This week saw the annual event that is the Royal Welsh show. Having gone last year for the first time there was no question that we would return again this year.
The show is a chance for farmers, smallholders and enthusiasts to showcase their hard work and dedication. With almost all areas open to the public it is a real insight into so many breeds of different animals all in their prime and all looking to impress the judges.
With a full schedule over the four days there is plenty for everyone to see. Although the show is largely livestock orientated, in the main arena throughout the day there were motorbike shows, horse parades, falconry displays and machinery demonstrations, along with much more.
Of particular interest to me were the poultry competitions and the vegetable and flower tent. I can only dream of growing vegetables to this standard at the moment but I can certainly appreciate the time and effort it must of taken to produce such perfect specimens.
Inside the permanent buildings were foodhalls, markets and stands showcasing the very best of Welsh artisan produce. These were very popular and are a great way for small businesses to showcase the fantastic products they have to offer, some you will find nowhere else and some you will not find better than anywhere else.
With the amount of stalls throughout the showground it would be nearly impossible to see it all in a day, thousands of people camp for the week with huge parties going on long into the night both in the showground and on the campsites.
With demonstrations and classes going on wherever you looked there was something to entertain the whole family throughout the day.We managed to fit in a picnic whilst watching the eighty foot pole climbing competition. A feat in itself with the climbers making it look easy by completing in a matter of seconds. In the afternoon we relaxed and watched the junior sheepdog handler championships, a true skill and something which takes months if not years of practice and companionship between handler and dog. This was followed by a pair of spitfires spinning and twisting over the showground, something which I would never get bored of watching.
With hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the week the town comes to a standstill with horses bathing in the river and tourists filling the shops. The park and ride service to the showground was faultless with constant buses going to and fro, the staff around the show were equally enthusiastic from beginning to end despite the relentless heat, which we are not quite used to here in Wales.
Every week from now until the end September there are local shows in the surrounding villages. We'll be attending as many as we can and hopefully even entering some produce in one or two.