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...