Dear reader, I must apologize profusely. The posts this week are a bit, erm, delayed. I was wracking my brain for excuses to offer up, and I think that blaming my new morning posting schedule is the way to go. Yeah, that’s gotta be it.
But I want you to know that it wasn’t just TCL that suffered; my place is a total sty and Ollie’s growing dreadlocks. Curse you, mornings!
At least I did manage to get out of doors a bit, get some fresh air, smell the manure. Coming from my flat, the Agricultural Winter Fair wasn’t a big stretch; felt kinda comfortable.
I have to say that I’m not a big fan of animals in cages, even when the cages are nicer. But I figure the animals are there anyway so why not at least show them a few moments of kindness. Besides, not all the animals are destined for my stomach. The milk goats, for example, seemed quite happy to be in contact with humanity. And only one button chewed off my coat!
Other animals were just there for their dramatic looks:
This year the Fair opened with a visit from the British Royals (guess that’s why it’s called the Royal Fair), but gainful employment once again prevented me from attending. Although I have those fond public-school-days memories of coming to the Fair on field trips, I was reluctant to go for any other reason than to see Canada’s royalty (we’re still technically a monarchy!) But those search lights they have on the Ricoh Coliseum gun turrets proved to be irresistible.
What sweetened the deal was the half-price admission and the free ticket someone gave me to the horse show. Once again, not an event I’d be hot to attend but as they say, when in Rome be sure to wear your Stetson.
I know, looks a bit boring, doesn’t it? There was a good chunk of this during each part of the show. It is, after all, a proper agricultural fair so ribbons must be awarded and all that. But the horses had to be paraded around the rink (usually those are hockey players out there), and the judges wanted to see not only the nice trots that they were capable of but also the full-out gallops:
Obviously these getups were a bit cumbersome so that limited their speed. But later on they brought out the racing buggies (I zoned out when they announced their real name), and these went fast enough for a spill during the show. Sadly, nothing fatal, but still hinting at genuine danger. And the horse had plenty of opportunity to take revenge against its rider as it ran wildly around the rink, dragging the empty buggy behind on its side.
Somehow I always associate the Winter Fair with pizza, probably because the visit to a downtown pizza joint was the only other memorable field trip I was on as a kid. I was really hungry that day.
A lot has changed, obviously. Alpacas didn’t exist when I was young, and as a poor immigrant kid I would never have been able to get into a pricey horse show. Hmm, I guess technically I didn’t afford it now either. But that’s beside the point. The nostalgia I feel for the place is being kept alive and well, just like the old CNE buildings that have been restored and covered with over-buildings. Like preserving stuff under a giant bell jar:
It’s somehow modern, yet old. Just like me. Except that old people wake up really early in the morning.
Oh well, I’ll settle into some sort of comfortable schedule eventually. Until then, I’ll just have to keep coming up with bullshit. Or something about cows coming home, or pigs flying.
Once again, please accept my apologies. I really cocked this one up. Played chicken with the TCL schedule and lost. Broke a few eggs but, alas, no omelette. Maybe the crack of dawn isn’t for me. Neither are the barnyard analogies.