Today I had the choice of attending a literary festival in the north of our island
or attending our annual district agricultural show in the south of the island…
Erudition or agricultural exposition. Hmm, tough decision…
But then maybe not.
I chose the country show because it resonates more with me, despite that I might try to write erudite historical fiction.
I love watching people in all their shapes, colours and sizes. The sight of flags in a leaden grey sky, spring-green pastures even though it’s autumn. The smell of cattle and sheep and crushed grass.
The feel of a superfine fleece and then the opposing feel of much courser carpet wool fleece.
The texture of alpaca,
or even a Shire forelock.
I love hearing the harsh tap and crack of competitive woodchopping as sword-sharp axes slice through logs like a Viking’s axe through…
Then there is the emotive sounds of highland bands – my Scots blood tingling. Or the puff and chunt of the exhibition of steam engines. And the imperious neigh of Clydesdales and Shires and the hysterical barking of the flyball dogs.
There’s the sound of the bullocky calling to his team and the genteel voice of our Lady Governor as she opens the show. Or more raucously, the caller for the Lion’s Club chocolate wheel at which I won nothing!
The excitement of tiny kids in the animal nursery as a miniature Vietnamese pig is picked up and cuddled, squealing as loudly as the toddlers.
The horrified groan as people stare at the snakes from our countryside.
Then there is the vivid burst of colour with the giant pumpkins and the fascination of the crowd with the weight of the beasties. And the cheeky late entry of a tiny pumpkin by the Lady Governor’s husband.
The sight of a prize certificate for our neighbour’s wine – Six Friends – a good drop of pinot!
The taste of the best ginger beer ever, the crunch of homemade pastry on curry puffs, the smell of berries and chutneys, jams and hamburgers.
I suppose I could have chosen erudition and the use of words and how mainstream publishing is God’s gift to the world of the writer and the reader, but I came home immensely satisfied and satiated after being in touch with the real world.
And for me, and for my writing, I reckon that’s a really good thing!