Quite a few months ago now, my non farming background husband decided that he would like to attend the Dowerin Field Day in the small wheatbelt town of Dowerin a couple of hours north east of Perth. He decided it would be a fun and exciting thing to do after hearing my father, a retired farmer speak about it and reading about it in the local newspaper. I shrugged my shoulders and was like, "what the hell for, do you plan on buying a great big boom spray, harvester or plough?"
Look I mock, but previous experience tells me that unless you have a passion for farming equipment that generally goes hand in hand with owning a farm - the Dowerin Field Day is not going to be a big highlight on your social calendar. I do have to point out that the last time I visited the Dowerin Field Day I was fifteen years old. I probably only went to hang out with my boyfriend, so we could pash in the backseat of his family's car... but that is another story!
In passing I mentioned to a friend, who also does not come from a farming background that I was thinking about going to the Dowerin Field Day. She got really excited and wished she could go too. I actually began to wonder what drugs these people were taking to make them so keen to attend a gargantuan show of machinery might, which held absolutely no relevance to their current lives whatsoever. Further along in the conversation my friend mentioned there was live music - yeah that’s great if you want to listen to some mediocre country music. "It'll be fun for your kids" - she hit the nail on the head... some things you don't do for your own benefit (quite a lot if you are a mum actually), but my two year old son, Sabin who is an obsessed transport devotee would LOVE it. I wasn't so sure about my daughter, Chynna - there wasn't going to be any of her favourite things, like dolls, sparkles or bubbles, but she had the day off anyway. And I can tell you now.... I astound myself with how wrong I can be!
On the morning of the said event, my father, my husband, my two kiddies and I got in the car and commenced our almost two hour journey to Dowerin. I was seated between the two kids car seats - booooo, because I had the smallest bum - as if that’s any consolation! The trip, surprisingly was pleasant enough. There was no crying, no stopping and not much whinging. But there were plenty of green pastures interspersed with the most gorgeous yellow canola crops of all time. They were just a sight delight against a clear blue sky. We also spotted many baa’s, some moo's and a lot of brum brums.
Finally we arrived and were directed to park in a huge paddock, already chock-a-block full of utes and cars. By this stage, none of us minded the walk to the gate... we had two hours of being couped up in the car. I had a feeling my dad was pleased to be getting back to his roots and was secretly singing "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" on the inside. I also think he was excited to be taking his youngest grandson to see trucks and lots of them! The sky was blue and the air was fresh, so I really didn't have much to complain about.
We made it in the gate and I seriously thought my son's head was going to spin right off - trucks, tractors, bikes, ride on lawn mowers and BIG STUFF everywhere! It is such a massive show that we didn't really know where to start. Funnily enough, but rather astutely, we decided on the toilets by the gates! Our second stop and the first of many where we lifted the kids onto the machinery, was some old tractors and old bulldozers. My dad used to have a bulldozer and it probably the most entertaining piece of machinery he had when I was growing up.
After lunch we headed towards the Ram Pavilion. It's kind of embarrassing to admit but I was totally enamoured by the rams. What on earth for, I hear you lament. Rams on my farm weren't an animal you could get up close and personal with, but these rams were shed housed, convivial and fully prepared to engage in a bit of heavy patting. I was smitten as you can tell by the photos! I was also the passive (well almost) recipient of some Farmer Wants A Wife hoopla. I just smiled over the farmers shoulder at my husband who refused to enter the shed. The bubble quickly burst when I was flanked by my eager daughter. Mr husband smirked and shook his head - I bet he sent her to spoil my fun. We almost left with a Maremma sheepdog. I wasn't sure whose sheep it would guard, but I guess guarding my chooks or kids (for that matter) wouldn't have been out of the question.
Last but not least... well actually it was least, we entered the Lifestyle Tent. We were all knackered, so browsing all the aisles was just out of the question. We did sample some local gourmet food and wine and were suitably impressed. If there is a next time... my plan would be to start in the Lifestyle Tent.
On the way out, we had one more stop at the animal circusy/farm bus. Chynna got her fill of animal patting in for the day and Sabin just followed his sister’s lead.
A great time was had... and I will eat my earlier words and recommend it as a fun family outing for all and sundry. Definitely do some research and planning though. Thanks Dowerin!