Last weekend we visited the long-awaited Tractorfest in one of my dream villages, Biddenden. The forecast for the weekend was as follows,
Sunday: torrential rain
We went Sunday.
We arrived while the weather was seemingly mild, not a drop of rain had been seen. We assumed it would continue to stay as such and high-fived at the prospect of no rain, silly weathermen, wrong again. So, there we were, dress, shorts, no coats and all in flip-flips. Because we’re true Brits, it’s mild, so we dress for summer.
We wandered through and were instantly drawn to the smell of a hog roast, it was around 11am, so we started to count down the minutes until it would be socially acceptable to fill a roll with hog roast. Until then, we sipped teas and walked through the stalls.
My parents joined us for the day, because grandparents are the best extra hands you could have when venturing out with small children.
The layout was split into halves, one side of the field had the shows, demonstrations and exhibitions (tractors), the other side had plenty of stalls with some fabulous one-off things to purchase. We walked through the stalls and got to the childrens area with a ride-on train and other funfair rides. The toddler desperately wanted to go on the ‘choo choo’ and we would have gladly taken him on it, if the driver didn’t look like he would run us over for asking for a ride. He certainly needed a happy meal. Luckily they had horses and dogs as distraction and bribery while we let him down gently that there would be no ‘choo choo’ today buddy.
We walked over to the dogs, in triumph at our successful attempt to avert a tantrum. The dogs there were retired greyhounds. I love all animals, I would own a farm if I could. And these greyhounds were for adoption, they were even wearing little bibs that said ‘please take me home’, cue melting heart. I’ve always sworn we wouldn’t get a dog, for us it wouldn’t suit our current lives, but I took that as a sign that when the time is right… A rescue Greyhound has always been my dog of choice for when we’re retired ourselves, all our children have flown the nest and we only have eachother to talk to, dangerous.
Whilst loving on all the dogs, it started to rain. Those bastard weathermen were right after all. We raced over to a big tent, in our flip-flips and shitting summer clothes, in a truly torrential downpour. Then my dad thought ‘ah, I have an umbrella in the car’, so off he dashed to get his umbrella. The umbrella just covered two. Brilliant. So I made it everyones mission to find an umbrella. Someone, somewhere was selling umbrellas. We saw far too many umbrellas with the same horse picture on for it to be a ‘coincidence’.
We then lost sight of our umbrella finding mission and played ‘there’s one’ which is what we said everytime we saw some lucky bugger who had an umbrella with a horse on.
I hated them.
We found the stall that sold them and my smile slowly turned into a grimace, a drippy, wet, ‘why am I dressed for a fucking summers day’ grimace, as they explained, THEY’D SOLD OUT. Well, obviously, because everyone else in this whole fair has one. Apart from us.
Well, lets face it, we’re soaked through as it is, we have no layers of warmth to add, lets just get a pulled pork roll and be done with it.
Every time the downpour became slightly lighter, we exchanged comments of ‘it’s easing off’ and ‘at least it’s still warm’, moments before the weather Gods heard us and pissed a load more down.
We still enjoyed the shows, climbing into tractors and our toddlers living his ‘Fireman Sam’ dream as he climbed into a fire engine, while I received a lecture about fire safety.
”Do you have fire alarms?”
”Yes, we have two” I said happily, thinking I was doing well with his questions
”Do you have an escape plan?”
”No” bollocks, I was doing so well.
If you live near Biddenden I’d recommend visiting next year, even in the rain we had a fun time. It’s small, but there’s plenty of entertainment and things to see and do. Including a ride in a helicopter! Which we skipped this year.