Nothing like a country fair for putting a gleam in the eye and a pain in the pocket. Last night I was at the private view (champagne reception, natch) for the Contemporary Craft Fair down at Bovey Tracey, where us bods in the arts get to swig fizz alongside those with loose wallets and great taste.
In previous years I've been tempted by the jewellery and have returned with yet another chunky one-off bangle, but I have enough, and this time was there to admire the furniture in particular, purely as a voyeur.
And it being fair season, it was off to the Royal Cornwall today, where in utter contrast to Bovey, the stuff in the massive craft tent was nothing to do with craft and everything to do with mass produced tat, but there were plenty of other marvels to enjoy, including some wonderful artisan work if you kept to the smaller stalls.
Although cattle and sheep outside of Cornwall were kept away because of Bluetongue precautions, the livestock was still wondrous to behold and smell (clean, well cared for and warm). And continuing on the strangely coloured proboscis theme, a blue-tongued skink was doing the rounds, as was some species of skunk (skink/skunk, all the same to me).
The high quality of local food was at the fore; yummy Cornish produce was highlighted - lots of wine, cider, beer, cheeses, chocolate, meats of every variety including beautiful salamis, asparagus, preserves, puds, clotted cream and more.
The sheep shearers and the pig handlers competed furiously, one Gloucester Old Spot hurtling happily across the ring, oblivious to its owners cries.
Prizes were awarded for this and that, and the commentators were so well briefed that it sounded as if they knew every competitor and their animal personally.
And then there were the tractors - most far too large and serious for me, but there was one, a refurbed Massey 35 that looked like a Noddy car in agricultural garb, that I could happily give barn room.