“Staying warm and dry?” Jeremiah text me while I was at the Ag Show last Thursday. Cold rain earlier in the morning had given way to sleety showers passing through with spots of sun between. We were under cover, for the moment, admiring the farm animals before the building got swamped with school kids. These chicks had the right idea–just seconds before you could only see the hen with one tentative beak poking up through her wing feathers. Then chicks spilled out like clowns from a tiny car.
I’ve watched the sheep sheering competitions for a couple years now. My grasp of the Kiwi accent must be improving, because this time I could discern some of the announcer’s words educating us about the scoring system. it’s a two person team–the sheerer and the wool sorter. The sheerer does what you’d expect, handling the sheep so skillfully and firmly that there isn’t even a scuffle. The wool sorter gathers the fleece as it’s separated from the sheep into a complicated bundle that she floats out over the sorting table with a deft heft and flick–like spreading a quilt on a bed. She picks off”diingleberries” (use your imagination–they are what they sound like) and low quality leg hair, then rolls the best part into a tidy bundle and sweeps the floor.
We went to the show with Sophie and her girls. We were marching towards the carnival rides when a herd of well groomed bulls and a loud announcer grabbed our attention. “….and they have nice big testicles, and…..” we didn’t hear the next part, we had dissolved into giggles. We digressed into gossip involving a local wallpapering business with “Well Hung” plastered across their truck. Considering the size of those bull testicles, it’s surprisingly hard to catch them on camera.
This is the first time Milo has been on a carnival ride. He’s delighted, grinning on every revolution.
“You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.” The signs and safety measures on NZ carnivals seem a bit rustic.
Sophie treated Amelie and Naomi to a merry-go-round ride–also her first carni experience. They timed it just right to be under the roof when the next rain squall came through. If I remember that November in NZ is really only the equivalent of May in NY, which is notoriously fickle, then I don’t feel jaded about paddling at the beach one weekend while rucking up in winter garb the next. Happiness is all about managing expectations.