Syndia and I went to the Royal Melbourne Show today. We didn't get up
until about 11:00, which looked like shortening the day a bit, but it
ended up working out pretty well.

Syndia wanted to see all the little furry critters, so our first stop
was the "Fibre Factory," where all the lambs, sheep, goats,
alpacas and other things of woolly natures were kept. And, needless to
say, she went ga-ga over a couple of newborn (5am and 7am that morning)
lambs. One of the lambs, in search of milk from its mother, put its head
in the road of some droppings that its mother was in the process of
doing. It was very funny to see all the city slickers recoil from
touching the lamb - even though they had already been petting it when it
still had all the slime, blood and stuff on it from its birth that
morning. (Syndia wanted me to note that she still wanted to pat it.
"I still did pat it. I didn't just want to pat it - I patted
it," she says.)

Our next stop was a sheep shearing demonstration, which was far more
polished as a performance than it is in real life. Still, the presenter
and the shearer both gave a pretty good account of what the job is like,
except that they romanticised it a fair bit. I s'pose that's fair
though, given that the target audience is a bunch of city-slicker

After the shearing, off we went to a cow milking demonstration. Again,
this was much more of a sanitised performance than an actual demo.
There's a photo (link coming soon) of Syndia standing on a -z-e-b-r-a-
cow crossing and pretending to cross the road. And yes, it was
deliberate - she hit me a few times after I pointed the sign out to her
- after I'd taken the photo, of course ;)

Leaving the furry critters for the moment, we went to have a look at
some of the arts/crafts/baking competition entries. There were some
amazing cakes etc there, but the one that really grabbed our attention
was this one (if your
browser doesn't follow the link properly, it's at least on the same
page). At first glance it looked like a quiet church with a couple of
people walking around in the grounds. On closer inspection, it's
actually an axe murderer stalking (presumably) a nun. Weird... and,
what's worse, the entry didn't even get a highly commended

One of the craft entries was a Jedi bear. I think that mostly speaks for
itself, but it gets a mention because Syndia wanted her photo taken with
it (And to be fair, it was kinda cool.)

There were a couple of old ladies running a cooking class nearby, and
they seemed so overjoyed when a pair of young people showed an interest
that we didn't have the heart to leave, so we learnt all about how to
boil a plum pudding. Now Syndia wants to enter into next year's
competition . One notable moment in their comedic presentation
was when one of the ladies borrowed the radio microphone, but didn't
take the accompanying transmitter out of her friend's pocket. Everything
was fine until they moved apart, and the first one's head got jerked
around a bit... and then, the other presenter went looking (wearing the
mic) for some ingredient, and forgot that we could still hear her when she
was behind the screens. Nervous chuckles were to be had all round while we
were waiting for this lovely lady to finish her mild cursing of
whichever ingredient she couldn't find ;)

Leaving the art/craft/stuff hall, we wandered around a bit until we
ended up at a Scouts stand. They had some rope bridge set up, along with
a bunch of wood-carving, -engraving and -marking stuff and some painting
stuff with plaster of Paris moulds. While I was talking to one of the
Scout masters about the possibility of becoming a Scout leader, Syndia
went and made herself a sign with her name on it and a painted plaster
Cupid. She declined to try crossing the rope bridge, though

After the Scouts, we spent a few minutes watching BMX and
rollerblade/skateboard half-pipe demos, before succumbing to the
unsubtle advertising whose smell was wafting over that part of the
showgrounds. And off we went towards the delicious smell of biscuits
being baked.

Our destination was, of course, the Arnotts stand, where we saw them
making batches of Tiny Teddies. For pocket change $1.50 each we picked
up 200g bags of the things, too - still hot from the oven and smelling
good enough to make passers-by turn their heads and look longingly at

Arriving at the main arena for the night's entertainment, we found a
place reasonably early and bludged a bit until things started happening
in the ring below. We were looking forward to the motocross demo, but
when it started, we found that the "team" was actually a
single rider and a commentator. It was good to watch, but hardly a team,
and hardly the best demo we've seen - especially when they drag out
hordes of motoX riders for the St Kilda Festival and all sorts of other
events down here.

The Outback Thunder show was pretty good, although I felt it was
made a bit folksy to appease the city folks' view of rural Aussies. Even
so, it went off pretty well, and was good entertainment for the night.

After watching the fireworks, we picked up a couple of showbags
(chocolate cravings ) and fairy floss, then headed home. We
were both pretty exhausted on the train ride home, and we weren't home
long before we both crashed out.

All in all, a very fun day.