Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged

Labor Day weekend here in England

It felt like Labor Day weekend here in England, but it was actually August bank holiday, which means  most everyone had  Monday off, many stores are closed and the grocery shops have Sunday hours,10 to 4. It also meant it was unseasonably hot, getting into the upper 80s.

Having been warned to stay off the highways on Monday, we took a back road to the Swallowfield Festival.  The real draw was the dog show, but we long rows of antique cars and huge horticulture and craft tents provided feasts for the heart and soul.

Outside, in the center ring, a Welsh dog training outfit that provides dogs for movies and adverts, put on a display by rescue dogs that had been trained to behave, jump through hoops, sniff out drugs and take down bad guys.  Deedie opined that several of the expert  trainers appeared to have been rescued.

Best dressed dogs

But the real draw for us was the less professional dogs and their owners competing for prizes in a side ring.  Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged. A dog in a full graduation regalia, including mortarboard, won. Apparently, this dog’s family could not get to Grinnell College in Iowa for graduation of a family member, so a picture was sent of this lab-ish pup dressed up.. 

She won even though her bikini bottoms had somehow been left at home

Second was a dog from the same family in a swimming outfit of a hat and a plastic float.  She won even though her bikini bottoms had somehow been left at home.  This particular family entered quite a few other categories, including cutest mongrel. Unfortunately we missed the competition for the dog that most looked like its owner (which the aforementioned owner told me they would not be entering, which seemed like a good call on her part). Finding the heat oppressive, we made our way home.

Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged
Dog Show Listing

The Brits have not lost their sense of humor

The horticulture exhibition of beautiful flowers and food also showed that the Brits have not lost their sense of humor.  There were winners for animals and vehicles made of food.

Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged
David sneaking a kiss with Kate

Earlier in the weekend we traveled  the Ashland-sized town of Newbury. An abandoned water mill was converted to a small theatre decades ago and they’ve been presenting quality theatre ever since. Kiss me Kate was on the bill.  In our xenophobic way, we assumed all the actors were American, as they spoke beautiful American. Wrong.

All English professional actors with tremendous talent. Having bought tickets at the last moment, we did not have the best seats. David had been warned that the flower pots that partially obstructed his view from our balcony seats would not be there for long and shortly after Kate made her first appearance she was at his side pitching the three pots at potential suitors.

In the second act, Deedie was among those who were serenaded by Kate’s tamer as he lamented the passing of “Where Is the Life that Late I Led?”  Remember those Cole Porter lines?  “And sweet Lucinda, so young and gay—see? What scandalous doins in the ruins of Pompeii?  To Deedie he sang, “Where is Rebecca? my Becki-weckio? But still she’d be cruising that amusing Ponte Vecchio?”

Deedie added the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh

 

Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged
Deedie with Pat Holloway of Rotary Club

Sunday night we went to The George pub in nearby Winnersh. The couple at the next table told us that former Prime Minister Theresa May lived just down the road under tight security. We decided she deserved the rest she was getting by not hanging out with the G-7 crowd in France. 

Deedie added the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh to clubs she’s attended around the world last evening. A hearty welcome, a delicious dinner and great conversation ensued. No one wanted to talk about Brexit and I didn’t want to talk about the US president. With about 30 people on hand talk was of an upcoming fundraiser and the program was on Bitcoin.

 

 

Lessons learned:

Courgette — zucchini

Plaster— bandaid

Woke —particularly politically aware

Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged

Best dressed dogs was the first category to be judged