I asked the Whirlwind. She was looking at an advertisement for "the Show" - our Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Annual Show. It is held in September each year. I have, I think, mentioned this before. I am acting as a Steward in the Arts and Crafts section again. I will spend a day there beforehand, a day after and one day during the Show itself. On the day during the Show I will be "demonstrating" knitting - which really means I will sit and knit and let people ask question if they so wish. I will also keep a discreet eye on the display in the area in which the demonstrators knit.
The Whirlwind would need to go with a friend and the friend's family or come with me. Her father is likely to be away for the entire period of the event. He is not keen to go anyway. I would not actually go during the event unless I needed to go. I am not good at very crowded events which require constantly avoiding people who are not looking where they are going. We cats value our paws more than that.
The Whirlwind has been of course. She has been with the friend and her family. It was "all right" but I know that she felt rather uncomfortable. The friend is a nice child but she gets four times the pocket money the Whirlwind does and, for many children, going to the Show is about going on fun fair rides, eating "fairy floss", hot chips and icecream as much as it is about seeing animals and displays of produce. The Whirlwind does not like the rides, loathes "fairy floss" and commercial hot chips. The icecream? Maybe, but she would prefer the icecream from the Italian shop in a neighbouring suburb. For her the Show is more about the Animal Nursery, the sheepdog trials and the various displays. We went together one year when she was small and, apart from the entrance fee and an icecream cone each, we spent no money at all. We took lunch and drinks. She did not want a "Show Bag" or any of the
childish delights. She did not even want to go and look at the rides. I was surprised. I am no longer surprised. Those things are simply not her idea of fun.
So, does she want to go? She is just old enough now to be trusted to go off for a short time on her own and then report back to me. Her father has already discussed the possibility with me. There is a lot to see there and you can learn a lot if you do the things she will be interested in doing.
"Maybe. I don't want to go with the others though."
We discuss the possibility of going with me. I will have a spare ticket because, as Steward, I get given several for my trouble. She will not have to pay as I will let her use one of those. Even that is not really an enticement.
"Maybe but only if you absolutely promise not to go anywhere. I have to be able to find you."
I will not be going anywhere - unless I go with her.