Sunday, July 31, 2016

Game fair and Ghostbusters

It's been a busy, but not very bookish, week. Tuesday was the day we change all the promotions over at work, it's a dirty, exhausting, job during which I always pick up a handful of cuts and bruises. It's not an experience improved by hot and humid weather - nobody enjoys doing it, so it made going to see the new Ghostbusters film on Wednesday something to really look forward too.

I'm a big fan of the original film (less so the sequel) even if it does start with Bill Murray being almost unbelievably sleazy by current standards. I loved the new one too, it was funny, a little bit silly, smart, and the cameos by original cast members were brilliant. I went with two other women old enough to remember the first film and a nineteen year old, we all enjoyed it, as has everyone else I know who's seen it which makes all the negative comments directed at it frustrating.

Even more exciting (which I didn't expect) was the Game Fair at Ragley Hall. I've been to the horse trials at Burghley a few times, which is fun, but nowhere near as good (for someone who can frankly take or leave horses) as the game fair - which was amazing.

Apparently it's been billed as the biggest event dedicated to country pursuits in the world. I can believe it, it was massive and it turned out we missed quite a bit (ferrets and archery are the things I'm sorry about). I didn't miss a tent full of the weirdest taxidermy I've ever seen. There were a lot of stuffed birds, and a bat, which had been turned into lamps- I have no idea why anyone would want a swan holding a lightbulb around the house, but I'm pretty sure it would be a bitch to dust. In another stand we saw a stuffed shrew holding a miniature shotgun in a clump of heather, it's peak was more obvious.

Taxidermy aside (is it a specifically 'country' art form?) there was a lot to enjoy as well as the feeling of having strayed into an alternative world. I recently bought a subscription to 'The Field' magazine as a birthday present for someone, it described itself as perfect for those brave souls who hunt, shoot, or fish.

It's something that gave me pause for thought. I really had to think about posting something about a New Year's Day hunt meet that I saw this year, and I'm often doubtful about talking about how much I love shooting (clays) here too. The kind of fishing I've enjoyed isn't the sort that The Field is likely to cover (a few mackerel for dinner if we're lucky) but still the suspicion is there that the bravery referred to is in admitting that you can enjoy these things. There is an us and them feel about it all which is discomforting.

Meanwhile I got to watch dogs retrieving paint rollers (watching dogs working is great, not least because they look so excited about it), some falconry, a Shetland pony race, shooting, and fly casting demonstrations. We saw all sorts of tweed, missed some cookery demonstrations, fell in love with a Bavarian mountain hound, and some Slovak rough haired pointers (also known as Slovak pointing griffons, which are apparently not the same as wire haired pointing griffons - who knew) and found a lot of gin.

A lot of gin. D and I came home with a bottle each and a longish wish list. Gin, it seems, is much more country than whisky, of which we saw none. In short the good and drink (mostly gin) section was great. We had Tally (mums dog with us) she got so over excited she was wiped out and didn't want to get up this morning, I was the same and that was without seeing a ferret working demonstration.


  1. I love a good game fair though I don't think I ever saw any taxidermy at one. Long time ago.

    Are you willing to share your gin wish list, please?

  2. It's not so much a wish list because they're all gins I know, but August is gin month here so there will be plenty to come. I do want a bottle of Tanqueray Old Tom, and maybe some more of the City of London gins, and I have my eye on the Isle of Harris gin (pretty bottle) and maybe the Edinburgh gin seaside bottling.... Normally it's just a case of what we see when we're out and about though.