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It's been a busy weekend, in fact I've been out and about quite a bit this summer.

This weekend was a cat show double, with Steve and Helen. Saturday I had to be ready by 6.45 when they came to pick me up for a show down in Godmanchester, at the Wood Green Animal Shelter. It's a large place, with all kinds of animals from horses to mice. Helen and I pottered around the cat show, admiring cats, and visited the usual stalls. One of the jewellery sellers was retiring, and seliing everything at 25% off. Helen indulged herself a bit, while I just got a lovely pair of glass earring for £3.
  As everyone had to leave the show area for morning judging, the refectory soon got very busy, so we joined the shorter queue at a food stand outside. Wood Green is in the middle of nowhere, so it attracts visitors by making itself a venue for a good day out, with food stands, pet shop, charity shop and playground, as well as all the animals to look at. It's in lovely grounds too, with a large pond, stream and grassy areas, so you can just have a stroll if you want.
  We started at the small animal house and were most impressed with the cages for the small rodents: they wre filled with all kinds of kitchenware and toys (probably donations to the charity shop), for the mice etc to climb over and through. We saw some charming dogs and lovely cats. There was a delightful pair of black kittens who were sure to get adopted soon. The female was named Squiggle, as she had a corkscrew tail, like a pig. After a satisfying, showery afternoon with the animals, we all headed home again.

Sunday I had to get myself to Steve and Helen's house for 6.30am. This time we were off to the Airdale Agricultural Show, in Bingley. I'd decided to enter some items into the handicraft show, so we had to be there by a certain time to set up, hence the eariy start. The show is held in a large park, which divides into different areas on different levels. There were four livestock tents near where we parked: guinea pigs, cats, feathers and rabbits. We skipped the guinea pigs, but the rest were fascinating. It would have been nice to know what the different breeds of duck, chicken and pigeon were, especially as some were very lovely, We weren't taken with some of the pigeons though, some varieties had a huge spread of feathers on their feet, which got shabby, caught dirt and generally looked very impractical. Others had a raised ruff of feather around the head that effectively acted as blinked, prevented the bird from seeing well in any direction other than directly forwards.

There was lots to do and see at the show. We admired the cattle being shown, also some sheep and adorable wooly alpacas. We settled on crepes for breakfast - I had the baked apple and cinnamon and a good cup of coffee. Neither of us were that impressed with the clown act in the arena. They were followed by a motorcycle stunt act. Their leader did a very entertaining commentary, and altogether, I thought their act was more amusing than Tom And Tilly Turnip. We saw a sheepdog herding geese, and a falconry display, also presented by someone with a good line of patter. We missed the heavy horses unfortunately, but there was a lot to see. There were vintage cars, a Japanese hearse, the craft show and the fruit and veg tent. This featured some splendid carrots the looked big enough to use as rounders bats. It was all rather Wallace and Grommit, and I half expected to see a giant were-rabbit at some point.

There were plenty of stalls to buy thing from. One stall had fridge magnets and keyrings made from pre-decimal coins. I got a threepenny bit magnet minted in my birth year for myself, and a halfpenny magnet from Mum's birthyear for her. There was also a stall selling homemade cards for a vert reasonable price - and a good selection of cards for men, so I got one for Dad's birthday in October. I also took a flyer from a stall selling ornaments beautifully carved from coal. They did various vehicles and animals and various statuettes of miners.
  There was also food stalls, including one which did excellent pies. I bought myself half a pork, chicken and stuffing pie, which was fabulous. Helen bought pork pie and game pie.

Around 5, we loaded ourselves and our stuff back into the car, and got home for a nice lie down and an early night.

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