Life and an election at the Royal

November 15, 2016   ·   0 Comments


Even within the wide scope and business of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, it has been impossible to dodge the American election that has been an obsession for the entire continent for the last (unbelievably) 600 days, plus! The successful Trump juggernaut has been allowed by, especially, the media, to overwhelm nearly every other news item all that time.

He was desperate to win for the sake of ego only and the fact that his “name” will no longer have the value he needs to sell it to companies erecting luxurious buildings.

However, we must pay attention to why we are all here, which is to present ourselves and that which we bring with us in the best possible light to the several thousand people coming to the Royal to see as much as they can in so many hours.

It is truly a wonder that this institution of a fair still exists and in full flourish after 93 years.

The transformation of the massive blank space at the Enercare Centre into a sweep of vendors, farmers, bakers, soap makers, car companies, saddlers – indeed, everything equine – crafts people – on and on – and people dealing in miracles.

There is a delightful sincerity here born of the huge effort it takes to come here for 10 days with everything that is needed with, for some, no chance to adjust for what’s forgotten, given the distance they have driven to be here. An element of comradery grows up among us as well; we are all in this together: all the hard work of arrival and setting up at one end of the fair and the equal effort of tear down and get it home at the other; the 10 days of the actual fair, on deck bright and beautiful, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., hunting for something safe to eat every day all those days in a land dominated by fast food and heavy meats.

I love the Royal. It was an annual pilgrimage for me all my youth, with grandparents and mother, school trips and, later in my teens with my father, our one date for sure in the year.

Always, always, the trip included the horse show – those flashy champions climbing tall bars and walls in single bounds, dazzling us with their beauty and athleticism of both horse and rider – well, the beauty of the horses at least.

Our first time as a business here was such a thrill for me. Pulling up to the building where we were to spend the next 10 days, to be there every day and be an actual part of this fabulous event meant so much to me.

As a business venture, that first year was not a great success. It is hard to attend such a show without experience or enough guidance to dodge some of the expensive mistakes and, as such, it was a profound learning experience. Since that first year, ten years ago, we have come a long way and, in many ways, my affection for this fine old Dame of Fairs has grown.

Learning about my fellows who are here, get the gist of what they are doing and why is a constant source of interest for me, the life source of growth really – the constant waters of new information, ideas and motives.

Sometimes, the conversations that flow all around are deep, philosophical and quite introspective, not only between the people here full-time but also those visiting for a few hours. A sense of humour wins the end of the talk – it is important to keep a laugh in the air.

Some people here have brought nature’s products amazing for their healing abilities, worried that they would see me roll my eyes as they describe the value of the chaga mushrooms, or the skin cream made from only carefully selected non-chemical ingredients – so any others, here to sell, of course, but, more to the point, here to help.

They have nothing to fear from me, for I am a believer in the power of nature to heal.

As I write this, Patricia’s iPhone is running with the live report of the American election in progress – the speculation, the panic that Trump is winning. This is such a hideous time. No matter Hilary Clinton’s demerits, she was competent and safe. To elect Trump which no one really believed would happen, could be very destructive except that for the power of industry and the military in the USA.

The Royal runs until next Sunday, November 13. Come and see and join  the fun.

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