Saturday, 4 August 2007

Bakewell Show

The annual Bakewell Show held in the first week of August is my favourite show. There is something for everyone and I love to see the livestock, heavy horse displays, poultry collection and, of course, the horticultural area. There is a wide variety of stalls with sellers displaying their wares, offering services or just providing information, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and all surrounded by the heavenly Derbyshire countryside.

The sun shone, and occasionally the breeze picked up; spirits where high and, despite the glorious weather, we managed to sell a fair few brollies! The only down-side for me was this “robot” that came round twice a day to perform a street act. Even as a grownup (well, I like to think I am!) I found it very intimidating and felt my stomach lurch as it got up off the back of the cart it had been driven around in and started to move in the crowd. It was enormous and looked like something from a Terminator movie. Several young children started to cry and we even had a young teenage girl come and hide on our stall on the second day. I have to admit that it was very clever but I didn’t like it!

On the first day, Grouse came to say hello, along with her husband. She was sporting some very stylish sunglasses that she had just bought and I liked her immediately. Of course, she was nothing like I imagined but as soon as she came up to me, I knew it was her. And no, Headmistress, I’m ashamed to say that neither of us was wearing our skool uniforms! Please don’t give us too many lines! So, we gossiped a bit and giggled (that was me, as ever) and Mr Grouse stood patiently chatting to Jimmy while we girls didn’t come up for air (or was that me, again?). A lovely couple – but what else would you expect from our community? They were on their one day off a year and so they left us to get round the showground and catch all the events going on, but they came back later, on their way home, to say goodbye. (Confession to Snail Beach Shepherdess – forgot the flippin’ camera again as I didn’t get your message ‘til I got home!)

Thursday evening soon came round and we were packing up the stall ready for the journey home. We’d had a busy time at the show and I surprisingly managed to finish my Harry Potter book (I hid in the van, Grouse!) but my niece beat me to it, as I knew she would. Eventually, we were reversing on the drive and the dogs were going ballistic and then the tiredness hit me like a tonne of lead. Working these shows means that you have to be on the showground for 7.30am, as vans aren’t allowed to come in after that. And as I’m not an early morning person, by the end of the show I’m usually shattered. You’re on your feet all day and don’t pack up until 6pm, before driving back to the B&B, grabbing a shower and then going to the pub for dinner. On the last day, you also have to dismantle the stall and load that onto the van too, then drive 3 hours home. Cup of tea, bath and bed and the deep sleep of exhaustion.

Now that we are at home, sort-of-recovered, we have agreed that we would love to go back as “proper” tourists and explore the area. We only ever seem to go there for the show and don’t have time to take in the sights and make detours down tempting looking, dry stone wall edged lanes. We usually stay up at Monsal Head, which has amazing views and has whetted our appetite for this lovely county. Oh! and the natives are friendly too – what more could you want?