I don’t seem to be able to get all caught up these days. I seem to be dashing from one deadline to the next, barely catching each one (if at all!), and forgetting a hundred other things along the way. Like blogging. (ooops! Sorry, guys!).
I’ve just realised that I’ve been travelling and/or working for three out of the last three weekends, so it’s hardly surprising that I’m a bit discombobulated. The weekend before last, I travelled up to visit my parents, not coincidentally at the same weekend as Lealholm Show. Now, my great uncle used to own a farm on Lealholmside (he retired many years ago, and now lives in the village of Lealholm itself) – so this place is part of home for me. It is a small, fairly remote North Yorkshire village, and I grew up entering the village show. The show is small, too: no livestock, but there are a fair few garden and crop prizes, jam, cakes, handicrafts, sports and a whole array of children’s classes to enter. In my youth, I won prizes for many things from handwriting to cake decorating; high jump to winemaking. (I never said it was a particularly well-spent youth, after all!).
Over the years, the array of classes has drifted slightly: evolved, but not violently. There are now photography classes, including one for a ‘computer enhanced photograph’. Flower arranging has provided a whole new set of classes. Baking has always been popular, and so have some of the vegetable classes (the three heaviest potatoes, well washed, is always popular). It was lovely to see, this year, a lot more entries in the egg, jam and wine classes (along with a new class for fruit spirits!) – these seemed to go out of fashion for a while (afterall, homemade jam was for everyday; shop-bought came out for best!), but I think the trends are swinging more back in that direction now.
Another new class was ‘any other craft item’ – this year, won by some spectacular stained glass work. I’m really, really pleased to see it there, because I’d love to spread the word about spinning and weaving as modern crafts (knitting is, of course, already well-represented). Next time I visit the show (I don’t make it there every year), I’d love to have a hand woven item to enter.
I suffered a major bout of camnesia during the event itself. I photographed nothing except a few entrants in the vegetable animals class:
Vegetable animals were a speciality for both my brothers. I remember with fondness a porcupine made from an ornamental gourd and loads and loads of long pine needles. This sheep (made from a patty-pan squash of gigantic size) shows that curcubits still have plenty of potential for the creative child:
I also thought the banana-octopus was admirable in its simplicity – even if it didn’t win a prize.