Well, it's that time of year again. One of my reasons for coming back to the UK was to go to Hollowell Steam Rally, which is a festival in the next village up. I haven't been since 2013. Mum and Merrick are involved in running a bell ringing demonstration there, so we took a wander down the night before to check out the pitch. Here's some before and during pictures to give a sense of the crazy.
|Before it Begins|
(panorama - click to enlarge)
It was eerie walking around the funfair before it was open. Though not as spooky as the midnight funfair I explored with my cousin last year.
Our friends arrived with the Lichfield mobile belfry, a mini replica of a church bell tower, and set it up on Friday night. Then it was back to our house for a huge dinner cooked by mum: slow-cooked lamb casserole, chicken casserole and apple pie with cream.
My brother arrived, along with his two friends Rob and Rob (confusing). We sat out on the lawn drinking into the night, then they headed back to the field where they were camping and I retired to my nice, comfortable bed.
|My brother, Will, with his dad, Merrick.|
Plenty of fun and shenanigans had throughout the weekend - and a shed load of beer.
|Will's mate Matt, blowing bubbles.|
|Rob and Damian Discover Grass|
My favourite part of the weekend is always the heavy horses. Absolutely beautiful beasts. I was almost in tears when they displayed these guys whilst playing the theme tune to War Horse and explaining that eight million horses died in WW1, and that two million were sent from Britain, bought for the price of thirty pounds from local farmers.
I'm planning to run away to live in a gypsy caravan.
There was also a cute display of Swiss mountain rescue dogs, who all looked rather hot. We're in the middle of a heatwave at the moment and temperature soared into the 30s.
And, of course, plenty of steam engines and classic cars, including a very nice display of MGs.
And lots of little steam-powered contraptions able to do everything from pumping water to churning butter.
We had a wander around a WW2 display and shot a few arrows on the archery range, which is a lot more difficult than it looks.
And a few people got in trouble with the law...
It really was a wonderful weekend. Got to eat candyfloss and ice-cream, and guzzle Nobby's Best. Delightfully English, thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and caught up with a couple of school friends I hadn't seen in about twenty years. Also really lovely to catch up with my brother and nephew, who I hadn't seen since 2015. Everything I was hoping for.