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Fair Day in Durham

It's a gloomy day at the farmette and I can't believe the summer is at an end. Boo. I do like the fall though, and the colours it brings to Grey County.

There's a sixty per cent chance of rain today. Unlike yesterday, which was sunny and beautiful, if a little cool.

It's always pretty nice for the Labour Day weekend around here - which is good, because it's also time for the Durham Fair - which is where sister Sandy, her daughter Rachel and I went yesterday. There's nothing quite like a small agricultural fair to lift the spirits, I say.

First, we toured the craft show...tons of cool things hand made by the locals. I was especially taken with this pair of crocheted slippers. Cute eh? Won first prize and all.

The whole community centre was given over to the homegrown and made flowers, vegetables, baked goods, preserves, quilts and artwork. This was a particularly fetching succulent that I thought was especially unusual.

Dr. Melanie, our veterinarian, told us that she was showing some of her vegetables, so I had to go find out how she fared. Her squash, potatoes and onions were all there - along with her salsa. The red onions even scooped a first!

I keep meaning to enter some of the farmette's bounty and just get busy through the summer and forget. Have to try harder next year.

They had entertainment on the wee stage as well. We toured through all the tables to the dulcet tones of an Elvis impersonator - Don't Be Cruel was the song of choice.

Moving outside, we were treated to a living breathing sheep who was very curious about what the heck I was doing with the gadget I had in my hand. The 4-Hers were out in full force and full whites - doing their very best to show off their skills and the condition of the animals they had fed, watered and practised with over the year.

I was surprised that there wasn't a horse show this year - usually the baseball diamond is turned into an equestrian jumping arena and I always enjoy watching the competition. But not this year. Rachel (the horse whisperer in the family) explained that a lot of fairs cancelled their horse events because of an outbreak of strangles - a very deadly and very transmissible equine illness. Yikes.

Instead, they had a new event that I'd never heard of before: an excavator competition. Instead of digging holes, the competitors had to move and stack a pile of six tires - using all the finesse they could muster in the few minutes they were allotted. Some used the bucket, some the "thumb", but all were pretty handy with the levers.

It's not a big fair, so it took all of about an hour and a half to make the rounds. Then, it was back to the farmette for a smart drinks (Cosmopolitans for the girls) a visit and a delicious dinner of ribs on the barbie, corn, pasta and homemade chocolate ice cream (which Sandy brought).

All in all, it was a very satisfying and rewarding day in the big town of Durham. Until next week.

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