Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show is currently on. Oh yes, they are making a fuss about it this time. After all, the Show is older than the state itself. Mm.
Middle Cat is taking the Senior Cat tomorrow. We decided that it would be safer if he did not go alone. People at the show tend not to watch where they are going. They are too busy looking at things. I avoid such crowds and it is time the Senior Cat did too - unless someone is with him. I think they will enjoy themselves.
I can remember going to the Show as a child. It was a big day out, a very big day out. We would go and visit the animals. My parents would talk to people they knew in the farming communities they had taught in while we children waited impatiently to go on to the next attraction. There was the smell of hay and manure and the lanolin in the wool in the wool-classing shed. You moved on to the smell of frying onions and fairy floss as you passed Sideshow alley. We were not permitted to visit that area until the very end of the day.
We would move on instead to the dogs - my sisters both wanted a dog and would pat any dog they were allowed to touch. Then there would be the cats. They always upset me. I hate seeing animals in cages. We avoided the birds for that reason and went on past the farm machinery - all new and shiny yellow and green. We would, of course, have to bang our hands on the empty water tanks!
We would eat lunch, brought from home, on the lawn near the oval so that my sisters could watch the horses and the cows being judged or the men doing the wood-chopping. Right around us people would be consuming pies, pasties, sausage rolls, hot dogs and other delights but we knew better than to even suggest we ate such things. We knew that, if we behaved sufficiently well, there was a food treat coming up.
Lunch consumed we were impatient to be off again to see the flower displays and look at the art and craft. The Senior Cat and my mother would check the names on the craftwork to see who at the school had been given a merit certificate.
And then, at the end of the afternoon there would be three important things to do. First, we would visit the broadcasting centre where "Mac" and "Jimmy" and others would be talking to the "Argonauts". My brother and I were "Argonauts". It was an ABC radio programme for children. Oh yes, they were pleased to see us! (They must have been good actors.)
Then we would go to Sideshow Alley - one ride each. I never wanted one after my first couple of tries on a horse which went up and down as well as around and around. They made me feel ill. My siblings would have their rides though.
The last item for the day though was to go to "the special ice cream place". This was a stand advertising ice cream that, in those days, was only available in a small town in the north of the state. They sold not only vanilla but "honey" flavoured ice-cream. It was always crowded but we would wait (im)patiently for our single scoop in a cone.
Then we would consume it slowly, very slowly. We would watch people and listen to the magical sounds of Sideshow Alley and, in the distance, the cows and the man at the oval.
Then it would be on to the train to whichever set of grandparents we were staying with. My youngest sister would be asleep before the next station.
It was a grand day out.