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Scottish Game Fair

Two days ago I went to the Scottish Game Fair not knowing what to expect. Something in the country, a couple of kilts, handful of haggis and the odd dram of whiskey (read Pimms). I'd been advised to dress country too - something I'm working on, because currently don't own any tweed... But I'd taken my boots and jacket - just in case of rain - and thoroughly enjoyed the sunny day!

There were a few highlights to the day... one was the sheep racing. The 'host' of this event was indeed Australian and VERY funny. With live commentary and rather naughty competitors it was a sight to behold. There were 6 sheep taking part, all different breeds. This was explained to us while the sheep were still in the van. It was also explained that some of them were first time competitors and that all of them would need some inspiration (in the form of sheep nuts) to compete.

Enter host / commentator. Gallantly shaking his bowl of sheep-nuts at the flock, who were eagerly nudging each other to get closer to the gate, with a sweeping motion he released the mechanism and the gate was opened... The sheep - in the only showing of any eagerness in the whole competition - left their pen, and headed immediately for the lawn. It was green, they were keen..

Another highlight was this:

These guys were hysterical - imagine going to a Scottish concert a couple of hundred years ago...

But for me, the highlight of the day was definitely the shooting... To warm up we had a round of archery. This was my first ever arching experience - and yes, Robin Hood did come to mind. Having flexed my bow arm and aligned my eye with the bull it was time to play with the air rifles.

Deciding to be brave I went for the competition target sheet. What I should probably explain right now is that I've shot an air rifle before. The last time was late August / early September last year... Before that I'd occasionally used my brothers. Mostly he had broken the gun for me and it was only at last years rather short shoot that my sister had shown me how to line up the sights properly.

So I had a few things to worry about here if I wasn't going to make myself look completely stupid. Firstly, could I break the gun and load it - preferably without injuring myself / bashing something. Secondly do I just wind the target sheet to the back? It looks like everyone else is... And thirdly, please let me actually shoot the sheet, not the back-board.

I remembered the breathing technique of exhale as you squeeze the trigger. Concentrate, there is no rush. Actually look at the target and line up the sight. And goodbye fear - who cares if you have a dislocated shoulder? Also stop shaking.

I had my practise shot - a confidence boosting affair - I actually got it in! Slowly I worked my way through the 5 targets that actually counted. I was having fun.

When the guy who'd dished out my pellets came over to check on me when I'd finished and commented that I should have my target sheet marked I was rather surprised. But rolling with it happily bounded over to the marker... I'd scored 41. That would be a medal winning 41. I was definitely having another go.

During Round 2 later in the day I won a second of these...


All the medal winners (the whole day) winning sheets were stuck up on the wall. Mine are on the bottom left and top right. Yes, two. Also I'm the only woman up there, although it would probably be an idea to mention that it was the first and quietest day of the fair!

For anyone thinking of going next year - you totally should!



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