Friday, March 29, 2013

Royal Easter Show: Sydney’s true underbelly

P1130291Sydney’s Royal Easter Show has been running for almost 200 years to showcase NSW’s agricultural produce along with the usual side dishes of carnival rides, show-bags, and culinary excesses like chips-on-a-stick.  I haven’t been to it since the show was transferred from its old Moore Park home to what is now Sydney Olympic Park, a little closer to the city’s population centre.

The fearsome crowds at the event are the biggest obstacle to attending, but it seemed to be the perfect event to expose Gustav to a wider range of Australiana than he would encounter around central Sydney. We’d also get a train ride out past the suburbs where my house lies, and a glimpse of how people live away from the harbour foreshores.
camel rides what a roo'd woman!
On my last visit I knew I’d past some sort of aging milestone when I realised that I was far more interested in the produce and craft displays than side-show alley. There is no going back on that transition and you find yourself inspecting display cases full of minutely subcategorised fruitcakes, and elaborately presented jams, woollens and ceramic vases. Anything to avoid the equally irritable whines of rotating carnival rides and over-stimulated children.
light fruit cakes For those too afraid to harvest malamute wool, there's always sheep
Our fair food fare was limited to a meat pie, some wasabi cashews and a small ice-cream. My metabolism would not have known what to do with most of the other offerings.

We dutifully lined up for the dog show pavilion, and processed slowly past a few dozen empty dog stalls before seeing anything. I really don’t fancy this kind of life for my companions. There were a couple of malamutes being brushed within an inch of their lives, but their hair seemed to have been stripped of vitality and their teeth were in a poor state – not a patch on Munson’s ultra-bright fangs, even as he nudges five years.
Anzac Biscuits are passé  P1130295
P1130298P1130285apple-fed beef
Gustav at Latteria, DarlinghurstAll up we spent a little over two hours there. After three years of living in a quiet rural corner the crowds were just too much to sustain. Leaving while thousands of people still poured in to the venue was the best strategy.

We exited our return train at Central so I could walk Gustav through parts of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Potts Point as an antidote to the morning madness.

My sleep still seems to be broken between a few afternoon hours and three or four more across the night. Gustav is faring rather better than me, not having to deal with  the chest cough. I usually get up at 3-4am and sit on the terrace where I can bluster to myself.

Today’s sleeping hours were pleasantly broken up by a roast lamb dinner for which we were joined by Vance’s sister Bev, who is eager to meet Munson again when he is freed from confinement in May.

1 comment:

  1. Anita8:21 pm

    As a country kid I still reckon the best bit of the show is the actual agricultural displays, so you saw the best of it.