Wednesday, November 23, 2011

all the fun of the show

We went to "The Show" on Sunday. The said Show is actually the Nelson A&P Show, A standing for Agricultural and P for Pastoral. It's been running for 117 years, which for NZ is a long time! When I was a kid we looked forward to The Show just as much as we did for Christmas! In those days it was on a Friday and Saturday, and Friday was the day all the farmers took their prize animals to be showed. My mum and dad showed sheep, two breeds - Romneys and Suffolks. We were always allowed the Friday off school. And would spend the day roaming around eating hot dogs and candy floss and looking for fizzy bottles which we could take and get 2 or 5 cent returns on (I can't remember which). Then the Saturday was the day the town came to the country and all the "townies" descended on the show. Now it runs from Saturday to Sunday and there are no where near as many farmers about, there are hardly any sheep in the sheep sheds either. There still are lots of animals to look at, to talk to and to stroke. It's a tradition that I'm trying to foster with my kids, except we feel slightly removed from the action not having any livestock (yet) ourselves. What hit me was as soon as we got out of the car how all the smells took me back 30 or more years, it was almost like dad was going to be in the sheep shed, and mum was setting up the picnic blanket under the trees with bacon and egg pie for lunch .................
there were wee piggies to laugh at  - miniature Kune kunes (definitely not for eating!)

calves to pat - Fresian

and Jersey - the two breeds of dairy cows in NZ

Suffolk rams to stroke

alpacas who wouldn't be stroked

day old chicks to hold so carefully

baby goats to long for (one was asleep on the other!)
There were lots of other things other than animals, but they were all that I took photos of. On the Friday the kids school had it's Pets Day, another institution of rural schools around here. They took their bunny rabbit. But the highlight for me was the wallaby that visited. NZ has wild wallaby populations in a couple of places (not round here though) and the wallaby is actually a pest animal and people hunt them! They also catch them and have exported them back to Australia where they came from. Anyhow one of the local vets raises orphans by hand and she brought Rosie along to visit the school.

She happily hopped around the classroom, looked out the window, let the kids stroke her, and when it all got too much hopped back into her sack/pouch. What a special treat.

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