After three and a half days of being there in the Abbey, absorbed in the whole exhibition thing and the trials and tribulations that are associated with it, a day off came as a welcome break. Not that I don't enjoy being there amongst my friends in such a glorious place, but from time to time, the tiredness kicks in and a change of scenery is called for.
7am yesterday and I was setting off towards Moreton in Marsh, to judge some classes in the home and Garden section of the annual show.
It's one of my favourite shows of all. Large enough to be interesting but small enough to be friendly and not too commercial. Beautifully organised and very professionally run, it's a pleasure to go along there and spend time in such beautiful countryside, this year blessed with sunshine, thank goodness.
There were some magnificent entries and it was a tough job to find winners, but find them we did and just a few minutes after 12 noon, the rope was loosened, the visitors streamed into the Home and Garden marquee and we judges ran for cover!
I headed for my favourite part of the showground and spent time with these delightful creatures, chatting to their owners and appreciating their hard work in getting everyone brushed up and gorgeous, ready for their moment in the spotlight.
The atmosphere was relaxed, several competitors snoozed in the afternoon sunshine and some sat around chatting. There was a general air of contentment and this was a good place to be.
Only the Supreme Champion was a little twitchy and uncomfortable as she waited for the final visit from the judges, long after she'd normally have been milked. Her owner was twitchy too, anxious for the well-being of his prizewinner and clearly not enjoying the sight of her discomfort. Along the row, the owner of a more "traditionally-built" entrant eyed up the bony Holstein, referring to her as a "mere milking machine". I couldn't disagree.
Unable to resist another walk amongst these handsome fellows, I supposed that much is expected of them as well. Hard work, but some bull has to do it...