Monsoon mudbath was just perfect for ploughing
Mud? This wasn't mud. It was the silt bed of the Ganges in monsoon season. A farm gate on sheep dipping day. Willy Wonka's chocolate river ... any comparison you like so long as it's brown, sludgy and muddy. Very, very muddy.
Wellies went overnight from being a nice little optional extra to vital lifesaver yesterday at the National Ploughing Championships.
With torrential and nigh-on continuous rain overnight, the site had liquified by morning.
With most of the carparks waterlogged and forced to close, steel walkways flooded and everything in between a bath of watery muck, it made for a trying ordeal.
Oddly enough, however, it also made for excellent ploughing conditions. Far from the madding crowds, tractors sliced cleanly through the moist dark earth, with few spectators to bother the hard working competitors.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph," muttered a woman to her husband as they suffered through the mire back at base, holding on to one another for dear life. One wobble and they were doomed.
The mud sprayed up over everyone's wellies, became embedded in their jeans, got smeared on to little noses and into eyes. It became a badge of honour for youngsters who channelled a "festival chic" vibe by smearing it on their cheeks.
It besmudged the nice cotton bags with the owls on them from the Odlums tent and permanently destroyed the trendy trainers of teenagers too mortified to wear rubber boots.