All pictures in this blog (c) MattArtPix
We are in training; as dedicated life-long learners, we don't mind, really. But this is just so exciting... As we intend to move to the South West next year, we decided that it was high time we attended a country fair. But of course, we didn't pick any old fair.
Our heart was set on the Buckham Fair near beautiful Beaminster, and we were determined to spend our Sunday there...
It didn't start well: after a night under the tent wondering whether the flimsy scrap of material was going to make it through a windy and very, very wet night, we woke up under the rain and forlornly made our way to The Customs House to carry on working on the display and stock of our unit. We then took refuge in our new favourite no frills cafe in West Bay ( Harbour Cafe) to warm up a bit, and decided that midday would be our deadline: if it still rained beyond that time, we would have to change our plans.
And miracle! At about 11.30, the rain stopped and we jumped in the car to make our merry way to the event.
The Buckham Fair is organised by actor Martin Clunes (who has received an OBE for services to Dorset, no less!) and his wife Philippa on their farm, which is located in a gorgeous spot (but where is not gorgeous in the county of Dorset, I ask you?).
We kept wandering off to the edges of the fair to admire the view. You could even see the sea in the distance. Proof:
It was muddy, it was mad, it was SO MUCH FUN!
We really had the best day. People were out in force. Mud? What mud? I saw a few people wearing flip-flops (!).
I need a pair of red wellies, me! My walking boots were almost not enough!
Something I appreciate more and more whilst out in the countryside is the fact that people seem much less... shallow and self-conscious. They just don't seem to care. In a field full of mud, dogs, horses and surrounded by breathtaking nature, why would you care if you wear the wrong type of trousers or if your eyeliner is not applied properly, if you say the wrong thing to the wrong people?
And the dogs! There were dogs absolutely everywhere. I mean, basically, I had never seen that many dogs in one place ever before in my life. Every shape, size, colour, breed. Some were mere spectators, some were beauty queens, some were hardworking athletes. And most of the stalls were full of stuff for dogs, from fancy collars to healthy handmade dog food!
We unfortunately missed "Stunt dogs of film and TV"...
Who needs burlesque when you can have the Southern Golden Retriever Society Display Team to offer you quality choreographed shows, eh? That's the way to do it!
Dogs were not the only ones to appear at the fair...
A few extra pictures!
One of the stalls was that of wildlife consultant, cameraman and photographer David Bailey (Rhys Jones Wildlife Patrol series, Springwatch...). His prints are stunning! I bought myself two cards...
Here's a lovely extract from "A Cat And Dog Life, Alexandra Palace and Crystal Palace (1928)" from the BFI archives...
Nothing has changed, then!
On Monday, we had planned to work on the unit in the morning, have a look at estate agencies and then spend a couple of hours or so at the Bridport and West Dorset Open Studios at the Bridport Arts Centre and in the Arts and Vintage Quarter in the St Michael's Trading Estate. Unfortunately, the rain ensured that we just ran out of time in the end and by 5.30pm, we had to make our way home to the South East (with a very heavy heart as usual...)
Still, we worked hard on our unit, changing the display around a bit and adding some stock! It does look good!
I think therefore I write.
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