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You know, the English are a remarkable lot. Give us a rainy Bank Holiday, a field and a tannoy, and we’ll make a celebration out of it.

Yesterday, worn out by my Knob Thowing activities, I prevailed upon a rather lovely friend of mine to come with me to the Dales Food Festival.

The Other Half decided to stay home and move bits of cement around. Actual cement, in case you are wondering, not a euphemism for making porridge or anything.  In The Great Ark Building Season of 2012, the cellar flooded. All the cement, sharp sand and Other Bricklaying Stuff left over from renovating the house was in the cellar. And it soaked up the flood waters admirably, leaving us with bags of solid cement stuck to the floor.  I have my priorities right though, so saved the wine rather than the old bags of cement and Other Bricklaying Stuff. And then one of our neighbours ever so handily got themselves a skip, and even more kindly said we could put Stuff in it. Win win. 

So off I pootled with my Amigo to the Festival. We were there early, and how lovely it was to see it all naked, as it were.

Because this is what it looked like 45 minutes later.

In and amongst the usual sorts of regional offerings, we found a rather intriguing cheese stall. But I’d bought enough cheese in Dorset to keep my going for at least a month, so resisted the Sticky Toffee Cheddar, and other offerings.

The Pipers Crisps stall made me laugh. Beautifully set out, and the lady was hemmed in by boxes of crisps. She’d have to sell them all to get out again. I liked the dishes very much.

We drooled over bruschetta;

And Italian meats – wild boar, anyone?

Bread Actually were doing a roaring trade, and I was so bowled over by their bread I bought lots to go in the freezer.  This community bakery was set up in the Station House in Bedale a couple of years ago, and was filmed throughout the experience. I want to go there very very badly, ever since I saw the programme. It is on my List Of Things To Do When I Get A Minute.

I couldn’t even get my head round the concept of these rather lovely looking chocolates.  Which is probably a good thing.

Had the Other Half accompanied me, rather than the Amigo, I could have left him here and he’d have been quite happy. I didn’t tell him about this part when I came home, just in case he got rather upset. 

The Amigo and I decided we want to go on a dry stone walling course.

And then we went back round and bought lots of lovely things, until we ran out of money.  Whereupon we took ourselves off to Leyburn for lunch, and a potter around their shops. Just in case we saw anything lovely.  I was terribly restrained, and resisted buying a rather lovely coat for walking.  

Walking shops are my secret vice. There’s something about the smell of rubber wellies, squeaky new walking socks, and the lure of equipment I haven’t got the faintest idea what to do with.  The happiest day of my holiday in the Lakes a few years ago was legitimately buying an orange survival bag, a whistle and a compass.

Those were the days.  And yes, I do know how to use them, dear mountain rescue people.

And I got all excited at finding these giant beauties. But then the Amigo pointed out they were for plants, not tea, so I stopped being quite so excited. 

So we gave up, and took the scenic route home for a cuppa.

It was all terribly English, and rather jolly.

And on the plus side, we now have a beautifully tidy cellar, as well as lovely meat, a Yorkshire chorizo and a Le Creuset Cassis casserole dish.  We did have sausages, but we ate them.

C’est la vie.