About a week ago, our preparations for the Bega Show began. We'd gotten the show schedules a few weeks ago, and spent hours poring over them, circling the categories we thought we'd enter: Crochet, patchwork, papier mache, dinosaur garden, flower arrangement in an egg cup, preserving of all varieties, beer, wine, yoghurt, eggs, decorated arrowroots, photography, drawing, a useful item made from baling twine (yes - it's a real category) and, of course, junior soft feather bantam.
We'd resolved that we'd enter in order to contribute to the beautiful display in the pavilion, and that it wasn't about winning... But that didn't stop me from jumping up and down when I saw that my rhubarb and raspberry champagne had won champion wine of the show!!!!
Wooohooooo!!! I got a ribbon!!!! If it hadn't been locked in the cabinet in the pavilion, I would have worn it like a sash as I walked around the show.
It's true we did have some successes - Pearl got a first for her preserved (home-grown!) globe artichokes, second for her plum jam and yoghurt. I got first for my lager, baling-twine shopping bag, and champagne, and second for my crocheted stubby holder (yesssssss!).
Olive's 'baby' Errol, got second in the junior soft feather bantam category, and Olive's papier mache and photography also got some second prizes.
|Olive and Errol in the poultry pavilion. In the words of the judge: "Yeeaaah... He's a good lookin' chook this one". What more is there to say?|
|Olive's award-winning photo of Oscar, taken on a late-evening roadside raspberry-foraging expedition|
Not that it was all winning - we did have some entries that didn't get a mention, but it was really great to see them all there in the display. It's really exciting to walk the pavilion and look at the entries, and check out which friends have won in different categories.
While it does make an unusual, fetching, sturdy and award-winning shopping bag, crocheting baling twine is not an easy project.
The kids got a real kick out of seeing their entries, and didn't seem bothered at all when they didn't win anything. They were just excited to be on display, for all the community to see. And one of my favourite things about the show is that it really is pretty much all of the community who get involved. The old farming families, the newbies, like us, the kids from all walks of life all get out and about on show weekend, checking it all out.
But even more than seeing our entries, we all just loved being at the show, meeting up with friends and generally hanging out. The kids made their own fun, running off in a pack and sliding down a grass bank on pieces of cardboard for (literally) hours on end, while we all waited for the grand finale - the smash up derby. We ate (thanks Vickie!) and drank and chatted and laughed and people-watched. It felt like half of Bega was there that night - all the different worlds of Bega, coming together for a very unlikely spectacle. We felt very happy to be a part of it, ribbons or no ribbons.
|The kids were super-serious about decorating their arrowroots, and even more serious about eating them after the show.|