Friday, 12 June 2009

Country Life


Last Sunday we all tipped-up at the Fernie Country Fair in a Leicestershire field. 'Fun for All The Family' included Dog Shows, Terrier Racing, Falconry, Archery and Digger Driving. At one point some big men got out of an equally big van and started making little chairs for the kiddies out of logs with chainsaws. In thirty seconds flat. I averted my gaze and spotted this beautiful 1948 Morgan 4/4 with its spare Avon tyre on the back. Avon. How English is that? I don't know whether they're still made in Bradford-on-Avon or whether they're still fitted to new Rolls Royces, but I love that logo. My Morgan Specialist tells me the car looks a bit of a hybrid, judging by the filler cap and other pointers. I really couldn't say. Anyway, at the epicentre of all the hog roasting and people putting ferrets down their trousers, were the Fernie Hunt's kennels. I also love foxhounds. They regularly stream through my village, out for long distance exercise with kennel men on bicycles fore and aft. Such singularity of purpose, such friendly animals who all work with one accord. Their kennels looked as if Hugo Meynell had just finished an inspection, spruce and clean with wash-down floors and big straw beds. I went to find Youngest Boy (he loves hounds too) and discovered him winning at how much milk he could get out of a plywood cow. Much to my surprise I also managed, for the first time in my life, to knock a coconut off an iron pole with a cricket ball.

68 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Excellent photographs, as ever. Talking of ferrets down one's trizers reminds me of a moment on TV the other day when I saw a fetching and décolletée presenter panicking as a ferret disappeared in her cleavage. Country and city, old and new worlds wonderfully colliding.

Bucks Retronaut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bucks Retronaut said...

Lovely stuff Peter:and I thoroughly endorse your label that `Dogs should be kept on Leads`.
This should never apply to Hounds though,and I count my personal favourites,Lurchers,as hounds,much to the annoyance of "Doggie People Who Know ".
Hounds (and Lurchers) should never be leashed except perhaps in beer tents .My Willow goes troppo if she gets downwind of a pint of Abbott.

Ron Combo said...

The gorgeous juxtaposition of that red and green.

Bucks Retronaut said...

That`s so right Ron .Anyone remember Mk 2 3.8 Jags in Jaguar Racing Green with red leather interiors (not the same green passed off British Racing Green these days)? JRG is not metallic or whatever, and always looks if it only needs a wipe over with an oily rag to shine it up.
My old man was on the verge of getting a second hand one,only to be smooth talked into a new Hillman Minx by a brilliantined Norf Lahndon car salesman.I`ve hated Highgate ever since.

martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Circe said...

I hate to admit it, but I had a very bad experience with ferrets UP the trousers... (do they give pet ferrets rabies shots, I wonder? pointless to ask now, I suppose.) However, I am doing my darnedest not to let the experience weasel me out of the enjoyment of your lovely imagery, both verbal and visual...

Gorgeous as usual. I ADORE that green paint (the red, too, but especially the green)and the lovely way it's applied... in the old lovely way in which it looks as though it were just poured on.

Good show on the coconut!

martin said...

Apprehensive dogs. Those on the left are witnessing an event that can only result in a tragic outcome;the one on the right shows all the symptoms of nascent depression.Where are the happy dogs?

Peter Ashley said...

Funnily enough, foxhounds are amongst the happiest dogs I've ever seen. Their lives together and the phenomenal exercise they get is blissful enough. It's just that they find it difficult to smile about it.

martin said...

I wasnt being entirely serious,but I apologise for any possible offence taken.

Vinogirl said...

I love dogs.
If you want to see happy dogs come see my Vinodogs, life is good for Napa dogs.

Peter Ashley said...

No offence taken Martin, honest guv. There was a thing on the wireless at the weekend about how dogs look, and apparently it's us imposing our emotions on them.

deborah said...

uh, why do people put ferrets down their trousers? why would people have ferrets out around hounds? or am i missing something here (which would be as usual for me)?
deb

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