South of England Show, Race for Life….political turmoil….

The government is in chaos, country is on its knees, but what is Battleaxe going to write about? There has been so much going on, including the South of England Show in Ardingly last week, and on Sunday, I joined our WI team for the Race for Life in Alexandra Park.

Great set of horns at the Ardingly Show

The Ardingly Show is a big thing for the WI – a very traditional tea and cakes marquee combined with a craft/cake competitive show.  The tent is always packed – the women who run it work amazingly hard.
As usual, our gang entered lots of classes. However, this meant that friend Jan and I had to firstly, go over there last Tuesday to set out our entries – leaving at 6.45am, then we had a coach trip on Thursday (Election Day), and finally the two of us went over on Saturday to pick all the stuff up.

WI Marquee – big business

However, we won two first prizes, and two Highly Commended – one of which was for a story I did about the ghost of Emily Davison visiting some young person who wasn’t planning to vote…. very topical.
Philosopher came on the coach trip, along with a number of other husbands/partners, and we had a good day out. It was actually quite a relief not to have to obsess about the Election. I was rushing round the WI marquee taking photos for the East Sussex WI News when I suddenly came across Camilla (for American readers – Duchess of Cornwall, married to Charles). I grabbed her unceremoniously for a snap.  She doesn’t look that great in my opinion….

Camilla, with Beverley, head of the Show committee

We saw lots of things – sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, heavy horses, poultry, show jumping, hounds – all typical county show.

What the well-dressed horse is wearing
A chorus line of cows

Last year, (see previous post) I was much impressed by the pack of working dachshunds, and they were at the show again. They are called ‘Teckels’ to distinguish them from wussy normal dachshunds – modern show dogs can scarcely run, let alone catch rabbits etc. The teckels are very similar to the dogs my parents had when I was young.

Working dachshunds, or ‘Teckels’

Then, after a tiring day walking miles round the show ground, beyond reason and common sense, I stayed up for hours watching the Election results.It was almost exciting to see the Tories crumble before one’s eyes, interspersed, of course, with interminable inane babble from the studio pundits. They kept on reporting on recounts in Hastings, so I kept on waiting to see the result… In the end, Amber Rudd retained her seat by a whisker – 346 votes. It will put paid to her aspirations to be Prime Minister….
Now, we have political chaos, entirely brought about by Tory hubris and stupidity.  As I write, they are still trying to stitch up a deal with the Northern Irish DUP – a fundamentalist Protestant group with bizarre and unpleasant views on social issues. Right-thinking people would not want them involved in government. Theresa and the Tories are desperate, and someone has to run the bloody country, I suppose. Being honest, good though it would be, I can’t see Mr Corbyn cobbling together a workable ‘progressive alliance’ to tackle the horrors ahead. Well, not right this moment anyway. Let’s hope we have another election soon.
But back to the Race for Life. For anyone who doesn’t know, it is a women-only event that takes place every year across the country in aid of Cancer Research. Everyone gets dressed up, mostly in pink. People have messages on their back ‘Remembering Mum’ etc., which I don’t really like…
It’s not so much race in our book, more a brisk walk/trot for 5k round the park. There were eight in our gang, and around 1000 others.  Last year it poured with rain. This year it was dry, but muggy.  I pay my entry fee but don’t ask for individual sponsorship because to be honest, what I do is not that difficult or challenging. I did run a bit this time, though…

Our team – ready for the fray
The masses assemble

Enough now – have got far too many jobs to do, and then we are off to Turkey…..

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