It’s been 5 years since I was last in Germany, and being there again recently entirely
reignited my love for the country.
Meeting my assigned exchange student in 2011 was terrifying; I had no idea if we would get on, or whether I would be a good enough host. 5 years later, we’re talking about weddings and babies and careers. It’s been a magical journey so far, and I hope I don’t leave as big a gap this time…
Köln is a beautiful city, but we didn’t spend much time in the city centre as before. Our first achievement was… [read more]
I don’t make it a secret that I’m from Yorkshire – it’s pretty obvious if you know me…which most of you don’t, but that’s irrelevant. Yesterday I went to the Great Yorkshire Show which is a massive agricultural show that runs across three days each year in Harrogate. The grounds are huge and are filled with tents, marquees, buses, trailers, showgrounds and people. With prams (I’ll get onto that later). These tents are crammed with food stalls, clothes, arts and crafts, leaflets on the seaside, stress balls shaped into cows, cheese, flowers, wine, gifts, clocks, mirrors…the list could go on forever. It’s amazing. You can buy and sample so many things here. And then there’s the thing that is the real reason the show is there. The agricultural judging. People take their livestock, including sheep, pigs, cows, rabbits, horses, pigeons in the hope of winning a rosette or two. I’m not really into this element of the show, but it’s nice to look at all the animals and marvel at how amazing they are. Some of the bulls are huge, it’s terrifying. Less terrifying (depending on what they’re actually wearing) are the fashion shows, demonstrating the latest fashions for country-lovers. Some of the clothes looked really nice, others…well, no I won’t say. There was also plenty of music throughout the grounds, although someone absolutely slaughtered (ha, get it? No? Okay 😦 ) a Genesis song.
And now, I’m going to give you a rundown of what we did – don’t worry, it won’t be too long, I never write much in my posts anyway, do I?
To kickstart the day after a 6am rise, two trains and a bus ride, we headed straight for a food marquee to grab a bacon sandwich. This is all my Dad wanted and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Ever. The bacon was so good (Sorry if you’re a vegetarian, but it is a farm show) and the bread was amazing. It certainly woke me up.
After the bacon-ness we went straight to the Food Hall because that gets ridiculously busy and pretty unbearable when all (at least) 40,000 visitors have been squeezed through the gates. Inside, there are so many different stalls where you can buy fresh meat, fruit, cheese, wine, cider, chocolate, bread, crisps, fudge, pastries…all sorts. It’s more of a place to buy food to take home with you, rather than to eat there and then. But the glory of this place is the free samples that you get, I must have had my share of a few sausages – laugh if you must – from all the samples that I had. I also tried goats milk (never again, thank you), so much cheese, ginger beer and many other things. I just always feel guilty though when we eat their samples, then walk away without buying anything. Muahaha. No, but really, it was so good. Everything tasted amazing.
I believe (because my memory is appalling) that after the Food Hall we went round a lot of the tents and stalls that were spread across this 250 acre site, taking in all the sights, the sounds and, of course, the delightful smells. I say this sarcastically as any person who lives in the country would understand, animals do not smell all that great. We went into one of the arts and crafty marquees and in there was a stall with handmade jewellery created using bits and bobs like, oh I dunno, bits of Lego. Like LOTR Lego characters, or Star Wars. This woman used loads of stuff and I ended up with a nice bracelet with tiny coloured dice woven into it. She had made sweets out of plastic (or something like that) and made them into necklaces. It was awesome. I know of a couple of websites that already do this and I desperately want to mention them, but I think there’s something about not being allowed to? I don’t know. But everything was so cool! Had to be one of my favourite stalls. The clothes ones weren’t as fantastic, as they were definitely aimed at a certain type of person. Made in Chelsea perhaps? A lot of it was like riding gear outfits and I won’t go near horses, so it’s definitely not intended for me.
When we’d walked around for ages and I’d had a chocolate milkshake that was amazing to begin with and then tasted like battery fluid when I reached the dregs, we went in search for a venison burger, which is all I’d ever wanted when my mum asked if I wanted to go to the Show about a month ago. We did find a trailer that did them, but there was such a wait! It was well worth it, needless to say. I love venison. The last time I had it, before this, was in York when an international food market came. Oh gosh, it was so tasty. Mmmm. Yeah…
Totally lost my train of thought there…
After the venison burger, we just went round again, looking at everything we’d missed. By this point, I was already knackered. I don’t do getting up early and then being non-stop for hours after that. I don’t deserve to be a student really. And what made if worse was the people. Unfortunately, people are just so rude. Especially when they have a pram in front of them. The majority of people with pushchairs thought it appropriate to use them as battering rams to get everybody else out of the way. My question at this point is simple: why would you bring a pram, something large and with an actual human sitting in it, into a tent that has walkways barely two people wide? Why? And then complain that people aren’t letting you past or are getting in your way. Where would you like me to go, lady?! Anyway, on a nicer note, we saw llamas and owls and spoke to lots of lovely people. So it was a nice day, honestly, it was just difficult dealing with all of the ignorant humanoids that think pushing is the way forward. Not without a smack, it isn’t.
It was just such a great day, even though today I’m still absolutely knackered. Most of all, though, going to the show made me realise how proud I am to be from Yorkshire and it made me never want to leave. Which I’ll most likely have to if I want to be in film and TV, haha. I hope you enjoyed reading about this and are thinking about going to the Show this time next year, even if you don’t live in England or the UK. A downside, I’m afraid of the show, is that everything is quite expensive here, but it’s such a great experience that you really don’t care. 🙂