Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | October 23, 2009


Lying in bed on a Friday morning (it’s a holiday in Hawke’s Bay today) with a hot coffee and peace and quiet – divine!

Hubby has taken sprogs to the Hawke’s Bay Show and I am being treated to a sleep in, having lazily waved them goodbye about an hour ago (thank goodness, it wasn’t too boozy at tennis but it was midnight when I got home).

We used to look forward to our local A&P Show for weeks when I was younger. The thrill of getting dressed up, eating candy floss and going on the Merry Go Round, or when we were older… dressing up, sneaking miami wine coolers and pretending we were soooo bored, or even older…. dressing up and finding a comfortable but shady spot in the bar.

There were picnics from the boot (especially bacon and egg pies when I was young enough to think the Kelso Show was cool) and having the time to catch up with people you hadn’t caught up with through the year.

The Kelso Show doesn’t exist anymore. After the Pomahaka River flooded the grounds (and the small township) one time too many – it was abandoned and the West Otago Show at Tapanui was born.

Now with the growth of dairy farms in West Otago, there’s a mid-afternoon surge for the gate, which would be hard for traditional Southland sheep and beef farmers to comprehend. 

I have heard stories after stories from people in Hawke’s Bay about the way the show used to be. Hundreds of entries in the sheep and cattle sections with the Meat and Wool Cup the most coveted prize of the event.

Saving up pennies through the year to buy that special material to be made into the latest season’s fashion for the Show, baking for days beforehand to stock up the chillibin in the boot under the shade of the big trees in the Waikoko Gardens.

 But now skinny 12 year olds wearing half a top see it as the chance to buy a cheap and nasty belt or glasses or cap or Tshirt from the gypsy stalls and scream their way around the amusement rides. Oh how old am I.  Seriously, thinking about it right now, I can’t wait for the day when I give the kids cash each and say “see you in five hours”. So maybe we’re to blame for the special nature of the Show disappearing.

What do we go to these days that require the kids to look forward to something for weeks and weeks and save up or prepare or melt with anticipation? 

Speaking of anticipation, there’s another cup of coffee screaming my name.


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