Not so simple Monday – When the Country comes to the City

Normally on a Monday I would write about something simple that I’ve come to appreciate and I have plenty more to come, but today I want to write about something that wasn’t so simple, but loads of fun.

Yes, that’s right we braved the crowds and insane combination of kids and huge quantities of sugar and took the two girls to the Royal Melbourne Show.  I love the show (The Melbourne Show and country shows alike), it’s mad, noisy and crowded in parts, but once you head away from the rides, side show alley and the showbag area it becomes much more do-able with little ones.  Mind you as a teenager I would be lining up for all sorts of crazy, gravity-defying rides to scream my lungs out on – I’m too old for all that now and boy is it expensive if you do go for that sort of thing.

We went primarily for the animals – once again Miss Two wanted to see a whale, but also a rooster – and managed to get around most of pavilions on our list.  First up was going to see the mini Schnauzers being judged.  We have a very scruffy looking mini at home so have quite a soft spot for these dogs.  We then spent ages looking at the other dog breeds there today.  Miss Two is usually very nervous and can get quite scared around other dogs so we didn’t think she would been keen on this bit, but she was great and really enjoyed looking at the different dogs.  She wouldn’t have a bar of patting them, but a definitely improvement on her usual attitude to dogs.  We also watched a quite spectacle canine Frisbee demo.

Best In Show - isn't she gorgeous.

The poultry pavilion was next to fulfill the rooster requirement.  This turned out to be a better idea in theory than in practice as the first rooster let out an ear-splitting cock-a-doodle-doo just as Miss Two got close to the cage and that was then end of that one.  She did warm a little more to some beautiful little silkies though and I renewed my deep desire for my own little flock.

Miss Two and I then braved the long line to get into the animal nursery while Baby Good and Mr Good went back to watch more minis.  Thankfully the line moved quickly and Miss Two actually enjoyed this experience.  My last attempt at a petting zoo didn’t go down well so I was apprehensive about this one, but she surprised me in a good way.  She loved patting the gorgeous baby goats and lambs and looking at the piglets and calves (though didn’t want to touch these one).

We did indulge her in a few little rides with a money she had been given by Granny.  Her choices were the tea cups, the carousel and a little train.

We enjoyed a Johnny Cash and June Carter tribute group over lunch – Miss Two loved bobbing away to the music much to Mr Goods embarrassment, so not his style!  Then we checked out the vegie gardening display (saw a particular green house about to be gifted to fellow blogger Hazel – look out for two year old size hand prints on your glass)  and I got loads of ideas for my own garden.  I only wish I had more room for fruit trees.

With a grumpy two year old in tow we decided it was time to switch the kids around.  Miss Two into the pram and Baby Good into the sling.  It was either this or go home and I still hadn’t seen the horses, livestock, cooking or craft pavilions.  This was a very good move as both girls went almost straight to sleep, leaving Mr Good and I to enjoy the last of the exhibits in peace.  We passed quickly through the horse area with not much happening in there at that time so we headed straight for the livestock building.  I adored looking at all the cows having been brought up in a family of cattle farmers/stock agents.  A trip to my grandparents was never complete until I had visited the sale yards to see my grandfather auctioning off the cattle followed by a roast lunch in the canteen.  Forever the smell of sale yards and gravy go together for me – weird I know.  In the judging arena we saw kids from various high schools showing their beautiful cows, they were so proud of their animals, it was great to see especially as some of the schools were from around my home town.

The last exhibit was the cooking and craft displays, a real country show feel in this area.  I was totally amazed at some of the quilts on display, I can’t imagine the number of hours’ work that go into some of them.  They were really quite stunning.  I wandered around in heaven among the baked goods, checking out the quality of the sponges (definitely brought my own miserable attempt into perspective), the scones (I thought mine looked on a par to these ones), the bread and preserves.  I only wish you could taste test these, they looked so good.

Prize winning sponge

Prize winning scones

While I loved everything we saw I think there were a few things missing that the country show I used to go to each year had.  Firstly there was no speed knitting competition – three ladies (I can’t recall a man every entering this one) sitting on a stage, knitting their hearts out to a time limit, the winner being the one who had knitted the longest length without holes etc – it was quite a highlight.  Secondly there was no wool grading shed (can you tell I grew up in sheep country?) and the farm machinery display was also missing.  Looks like we’ll have to make a trip to a real country show at some point to indulge in these delights.


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4 Responses to Not so simple Monday – When the Country comes to the City

  1. victoriaclyne says:

    How cute is Miss Two, she looks like she had an absolute ball. Jealous that you got to see the craft and cooking pavillions. I haven’t been to a show in ages but I just can’t deal with the crowds. Great post, love reading your blog.

  2. Liz says:

    I went yesterday – I took mum & dad because partner had to work and two pre-schoolers to one adult is not a suitable ratio for the show…..we also had a lot of fun but unlike yours neither of my children slept so no cooking and craft displays for me. I did enjoy the woodchop though. What I was thinking giving Mr almost 2 a showbag though I will never know – his favourite words are now Beetle, Beetle (as in Bertie) and he utters it endlessly along with Eagle which oddly enough is what he calls Emus, which were his favourite thing other than showbags from yesterday. My five year old daughters favourite thing was the rides (tea cup and elephant) which is probably not surprising…..

  3. Barbara Good says:

    Wow Liz, I’m impressed you had the patients to wait in line to get into the show bag building, we took one look at that and walked the other way. I certainly don’t remember having to line up in previous years – though I haven’t been for a LONG time – but that is not my idea of fun at all. I was disappointed not to get to the wood chop, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the pram down there, was there a ramp somewhere. Miss Two loved the emus too, but she calls them emails! Don’t ask me where that one came from.
    Oh and I totally agree you definitely need at least one to one adult to child ration for a trip like this one. I would never have braved it on my own.

    • Liz says:

      There wasn’t a queue when we went – must have been a timing thing. In retrospect it would have been better if there had been then I too could have walked away….

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