Onions and bullocks

Sunday 1st Oct.


Well another month – it’s Fall and the Fryeburg fair has started. Today was the first day and we made it there a little after it opened at 8am.

Have you ever tried a new dish in a restaurant as a starter to find out what it’s like? Have you ever been to the New Forest show? Consider that as a starter dish of something new that will tell you what the Fryeburg fair is like. First of all it is huge – very agricultural, real and “hands on” not at arms length with barriers and cordons. This show is real, the livestock are there for you to see, experience, touch, stroke and smell all at close quarters. Walking through a barn of Oxen and Bulls on each side you are but inches away from any of them should they decide to kick out, the farmers are there looking after them and so are their children, you talk and ask questions – “yes he’s about 5500lbs at the moment, we hope to get him up to 6000lbs soon!” – that’s a lot of beef!!! We saw sheep being sheered, cattle being shampooed and blow dried, Alpaca’s trimmed and draft horses (similar to our shires) groomed – hey there was even one called Steve and another, Spike!

There are events in various venues around the permanent showground all day (the fair goes on all week). We saw the Firemen’s muster behind the pigs and goats grandstand then on to the “pig scramble” in the Pulling Ring. I must tell you a little about this: In a large barn, with grandstand seating either side, 10 greased piglets are let loose and 12 children run after them to try and catch one each and carry it back in a sack – first one the winner but they all get to keep the pig they catch! If they catch one. Health and safety eat your heart out – all good fun, very entertaining and a big crowd puller. We ate pulled pork (don’t mention the show pigs) blooming onions (a whole onion cut in such a way it opens up like a flower then dipped in batter and fried with a spicy dip in the middle), dogs (hot) with green chillies and onions, fried dough and maple buttered sweetcorn – not all at the same time and not all by the same person – there was four of us but whatever we had it was nicely washed down by the hot apple cider. Yes there is also a fairground but no, Doug nor I went on any rides this time. My favourite event was the Ox pulling (in the pulling ring) two Ox yoked together pulling a sled loaded up with concrete blocks, the furthest pull in a 3 minute time is the winner. Talking of yokes – have you heard the one about the young girl who made her own (not a joke) see the picture, she made this as a school project! It’s all about pride in your work and having a reason to do things.

There were sheepdog trials and as we were leaving at the end of a very long day the competition going on was a tractor pull – you guessed it, tractors pulling weights on a sled as far as they could!

Check out the pictures and see our day, don’t forget the “makes me smile” album as a lot of things did. Think we might sleep in tomorrow…


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