Saturday, March 13, 2010

In the shadow of an enigma

VP and Helen (Patient Gardener) have been very busy organising a bloggers' meet up at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show from 6th - 9th May (see this link for more details).

I'm a Malvern girl born and bred, although now living away from the area, so the Three Counties showground has a lot of happy memories for me.

We have photos (though sadly not scanned in) of my brother and I (aged around 2) sat in fire engines, in huge tractors, and all manner of vehicles at the Three Counties Show - a major part of the summer when I was young. We used to be given a day off school to visit. Sadly, as I got older, instead of using this day off to go to an agricultural show, my friends and I would go shopping in Worcester instead. But still I kept the link with the Three Counties showground - I used to go to Pony Club camp there, and riding club shows.

It's the 25th anniversary of the Spring Gardening Show in 2010, and I'm afraid that, at the age of 14 when the show started, shopping trips to Worcester were of more interest to me than gardening shows, but my mum and dad started going from quite early on, and I joined them once the inherited gardening gene kicked in. Sadly, mum is no longer with us to enjoy the floral spectacle of the show, but dad and I go every year.

Last year was the first year I blogged about it, (this link to May 2009 has several posts about last year's show) and looking at the show with an eye to blogging made it even more of an experience. Of course there are the flowers, the gardens, and the celebrities. There are also craft stalls and garden equipment stalls. I'd like to bet that the lady selling pots at the entrance nearest to Malvern has been there since nearly the beginning of the history of the show. It must be the coldest, most windswept site on the showground (and it can get very cold there), so stop off to say hello to her.

If you've ever seen Gardener's World when they report from the Malvern Show, you'll know that it is obligatory for the opening shot to start on the Malvern Hills and gradually pull out to reveal that the showground is beneath the hills. I suppose, being from Malvern, I'm guilty of being rather blasé about the hills, and the great view from the showground. Unless it's raining, in which case it looks like someone has stolen the top off the hills. The title of this post refers to the showground's position beneath the hills. One theory behind the enigmas referred to in Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations is that they relate to the Malvern Hills. Whatever their inspiration, Elgar loved to walk on the Hills. As did my family - the photo below was taken on 1st January 2000.

It's an exciting year, this year, with bloggers coming from all over, including from as far away as Tennessee, which is absolutely amazing. And with Joe, Cleve and James giving us a live Three Men Went to Mow show, this year looks to be the best yet. I'm terrified of meeting all these wonderful people in 'real life', as I'm a shy and retiring type, but what an opportunity to meet a group of people who have such a love of gardening and whose friendliness shines through in their blogs. So, what's your excuse for not going?


VP said...

A wonderful post HM - thank you :)

I assure you that I don't bite - much ;)

I remember being quite nervous about my first blog meet ups too, but now I wouldn't have missed them for the world.

I hope you'll feel the same way after Malvern as I'm looking forward to meeting you very much!

Lucy Corrander said...

A lovely and warming post.


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Yes, another one here with a mixture of trepidation and excitement about meeting so many bloggers. I reckon as long as no one insists on karaoke I should be fine!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You'll be fine. I was also very nervous when I went to the 1st Spring Fling in Austin. I hadn't met anyone, and I'm also shy. But once you start talking about plants & gardens, all shyness is forgotten & you all get on like a house on fire. I wish I could be there too.

Anonymous said...

A lovely and heartfelt post about your home, Happy. I remember reading your posts about Malvern last year, it was one of the reasons we decided to come on over! Funny thing about meeting other bloggers for the first time, every single one claims to be quite shy, but as soon as they meet and see that everyone is nice and friendly, it is non stop talking like long lost friends, the best experience you could imagine. Shared obsessions of gardening and blogging make for plenty to talk about. We can't wait to meet you all. I am so very sorry about the loss of your mother too.

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

It is nice to go back to good memories and lovely for you to see and meet new and old friends.
Happy gardening. T.

Ms B said...

Your show memories made me think of years attending the Cumberland Show as a child, getting up at the crack of dawn to pick wild flowers for one of my entries......

As for the feeling a bit anxious about the meet-up, I'd say 'Be afraid, be very afraid'!

EB said...

So, so much after my own heart. I lived was at school in and then partly lived in Malvern from 1988 for 1996. I know the hills very well from walking two generations of dogs there, and the show-ground too. I wasn't into gardening then either! Lovely to see your picture from Worcester Beacon.

Helen/patientgardener said...

Fab post
Dont worry about meeting other bloggers you will find that its liking meeting someone you have known for years.

Anna said...

A lovely post about your home town HM which always strikes me and himself as a truly magical spot. Looking forward to meeting you in May :)

HappyMouffetard said...

VP - likewise;
Lucy - thank you;
Elizabeth - karaoke?! Now I'll be worring about that!
MMD - yes, a shared love of gardening will really help;
Frances - thank you. What a wonderful thing you and Gail are doing! Us Brit bloggers are really looking forward to meeting you.
Titania - thank you;
MsB - you're not helping the nerves ;-)
EB - glad to bring back some good memories for you;
Helen - I'm sure it will, thank you.
Anna - thanks - I'm looking forward to meeting you too.

Thank you all for your comments. Despite the nerves, I'm really looking forward to meeting you all!