I was more excited than ever to go to the Kent County show this year because both of our beasts were a year older, which means they’re aware of so much more and are able to walk for more than two feet before getting tired.
Only on the day my excitement was short lived.
I was woken by my son tickling my toes at half past five in the morning, whispering “is it time yet?”, because he still doesn’t quite get that just because the sun is up doesn’t mean he has to be. So he bundled in-between us and we checked the latest news updates which revealed there’d been an incident on the motorway leaving it closed until midday, at best.
We could have called this, because not only is the Kent Show our yearly tradition but delays are too.
Every year we get stuck in traffic, last year I think it was operation stack and the year before there was another incident on the motorway. Or maybe it was the other way around.
All I know is that no matter what day we go to this show we’ll be stuck in traffic, in a car with broken air-conditioning on a sweltering hot day while two kids compete over who needs a wee more. It’s these memories that we’ll gather together at the kitchen table and laugh about each evening as we stare down the neck of a bottle of wine.
So knowing that there was a crash on one motorway we decided to leave a little later than planned, hoping the traffic would die down and head up to the show using a different motorway. Genius.
On route we discovered a crash had also happened on the other motorway. Lord have mercy. We were committed then though so we couldn’t turn back.
Just after we committed to whatever traffic was ahead of us I asked myself the question that destroys so many women across the world. “Did I turn my straighteners off?”.
I asked Darren this question and for about thirty minutes we sat in pure silence while the car filled up with a sense of dread. And toddler farts. Then we broke the silence by calling a friend to see if they could swing by, just to check if there was any sign of burning.
I was certain I’d switched them off. But I was also certain that I wasn’t sure. Sometimes I have these conflicting thoughts.
I had a knot in my stomach the entire journey but my brain kept reminding me that if I was so unsure as to whether my hair straighteners could be burning the house down right now, I’d have probably have turned round.
But just to be on the safe side I messaged our neighbour to keep an eye out for any smoke that may be filling the upstairs. Totally casual message. Nothing to worry about.
This is the same neighbour that see my children squirt their water pistols over the fence into their garden, see my children running nude because clothes irritate their skin, have heard me yelling one second only to open the door to them and slap on the fakest smile to hide the fact that my rage is through the roof right now but I can’t let you see this – just hear it and finally it’s the same neighbour that probably thought we pretended our BBQ didn’t work and asked for their help just so they could see we have the same one – totally unintentional. Luckily they’ve not decided to move away from Kent’s version of the Clampits, so she could confirm that nothing had caught fire just yet.
I then wondered if I’d unplugged the George Foreman but I daren’t tell Darren this, let alone my neighbour. My short term memory is something Mariah Carey would be proud of. Jennifer Lopez who?
Once we got into the day a bit more, the worry of my straighteners subsided and was replaced with the fear of the sun burning my children’s skin. Burning was a big issue today, if it wasn’t the house it was the kids. I was still able to relax after a while and enjoy the day with my family. We were meant to be meeting our friends there too but we were in different places at different times and completely missed each other.
And there we were saying we won’t be in each other’s pockets.
It always amazes me how much there is to do at the Kent Show. From cuddling the animals to watching stunt shows and at some point having information on writing a will shoved in your face. It’s all there, and it’s all from Kent.
Previous years I would really enjoy the wine tasting sessions with my dad and being able to fill every inch of my body with a variety of food. Oh Lord those Artisan breads are freaking amazing, but so are their bog standard cakes filled with fat and sugar. But I steered clear of those this year. It wasn’t easy though, I’ll tell you.
Plus we may or may not have had an Indian that evening. May. Or. May. Not.
The only downside to this year was how rushed we were. My parents said that we missed a ton last year but what we did do last year was incredibly fun. We may have dawdled and taken our time eating food, tasting wine, browsing the stalls and watching the kids shut themselves in sheds and laugh uncontrollably, but we had fun.
It was less relaxed this year because we felt the immense pressure to ‘do it all’. We didn’t miss anything whatsoever this year, but I don’t think we properly saw anything either. If I were to do it again I’d let the kids play in the sheds, make sure I didn’t miss the stunt show and bring the kids back to the huge sand area after lunch where I know they’d have really enjoyed themselves. The only time we properly stopped was shortly after lunch to watch a bee demonstration. Which was actually really interesting.
My son was fixated with this demonstration
Oh, we also stopped at Jim Bean’s stand. Well Darren, the kids and my Dad did while my Mum and I checked out a stand that sold beautiful clothes. Everything this woman sold was One Size fits all. Pfft. You’re telling me these hammer pants will fit a size 8 and also slide up my tree trunk thighs?
Well they did. They’re the most comfortable pair of trousers I’ve ever owned. Even more comfortable than leggings. I know. You want some too. They also look much nicer, but they feel so delicate that I’m frightened the stitching will give one day when I bend over. I’ll just never bend over. Stop it. Darren, if you so much as bring this paragraph up to me, I will kick you in the shins.
Thanks Mum for the most comfortable pair of trousers there ever were.
Next year I’ll stick with the kids and focus on things that they’ll love, like the mini Diggerland they had set up there and occasionally call in a Grandparent or their Dad to watch them while I browse the stalls that take my fancy. That way everyone wins. We’ll see.
Until next year…