A week ago I'd pretty much convinced myself that the New Forest Show would be cancelled due to the continuous deluge that was seeing outdoor events across the country topple like bankers' reputations. But then we had a slight nudge of the jetstream, the sun came out, and suddenly everything's alright with the world. The show could still have been in serious trouble just from the sodden ground, with it being churned up before the first visitor arrived, but all credit to the organisers who've done a magnificent job in keeping it all pristine.
I'm spending the three days of the show in the Longdown Activity Farm marquee where, like last year, I'm drawing animal-based cartoons. The layout is much better this year, with the animal handling moved to the centre of the tent - and a busy focal point it is too - giving us all more room around the edges. We've two noisy turkeys that make a fair bit of noise, but this is nothing compared to the chest-rattling braying of Samuel the donkey whose half-hourly alarm stops the nearby show-goers in their tracks.
It was a really busy day yesterday, with plenty of people coming in to the marquee out of the blazing sun. I'd taken four A4 sketch pads with me and by the end of the day had used up one and half of them, and my Sharpie pen was struggling. Also had lots of interest in my New Forest Friends books and the new On The Banks Of Hatchet Pond, certainly made easier this year with the slightly expanded space I've got.
Highlight of the day was the unexpected news that we'd come second with the best marquee at the show. All the hard work done by Brian and the Longdown team, mind you.
Just getting ready to leave for the another day of doodlin' and, of course, the Royal visit...