Here in Ayrshire Saturday dawned bright and clear, sunny and warm. The perfect day for our annual Gala Day.
She was ready for her big moment, the moment when last year's queen would place the crown on her head and she would have to make her speech to the village.
Last year's queen forgot her nerves completely and waffled on for ages, causing the compare to gently tap her on the shoulder and then finally pull the plug on the microphone.
This time all went without hitch. The speech was short and the regal gang left the stage pretty sharpish to join in the fun.
I was there with George from the local art shop. We had a pop up gazebo
and Dream Acres had a nice little corner. We were right beside the main
ring so ideal location for spotting all the action.
As ever the whole event had been organised to the nth degree by our local Pastel Princess, without whose help no committee would ever be complete. Her team of eager helpers were all decked out in less-than-flattering hi visibility jackets, each one having that person's committee title on the back. This caused much giggling about job titles and just how far people will go for their moment of fame.
Not everyone wore a hi vis jacket, there were many in fancy dress. Lots of floaty gowns, bright colours, feathers and finery. The dressing up boxes of all ages had been well rummaged and outfits put together for the big day. As the temperature rose, the fanciest dressers fairly wilted in the sun.
In the ridden fancy dress class this little girl was the star of the show, and well deserving of the winners rosette.
There were exciting displays in the main ring. These BMX bike guys were unbelievable. Doing all sorts of amazing tricks on the most basic of bikes. In this photo the cyclist is on top of a 7 foot tall van and is leaping off to land on a coke can!
There were all sorts of horsey events going on in the other field. Dressage and jumping, games and showing. Something for everyone with a big furry four legged friend. All ages and sizes in there together, from those little people with little horses whose "aaah" factor was superb. Proud mums and dads had cameras clicking like twittering birds. The background sound effects to their little one's big efforts in the ring.
Big people with big horses were in there too. Same class, wide variety. Attention to detail was everything. Dress your best, scrub up well, make your trusty steed shine with your efforts in the hairdressing department.
Old faithful, trusty and true, you deserve your day out too.
While the tiniest of ponies and people caused hearts to patter and sighs to escape, the oldest contestants showed a grace all their own. Another world, another age, all brought together on a sunny Saturday in Scotland.
All sorts of crafts etc were demonstrated. Olden times visiting the land of cyberspace and modern technology.
A re-enactment group demonstrated iron age crafting in their beautifully set up tented village. So much attention to detail.
The Vikings had taken over our village and were welcomed with open arms, unlike their attempted visitations in past centuries.
These were definitely friendly invaders. Smiles and laughter their true weapons, not the swords and arrows they carried in such nonchalant style.
The children were thrilled when they showed them how to use swords and fire arrows. Luckily the swords for the kids were specially made in rubber, so even the most over-enthusiastic Viking couldn't do too much damage to his adversary with his blade.
Nice hat, huh?
Food was everywhere, from hog roast to burgers, pancakes to ice cream. Not forgetting the ladies of the WRI working their collective socks off to produce enough home baking for the tea tent.
Scottish tablet, so sweet. Handmade and ready in bundles for eager buyers.
Food, sunshine, entertainment and just sitting and watching the world go by.
People came from far and wide to this essentially small village event.
Charactature picture of Idgy, a souvenir a little different from the usual tat. Something worth having on her wall, a future memory.
He certainly captured her smile, I love it.
No Scottish event would be complete without the pipe band.
Pipes and drums, the sounds of tradition. Placing you firmly in Scotland, kilts and all.
Guess the weight of the turkey, and win the poor soul for Christmas.
Enter the spirit and join the tug o'war. Man, women and children all had their teams.
All contests fiercely fought. From art classes (go on, guess who this is, showing off her prizes) to bakery, flowers to jam. Would mrs Patterson win with her sponge cake, or would she be superseded by Mrs Bateman the younger (65) contender. All the excitement of village life.
But this is my favourite contest. The scarecrow class. All over the village people build these amazing scarecrows and compete for the prize. From Wallace and Gromit in a mini red plane, to Bird's Eye fishermen, Yoda to Clint Eastwood. Everything is there. As ever my idea for a Frankinfurter Scarecrow complete with fishnet stockings and lurid grin, was vetoed in planning stage as a tad too risque, maybe another time.
Another year, another Gala Day.