Friday, June 20, 2014

Lost and found

It was a day of losing things - a pair of glasses, the car, our way, and an event. But mostly we found them all again, after some frustration, and in the end it was only the traditional Ride Out at pretty little Melrose with its ruined abbey where the heart of Robert the Bruce (of spider fame) lies, that we didn't see because we'd been told the wrong day.

We were glad to schedule our own event instead - the Royal Highland Show, a 5-day affair now the biggest in the UK since the sad demise of the Royal Show. It was great, and a real education. I thought, as a New Zealander and long-time visitor to agricultural shows, that I knew a thing or two about sheep - but I had never heard of orange sheep. And here they have two types! And so many other breeds that they filled four big sheds. Astonishing.
Then there were the cattle! Immense bulls, frothing at the mouth but generally docile - though there was no stopping the ones who had a mind of their own. There were hairy coos too - Highland cattle - their long coats waving in the breeze from fans whirring away to keep them cool.

Horses, shiny and bouncy, dogs on leads, and people - school parties, weathered farming couples eyeing up the huge and mysterious machines (if you have to ask what it does, you don't need it), old men in kilts and young men in checked shirts. Tents of tweed clothing, saddles, dog beds, jokey toilet seats, craft competitions (snoods, jointed bears, carved walking sticks), and food and drink: haggis burgers, hot pork rolls, whisky, cheeses, lollies...

Excellent day out. Especially since we did, eventually, find the car at the end of it.

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