So the sun actually shone for another Bank Holiday weekend. We pottered around in the garden in the morning – earthing up potatoes and tackling some of the bracken. What to do in the afternoon? Well a local magazine advertised “Festival of County Life – Lamport Hall” so we decided to give it a go; children under 11 admitted free was a bonus.

Basically, what we found was a medium-sized country fair in the grounds of Lamport Hall. There were a variety of displays, entertainment, local food, craft stalls and the like: enough to occupy us for most of the afternoon. Highlights for us included the falconry display, the shire horses, “99” ice cream (that’s an ice cream with a chocolate flake), “bunnies ears” (ice cream with two flakes), the rural life museum and a stall which sold “proper” fudge.

For some people the main attraction was the chance to see various vintage vehicles and steam engines. Among them was a “Green Goddess” – so-called because of its colour. That was the nick-name given to army fire engines including the old one we saw. Meanwhile, in the Rural Life Museum,  they ran some early examples of mechanised farm machinery. These days we tend to cover up moving parts (presumably for health and safety reasons) so it was a novelty to see how they worked.

I don’t usually give machines a second thought but one of my companions remarked on the fact that they required some work and ingenuity to make and to get working. That is a fair point. If we see the end product of someone’s work it is all too easy to take it for granted. This is true of the machines and gadgets we use as well of the food and produce we buy. If you “grow your own” you might get some sense of the time and effort it takes just to grow a few potatoes, for instance; and maybe we’ll spare a thought for the potato farmers next time we buy a bag. I’m a townie so the countryside is a place I visit rather than one that I inhabit. It is as well to remember that “the countryside” is more than a tourist destination but a place where people work hard to produce things we all need and rely on.

Meanwhile, we had a pleasant afternoon and here are a few photos of it: