Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Ag. Show

The Ag. College uniform - belted moleskins and a chambray shirt - classic!

It's a proud Australian tradition, the annual local Show. They used to be about comparing rams and competing at woodchopping, now they seem to be all about spending money on rides and showbags.

I do like a Show; the annual Sydney Royal Easter Show was an integral part of my upbringing, and every year I'd pore over the lists of showbags & their contents to make the excruciating decision of which 2 I'd buy. I was only allowed two by the parenting unit, you see. I also remember the fluffy ducklings, and their high diving board in the baby animal petting zoo. The only ride I went on with any regularity was the Ferris Wheel, which Mum would always manage to time to perfection so we'd be up there to see the fireworks.

Presenting rams for fleece inspections

All these fond childhood memories prompted me to head to the Canberra Show last weekend, despite dire warnings from my anti-social husband about how hideous it was all going to be, and I'm pleased to say that if you by-pass the carney aspects - the showbags, the rides and the horrible games where "Every player wins a Prize!" - and head straight for the Agricultural bits, you can still see all that good stuff.
The agility dogs - my favourite!

The sheep, the wood chopping, the agility dogs, and the recent addition of the trendy alpaca, all make for some fascinating viewing. There's also the wonderful country-style 'arts & crafts' aspect of the Show - flower arranging, knitting, cake decorating ("Really? Packet Mix Cake with Single Layer of Icing is a legitimate catergory?") are quite amusing, and not to be overlooked. If you look closely, the 1st Prize-winning decorated biscuits that you scoff at with a cry of "Ha! I could do better than that!" will usually turn out to have been entered in the Ages 5-7 category.
Alpacas are a recent qualifier for the Ag world. I guess enough city-slickers opted out and set up Alpaca farms that they're now mainstream.
It did motivate me to think about entering the eggs from our chooks into the Mixed Dozen, Any Size Any Colour next year, because of the two entrants they got this year one included GREEN eggs, and the other had poo-smeared eggs. Pretty sure we could do better than that! The best thing about focusing on the true agricultural nature of the show is that it doesn't cost you a cent more than your entrance fee (which ok is $20, but still...)

Ah dahlias. So many of them, I guess it must be the only thing Canberra gardeners grow...

This fabulous floral arrangement was entered under the category of "Star-Gazing". Without that aluminium I would never have guessed!

We also went on the Ferris Wheel, which now is all enclosed gondolas with air-conditioning. You know you're a wuss when the idea of the ferris wheel stopping to let people on while you're right at the top makes your insides go watery! My friend and I (both scared of heights) were trying hard not to move so the gondola wouldn't swing. When we got off my legs were just a leeetle bit shaky. Yep, ride the ferris wheel, and feel the FEAR, people!

Trying to be brave on the ferris wheel


Anonymous said...

I love an Ag show! Having grown up in the country, I have to say that all sorts of "field days" appeal to me as a good day out - especially the "Small Farms Field Days" which my family and I were regulars at! Checking out the latest tractors and tanks, or marvelling at the newest line of sheep dips! Ahh, what stimulating bliss! As for the regular "show", I wasn't as dedicated to the show bags (except perhaps at a wee young age), but could have spent the whole day walking through the pavillions, and sizing up the finest sheep, cows, chickens, ducks, and occasionally mourning the loss of the little duckling that didnt quite have the stamina to survive the 1500th child picking it up and squeezing it that day! Aww, poor little tike! Even used to enter my own wares! (Thanks to being a student at a country school!Good old pillow cases with designs on them, crochet or cakes! Ahh, those were the days eh! (and no, packet cake with icing is NOT a valid category! What on earth are they thinking!!!) :) Skye

Isa said...

Skye I think the last time I went to the Royal Show in Syndey was with you - gosh that was a fun day! :-D I'm pretty sure you wouldn't see a packet mix cake there!