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As I said, this time the problem was solved by good work from the show team, but it occurred to me that the practice of giving “not before” times, as I seem to remember one of the Birmingham Shows does, or did, would alleviate this frustration for the minor breeds. Had we had the instruction “not before 1 pm”, anyone waiting about would be doing it deliberately, and so long as the show does its calculations reasonably, there should be no difficulties for groups etc. You may say that people could work it out for themselves, but in the past we have done that unsuccessfully, always erring on the side of missing the class, which wouldn’t happen under the “not before” regime. One more thing that I should like to raise is the cost to the specialist judge of fulfilling the appointment. Reduced entry fees mean that Societies can’t even offer expenses to the single breed judge, so that it can be a real burden to the individual. Just as well that they insist appointments are 18 months apart! I hope that no potential candidates are put off by this aspect of judging. Maybe breed clubs could have some impact here.
At this point I should like to own up to a wicked thought. At the show, there were problems early on with the lights going out suddenly, and obviously unexpectedly. My long knowledge of Music Hall comedians kicked in, and I did wondered, as we were in Scotland, whether anyone had brought a shilling for the meter. I would like to state publicly that this mean thought has no justification in real life, all the Scots I have known have always gone out of their way to dispel this impression that they are “careful” with money.
You are always learning with dogs. Tilly, coming up to 12 years old, we know is an inveterate thief, but foolishly we still left a pair of kippers (uncooked), an acquired taste for humans, let alone dogs, just within reach if she really tried. You would like to think that the resultant sickness and diarrhoea would give her pause next time, but I have my doubts. Next weekend it is “Discover Dogs” at Earl’s Court. There are one or two of this year’s puppies going, so I think Acorn will stay at home….the last thing we need is a joyful reunion in front of a disbelieving public, absolute chaos!!