charge to go and bring the car, I looked back across one small part of the showground. There was lots we hadn't had time to see.

 Maybe next year...



  1. We have three new chickens and one of them is called Bluebell,not very original as that is the breed, but one of my favourite flowers. I shall post a pic of them soon.

    1. I love bluebells - hens and flowers. They are both so pretty. My Bluebell hen has gradually changed colour as she's got older. I'm very happy with my new hens - hope you are too!

  2. Agricultural shows are such fun. Good luck with your new hens. I'm tempted to get some but the menfolk aren't so keen.

    1. They are fun, aren't they? Thanks - I'm glad I got the new hens. You ought to get some, you'll never look back. They are very entertaining and full of character by and large. Not to mention those delicious eggs. Bought eggs just don't taste the same.

  3. At last I make it back to your posts. Your emails won't even open on the ipad. What trickery is that?
    The middle farm picture looks so much like the farm I stayed on as a child in Co Tyrone I was amazed. Looks like a good day out. I hope your hens settle well. How have you trained the dogs not to attack them when they are free?

    1. Hmmm - we are about to find out today! Model Dog won't, but TeenQueen? She has had a week of being taken to see them in their pen, but they are (some of them) small and fluttery. Fingers crossed.

    2. Weird about the emails - but I know nothing of ipads. Nice to see you, though Isobel and glad you had a good time in NI

  4. I loved your post about talentui organics last year - and I was wondering how one can get these products when one doesn't live in Ireland. Does she have an e-shop or something, and does she ship her products abroad ? I'm in France actually....

  5. Hi there - nice to see you back again!
    I don't think Talentui have an e-shop yet, but I'm sure she ships products. Are you on facebook - if so you could look her up - Talentui Organics, and leave her a message. Otherwise there is email. I'll leave you another message with her email when I have it.

  6. This is the post `i tried to comment on from the ipad, and failed. Now i don't know what i wanted to say, but, thanks for the read.
    Yet now I am even more puzzled as to the lack of hen references in your more recent posts...


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