So, like thousands and thousands of others, this week I made my annual pilgrimage to the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.
I go every year, to cover the fashion for the newspaper I work for. Usually, I don’t get much time for a walk around, chiefly due to technical difficulties which have, in the past, made writing and placing next-day news stories on the page a pretty difficult and laborious task, but this year, it was all plain sailing. Whizz, whizz, bang, story written and on page, and me free to see what else the GYS has to offer, beyond its excellent Fashion Pavilion (The Skipton Building Society Fashion Pavilion, as it is more properly known).
I even strayed into the animal areas and, I have to say, there were places that stank so much, I honestly have no idea how anyone who works in this environment – ie. dairy and cattle farmers – can bear it. The smell was astonishing and absolutely awful, although it didn’t seem to bother the stoic farming folk sitting around eating their sandwiches on the grass.
If you have never been to the Great Yorkshire Show before, I thoroughly recommend a visit, even if you are not remotely interested in animals or tractors.
The shopping is good, for a start. There are all sorts of stands selling clothing and accessories (Joules has a huge stand there), plus food halls, homes and gift halls, a spectacularly packed Women’s Institute tent serving teas and cakes, flash cars, burger bars, a big wheel, garden furniture, art, cleaning equipment – practically everything.
I saw huge animals of all descriptions but was particularly struck by the way that pigs, in the judging ring, seem to do whatever they like, at their own pace. Good for them.
The most bizarre “attraction” I saw – and maybe this is just me – was the Co-op Funeral Care’s stand. I had no idea they exhibited hearses and coffins in such a way. The felt coffin looked comfy, however. And quite attractive, as was the woven one. I wonder if they could be used as large bedding boxes?
It all seemed quite dark and surreal, but then I suppose, death is always there, in the midst of life.
Anyway, it was a lovely show, as ever. I’ll be back next year, hopefully …