Saturday, 16 August 2008


This week, I took my boys to a country show. It's not really like there are people jiggling their bottoms on stage to entertain fed-up farmers. It's more like a show of well-shined tractors, much to a lot of disappointments of children who are not allowed to pretend-drive them. There were also competitions for well-groomed sheep, cows, and horses. And maybe chickens and ducks as well, who knows. Anyway, it was excruciatingly muddy. It was knee-deep and everytime we try to move to another stall to see what's on display, it was like heaving logs attached to our legs. It was a good job that I didn't bother to bring Lewis' buggy. I could see other parents who had to shove their babies down their pockets just so they could pull their prams from jealous latches of the mud. I pity their all-terrain-travel-systems.

Until now, I'm still wondering why I ever went there. I scanned the crowd and I could only see people in tweeds, berrets and jodhpurs. Am I the only one that represents 5% of the Asian population here? Maybe they're all in China, hired by the government to fill up empty stadiums. But why was I there in the first place? I'm not a farmer, not interested in buying a tractor, and most importantly, I don't get on with mud! But when I saw the faces of my boys all caked in mud, which could be horses' muck for all I knew, laughing, trodding along like it was the best thing ever to have happened in their lives, I felt contented. My mother-in-law was so surprised how relaxed I was about it considering that last year, I threw away Zak's new pair of shoes after he played at a muddy football pitch.

Today, I took them again to a Woodlands Festival where people living alternative lifestyles creating stuff out of renewable resources where displaying and demonstrating their crafts. Zak joined in and made a design of fish out of willow. He also tried lathe, a traditional woodcrafting tool. He was shy at first but it made him speak to a lot of matted-haired people. Honestly, I felt like I was out of their league. These people care for the environment and lived their life according to what nature offered in a renewable sort of way, if that's how you incongrously put it. Then I thought of how much plastic packaging I had in my fridge and it was like I was their enemy. I took my boys there to see the GreenMan, the mythical woodland creature, and listen to his music and stories. Instead I felt like an invader of the only group of people who would survive the Apocalypse.

I realise that I'm a bit insecure about my looks [read: Asian] mainly because these activities we go to are country-based. In this part of England, the closest you can get to ethnic minority are the redheads (this is according to Judith O'Reilly). Sometimes, I get a good laugh when a local tries to speak V-ER-Y SL-OW-L-Y to me, enunciating every sound, forming the lips according to the vowels, just so I could follow what she's on about. When I'm in the mood for it, I would say, 'Ah no wot ye on abaaht'. (I know what you're on about.) I just love the way the English get embarassed!


betchai said...

this is very funny, i can relate to how you felt about being happy despite being knee-deep in mud just because your boys are happy. It brings me memories of my summer in the Philippines where I babysit my nieces and nephews. There were things I thought I would not enjoy but seeing them having a time of their life actually brought more joy.

I actually like listening to British accent, I am fascinated with how they talk, I thought it is always sexy and classy :) , maybe too much watching James Bond and Hugh Grant for me :) Hmmm, but isn't James Bond Irish? Sorry, I forgot :)

Joy said...

You should have gone to my Festival of Cultures event instead! :D You would have had a blast.

Francesca said...

BEAT THE ENGLISH, rah rah rah!

i would say: ah doh nah geh yah..?
(I do not get you, sorry)

betchai said...

wow, soy, i noticed the change in your page background (or do they call it background?). It looks very pretty.

Soy Sauce said...

Betchai, I'd really love to tweak my layout properly if only I had the time to spend on it but because I don't, this is my only alternative: a ready-made layout that I grabbed from pyzam. It's not too cool but it works for now. :) Thanks, btw.

Joy, I would have gone to that Festival had I been near where you are. How was it? You don't seem to blog a lot lately. I understand, though. If you're the one organising all these events, you won't have the time to blog. :(

Francesca, I would really like to beat the English if only I could but their standing in the Olympics says something else. ;)

HiPnCooLMoMMa said...

priceless talaga seeing our kids enjoying. nakakatanggal ng pagod, and it makes us enjoy what they are enjoying.

Betty said...

Your boys remind me of my grandsons. Yesterday it rained so much that when it stopped, we had these huge puddles on the driveway. They took turns running and jumping in them and were soaked when we finally came into the house. It was pure joy for me to watch them.

Soy said...

Girlie, You're right. What makes them happy makes us happy na rin. :)

Betty, most often, the things they enjoy much don't cost a thing. It sometimes surprises me how creative they can be. :)

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