And so the days are filled...

22 April 2006

"Should we get the showbags now or later?

Roll up! Roll up! get your Royal Easter Show photographs here:

We have in the left column, starting at the top:
1. My little Kiri on display in the Class 124 (knitted lace, fibre other than wool) category. It was not awarded with a prize. I am happy they chose to display it draped around a hanger though.

2. The Olympic Flame Cauldron - the Sydney Olympic Park has been re-used as the Royal Easter Showgrounds since 2000 (actually I think the first Show held there was prior to the 2000 Olympics.) Old time Show-goers say The Show's just not the same since it moved to Homebush. I wouldn't be able to comment as I've only known the Show in its new grounds. I do think it's a bit regrettable that the original showgrounds has become a white elephant under the auspices of Fox.

Anyway, in the background of this photo you can see the Olympic baseball stadium which is where I attended my only Olympic event at the park, to see Cuba playing the combined North-South Korea team. (Cuba won.) Seeing the Cuban baseball team in action was my #1 priority when Olympics tickets went on sale, and it was an absolutely amazing bonus to get to see North and South Korea competing as a combined team for the first time. (If you are interested in baseball statistics I can tell you the detailed results. Maybe I'll have to start up a sports blog for that though.) In any case, the baseball stadium is now the main arena of Royal Easter Show events, so I appreciate the opportunity to revisit the hallowed hall during the Show.

3. The main entrance to the Show with Telstra Stadium in the background. This was known as "Stadium Australia" during that exciting fortnight in 2000, before the corporate sponsors got their mitts all over it. Nothing relating to the Easter Show takes place there, these days its mostly the scene of various football sporting events.

4. I stopped in to see the judging of the Best in Show Merino Sheep. These guys were leaving the ring just after the judging, but before the prize was announced. Based on the smiles they're wearing, I reckon they think they're onto a winner!

5. Back to the knitwear. Although I don't think I'll enter anything next year, I was tickled to see that 'Knitted Two-Piece Suit' had its own category, with EITHER skirt or pants being acceptable. (I think the last time the competition classes were reviewed must have been the 1980s.)

Right hand column, from top:
1. This is a typical sight which I think beautifully sums up the Australian attitude toward animals. That goat who is being patted and admired by an adoring crowd is standing underneath a sign which says "Red Meat Tastes Good. Goat Meat Tastes Better."

2. More best in show merino judging. They really give the animals a thorough going over!

3. A young fellow showing his merino in the best in show comp.

4. The woodchop. A classic Australian sport - the bigger your beer gut, the better you seem to perform. This particular event is one of my favourites - it's called 'the Tree'. The axemen from the days of hand implements used to cut nicks in the wide trunks of trees, then wedge boards in the nicks so they could stand on them to hack away at the thinner part of the trunk, higher up. In this event, the competitors have to chop nicks for two boards, climb them, hack off through the front half of the vertical log, then descend, make two more nicks for the boards on the back of the log, ascend, and hack through the rest. Oh, and this particular event shown here was the OVER SIXTY YEARS OF AGE category. I think the winner finished in less than 2 minutes. The woodchop is a perennial show favourite.

5. And back to the knitting. Here is the winner in the hotly-contested Class 124. I couldn't fault it, it's very beautiful and delicate work.

Larger versions of all these photos can be seen here.