I haven’t been able to contain myself the past week just knowing that we were off to the Royal Canberra Show. I’m not normally a huge fan of the show (it’s too expensive, there’s too many people, I don’t like the rides and I’m not 15 any more) but this year I was excited to go and check out… wait for it… the craft, produce and livestock! (I know, I’m 107!)
Seriously, I was excited to go and see all the things that used to bore the shit out of me when my Mum and Dad would take us to the Townsville Show. (Something happened to me when I entered my 30′s – I now listen to Radio National and get excited at the thought of seeing livestock! I’m turning into my father!)
There was added excitement in heading to the show this year; it’s Little Man’s first ever show! Sure he’s going to be too small to ride the dodgem cars, too short to reach the sideshow alley clowns and too young to appreciate the culinary awesome that is a Dagwood Dog but it’s the first (of what I hope will be many) visits to the show. It only happens once a year and it’s like the holy land for kids!
I have so many great memories of going to the show as a kid. The minute I get a whiff of the heady aroma that is cow dung mixed with horse manure combined with the fumes from the show rides and the smell of deep fried foods I’m whisked back to being 15 years old cruising around the show with my friends having a blast.
It’s just a shame that the weather didn’t get the memo that we were headed to the show on Sunday.
Rain, rain go away, come again another day!
Being ever the adventurers we decided to brave the rain and go anyway. Besides, when we made the decision to go it looked like the rain had decided to clear up. (ha ha ha!)
Despite the weather there was still a crowd starting to amass when we arrived there at 10am. (Now this is where I really start to channel the grumpy old man in me…) I couldn’t not believe how expensive it was just to get into the show – $24 per adult! I don’t know how they expect the average family to afford to attend! By the time we’d gotten through the gate it had already cost us $58 (it cost us $10 just to park the car!).
We headed to the pavilions to meet up with Bron (of Krafty Kuka) and Michelle (of Buttontree Lane). (It’s just like when I was 15 years old and I was rushing through the crowd to meet up with my girlfriends to go look at the boys… only this time we’re looking at quilts not boys!)
It’s always great to see quilts in the flesh and I loved wandering around having a good look and natter about each quilt. It was also great to see that a Canberra Quilters member, Jenny Cook, had won Best in Show for her Celtic inspired quilt.
There were a lot of lovely quilts on display, but I think my favourite was the quilt (pictured above) by Patricia Parker. It’s just so bright and bold and the swirls give it real movement.
With the quilts ooh’d and ahh’d over we ventured out into the pavilion to check out the other craft entries. I was particularly taken by this little guy entered by Mavis Corner. So much detail – the little pastries are just too cute.
I was smitten with this wooden farm in the woodworking section. It made me think that this was how people played Hay Day before iPads were invented.
While we were in the pavilion the heavens decided to open and pour forth their contents, which was ok as we were inside but bugger me didn’t the pavilions then become the place to be for everyone else!
With the crowd starting to grow we decided to head outside (I know crazy right!) and get our hands on something that I had seen when we first entered the showgrounds. Something so awesome I hadn’t been able to think of anything else in the entire time we were in there… Something that would change my life forever… Something that came on a STICK!
CHIPS ON A STICK! It’s a whole potato spiral cut, put on a stick and then deep fried! CHIPS ON A STICK!
Image source: Michelle (of Buttontree Lane)
Despite the rain we all got our own chips on a stick and it was gooooooood. So good. So so good. And the potatoes still have their skin on them so they’re practically a health food!
By the time we had our chips on a stick it was bucketing down so we made for the produce pavilion and check out some vegetables, cakes and flowers.
Seems we weren’t the only ones that had that idea and the pavilion was packed. Jam packed even. *boom tish*
I had been so looking forward to checking out all of the cakes and flowers but with the multitude of people in there combined with pushing a pram it just wasn’t the nirvana I had been imagining it would be.
We did manage to get to squeeze through the crows and see some cakes but no where near as much as I would have liked to. In an attempt to get some respite from being jostled and bumped we headed for the flower section. (Which I love!)
The flowers were amazing – seriously amazing. I love Dahlias. When we were on our honeymoon we purchased a set of canvas prints that are red dahlias and nearly 10 years on they’re still some of my favorite art in the house.
After seeing all the different varieties on display I have added Dahlias to my list of things we will one day grow in our garden.
By the time we’d taken in the beauty of the flowers I had reached my limit of crowd enjoyment. It was time to go. The rain was still pouring down and there was no way we could comfortably walk around enjoying everything so we made the decision to head home.
I just needed to make one small detour on the way to the front gate…
I needed to get my show Dagwood Dog! It’s a tradition – besides they never taste as good when you get them anywhere else. With my Dagwood Dog craving sated it was definitely time to leave.
We all got a little something to remember the show by… I got myself some washi tape, HUBBY will eat my Bertie Beetles and the Little Man got an expandable ball thing.
We were at the show for just over 2 hours and it cost us $89; that’s an expensive morning out and about! I’m glad we did it, it’s just a shame that it was washed out. Guess I’m going to have to wait till next year to get that photo of the Little Man putting a ball into a clowns mouth.
(PS. If someone could remind me towards the end of the year that I want to enter a quilt, a fruit cake and a cucumber in the show that would be great!)