In great anticipation we had the dates saved for the Moora and Perth Royal shows and the Western Australian Golden Retriever Show. In the days prior, I suffered a bit of a rush of blood to the head and rather ambitiously entered the chocolate cake class at the Moora Show. My tail was still in the air from winning the Long Melford chocolate cake competition last year and I fancied my chances. Much to the Kiwi’s delight I set to and baked a few practice runs trying out various recipes settling on one posted by the BBC on Facebook with the filling provided by Woman’s Weekly. I was slightly confused by the description of the class as all it asked for was a “Chocolate Cake” on enquiring with the Steward she confirmed that it should be a simple un-iced chocolate cake. Baking cakes in caravans is a cramped and tricky ask but I was pleased with my effort and when I handed in my entry I was quietly confident my cake was in the running with only three other entries and none with a rise as good as mine.
Show day arrived and dressed up in all my RM Williams gear we made our way straight to the cookery displays. My cake was sitting lonely and depressed, devoid of a winning certificate with the first and second prizes going to cakes which resembled flat cow pats that had been in the sun too long. It seemed terribly unfair! Needless to say the Steward had gone AWOL. A few days later I managed to speak to her on the phone and she said I had been eliminated because I entered a filled “Sponge” and not a “Cake”, and apparently there’s a difference! A “Sponge” is a filled cake and “Cake” is just the sponge bit – for goodness sake! Why didn’t the officious old cow tell me that when I dropped my stupid Sponge off and I could have taken the top layer off and just entered that! I’m not at all sour grapes but Hurummphhh!
Despite my disappointment we enjoyed the rest of the day looking at all the displays and marvelling at some rams with the most amazing wool which was so soft we could hardly feel it.
Husbands are required for our two Golden Retriever’s and we hoped that we might be able to identify suitable candidates at the State dog show. Even though I hadn’t entered them into any of the classes I still spent the day before coiffuring Daphne and Margot so they would look drop dead gorgeous and all the boys would fancy them. The show was in full swing when we arrived and all the Retriever breeders were almost breathless with the pace of the swift judging of each class. After a while I spotted a very handsome boy who had just won his class. I got chatting with his owner and we discovered that the dog was Margot’s half brother having been bred by IA. So a no-go there then. All the other possibilities were too young or the breeders seemed to be a tad reluctant, reminding us of the “closed shop” attitudes we had encountered in the dog show world in the UK. I have since taken to doggy internet dating and found a lovely chap who just might do for our Daphne – She’s just got to come into season first…
This weekend is a bank holiday and it was quickly off with a bang. It was the annual fire practise night at the local fire station and all were encouraged to attend. The Kiwi had a great time firing off the high pressure hoses but I was the most privileged and actually got to drive the fire engine around the car park! Another tick off the old bucket list!
We had a bit of a run out on Saturday to look at the wildflowers. Due to the wet spring the wildflower season has been described as the best in a generation and they certainly lived up to expectations. I posted my photographic efforts on Facebook only to be told by a friend who is a judge at Chelsea Flower Show that one of the flowers was an extremely noxious weed called Patersons Curse!
Yesterday I again donned the RM Williams garb and we travelled down to Perth for the Royal Show. Harking back to the English Agricultural shows there was a healthy smattering of cows, sheep, pigs, bunnies, alpacas, dogs, cats and in true Aussie style several camels!
We watched rams being shorn by a shearer who used the old fashioned hand shears and gave him an immaculate haircut. We later found out that the shearer is almost “By Royal Appointment” having been chosen to demonstrate his skills to Kate and Wills on their last visit.
The LWT season is ever approaching and with the LWT repellers now suitably charged the Kiwi has placed them at 10m intervals encircling our immediate environs. They are stuck in the ground and omit vibrations into the ground that are supposed to scare off the offending reptiles.
They must be effective because not too long after their installation this reptile came rushing out of the bush and tried to get into our tented annexe. I was very brave with a shovel and managed to frighten him off (I think…)
Being a fair few miles from our nearest hostelry we have found this spot on the farm. It’s a fabulous place to watch the sun go down with a stubby and a packet of crisps.