As I was browsing the merino and possum blend socks, I could hear someone wolf whistling.
Meh. Not for me. There was quite a crowd.
But the whistler was persistent. He repeated his call several times before giving up.
“Nope. She’s not going to look up.” That was a familiar voice.
“Oh, hey Baz!” I smiled. He grinned back. He was suddenly coy and with all that entailed. “I’m not a dog, you know. I don’t respond to a whistle.”
It was always going to be a danger of going to Fieldays. Really big show. Lots of event staff and contractors. Most event companies in the upper North Island have an involvement. I was always bound to see people I know from my past lives. There are many I’d have been less pleased to see than Baz.
I think he had a crush on me ever since (8 years ago) I found out he was a closet Kiss fan and then snuck a Kiss keyring into his stuff. That or, you know, being female and having boobs. Perhaps I’m giving my actions too much credit. In any case, he asked the same question he always asks (whether Rob and I are still together), and I had to point out the ring and all the grey hair. He’s a nice guy though. Harmless.
We shot the breeze for a couple minutes and then gave our goodbyes. One of those passing little interactions that fill all our lives. He was at work and I was just shopping for socks.
Really that’s what Fieldays is all about: shopping. It’s a chance to look at five different competing products on the same day and talk to the sales reps and ask all the questions you need to ask before spending thousands. It’s a time-saver, and massively helpful for isolated farmers.
I bought a new rain coat (half-price) and some reusable cable ties (event people are never without gaffer tape and cable ties). I bought a regrettably heavy pack of kelp fertiliser (which I had to lug around for literally miles). I bought two kid slink skins for making gloves (if you don’t wish to acknowledge that baby goats die sometimes, it’s best not to ask). After my old steel-caps gave up while planting out during the rainstorm last week – with the soles disintegrating and filling my socks with wet clay – I bought some new leather work boots which were on clearance because they were so ridiculously tiny (Euro 38 or men’s size 4). They had 2-for-1 on clearance, so I actually bought two pairs. And a shed. I bought a shed.
I didn’t buy a water tank or a septic tank, but mostly that’s because all of those companies are running their special prices until at least the end of next week and I wanted some thinking-time. I trekked all over the show, talking to all of the various tank companies in attendance. I found several different options for septic systems, all very similar in price. In summary, it’s told me is that we’re likely to need more money and we need to get an exact picture of the soil and drainage quality of our site.
After getting up at 6am, fighting the traffic, fighting the crowds, talking to lots of people, dragging my heavy purchases around all day, my phone congratulated me for hitting a new record for daily steps. And my back was killing me. The crowds just migrated from show to roads, so it took over 3 hours to drive home – roughly twice as long as it would typically take, even after stopping for dinner to allow the traffic to ease a bit.
And when I arrived back home (after 9pm), I found that my husband had parked on the driveway, forcing me to park on the road and have to lug my suitcase and purchases just that little bit further. It’s a small thing, but he’s done that a lot lately when he knows I’ll be bringing home a bunch of stuff. So my greeting to him wasn’t as warm as it should have been. I was in quite a bit of pain, and I would have appreciated a little more consideration.
Again: just one of those tiny interactions that fill our lives. One that carries more weight that the last one though. I know that if I say anything he’ll just get all upset and defensive and start an argument, so it’s best to stay quiet and a bit huffy and hope that one day he notices that it sucks to have to carry things a little bit further than is necessary. And that he already knew I had things to carry.
But then, he was considerate enough to make sure I had a warm blanket when I fell asleep on the couch. And to put the Living Channel on TV so that I have nice dreams. He knows me so well.
Ah, marriage. It’s a balancing act.