|Agricultural shows are really about people and their animals. Photo P. Watson|
Things seemed to get off to rather a rocky start with all sorts of minor things going wrong... and many of them early in the morning whilst we were still setting up our display. I won't list them all, but they did include me painfully splitting a thumbnail whilst closing a car door just prior to the time I was going to have to prepare clay for throwing on the wheel. Whilst I was still clutching my thumb and wondering how I was going to get it back into working condition, a vehicle arrived towing a trailer, and the people wanted to set up a food stall next to us, but had not been allocated enough level space to put up their stall. We agreed to move our tables and also my potter's wheel a few feet. Whilst moving one of my large wood fired pots to a "safer place" I managed to break a piece off it. For safe transport I had discovered that the large pots would travel in 60 ltr plastic rubbish bins. The bins give a lot of protection to pots, and are quick and easy to pack. The large pot in question had decorative bands around it, with a pie crust edging. It was a big, heavy pot and the pie crust edging hooked the lip of the plastic bin as I was putting the pot in, and a short section broke off. It was one of those stupid things that happen if you don't give a simple job your full attention, and I was doing things too fast.
These things should not have bothered me as much as they did, but I felt very dispirited. I came very close to throwing everything in the back of the van and driving home, maybe if I had been on my own I might have done... but Laura bravely carried on setting out pots on the table, so I busied myself with getting the wheel set up again and my thumb attended to so that I could make use of it.
|Laura in command of our stall and I make another wobbly pot in the shade. Photo P. Watson.|
I liked the Nigerian "Lolly Man" (as he called himself). Talking to him helped me get through the early part of the day, and put me in a better mood. The Lolly Man had come all the way to New Zealand with his wife and three children, to give his family a better life. He was happy to have moved over here, but through the day I thought of how hard this "better life" must be, adjusting to a new country, travelling from show to show, market to market, weekend after weekend to sell $2 and $3 bags of lollies to make enough money to feed his family. My own concerns shrank somewhat, and my respect for him grew.
As the hours dragged past we had several people say "It is such a nice day, you must be selling lots of pots!"
The truth was that on both sides of us, fat and sugar were selling well, but we looked in danger of going the whole day without selling anything at all. Of course, this is not the sort of thing that you can say to someone. All we could do was smile sweetly and say "Yes it is a lovely day!", and try to look happy.
The Topp Twins performed twice that day, and we had a good view of them from where we were. I have seen them on Television before, but this was my first time "in the flesh". They mix stand up comedy with country singing, and it was interesting seeing how they "worked" the crowd. They made the most of being country people in a country community. "Have we got anyone in the audience who has a lifestyle block? I suppose you don't have any animals on your place other than a ride on lawnmower!" "There's the town Mayor. Once he was a stallion and now he is a mare!"
|The Topp Twins and Mr Familton the Mayor. Photo P. Watson.|
So that was our day. Enough sales toward the close of the day to make it worth us attending the event, and we were so lucky that the vase sold. It could easily have been nothing.
|A pink Lavatera that is in a pot outside our back door.|
|Convolvulus and Fennel.|
|Mmm looks like it was made from porcelain.|
|Ginger keeping an eye on things.|
Sorry for my neglect of all of you in the Land of Blog. I'll be reading and writing again soon! P.