What a scorching weekend for selling dog beds!!! Last year the Country Landowners Association’s yearly game fair was cancelled due to the wet summer. With constant rain and fields bogged down, the Association decided that it would simply be too much to try and get everyone in to the show grounds, where lorries and vans would get stuck. We have been to wet and muddy game fairs before and it is not fun! There is nothing more disheartening than to be towed in to your stand on a Friday afternoon and set the stand up in a wet field with the wind trying to rip the tent apart before you get started. When you then finally open your stand to the wellie-wearing public, it doesn’t take long before everything is caked in mud. Yes, we sell waterproof dog beds and we should be pleased with that, but the products just don’t look the same after 100 wellington boots have brushed passed them, depositing glistening mud.
So this year we were praying for great weather and sun shine and we got it. It was from one end of the spectrum to the other with temperatures reaching 32.5 degrees. Already on the Thursday night as we arrived, the ground looked like a dessert with dry, dead grass and big cracks in the surface as it dried out. We had set off from Scotland at 4am and driven all the way down in the heat. With Van and trailer loaded to the gunnels with dog beds, it is not a relaxed drive as you are forced to mingle with the articulated lorries on the M6. As we got to the stand, the temperatures were near 30 and we set up in some sort of slow motion fashion. Finally, with everything up and out, it was time to have a drink and go to bed.
The first day will go down in history as the scorching day at CLA. Everyone was dragging themselves round in the heat and needless to say business was slow and the entries seemed to be very much down. It seemed like “there was nobody there” as many people commented. Too many people had brought their dogs, but it doesn’t matter how many Luxury Dog Beds you can offer them, the poor pooches were struggling with the heat.
Saturday seemed better and I must say it was delightful to get out that morning and see a lovely overcast sky. It did heat up slightly, but nothing like Friday. Sunday was the same, but with the whole country in a heat wave, there seemed to be very little interest in going to fairs.
Never mind, we made it home to Scotland with the remaining, unsold dog beds and we are now looking forward to Chatsworth and The Midland Game Fair.