We’re only here for the banties!

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IT’S showtime, folks. Yay! Not in a Las Vegas Elvis way, or should I say for any younger readers (do I actually have any?), not in a Las Vegas Britney way.

And if I have any even younger readers, who are saying: “Britney who?”, erm, in a 1D’s latest DVD way.

I realise I am probably writing for the pen and paper generation rather than the email generation; the readers of Q rather than Kerrang! (Why the exclamation mark? Anything which has an exclamation mark after it is proclaiming it’s youth and fun-ness. It is daring you to be crazee and implies that if you don’t enjoy the event/magazine/song with the exclamation mark after it that you are Officially Old and Past It).

The show I am looking forward to is the annual Peebles and District Poultry and Bantam Club Championship Show (no exclamation mark). This show doesn’t need an exclamation mark. As soon as the schedule appears in the mail bin there is great excitement at Shoogly Towers.

We love this show (or, as the One Direction generation would say, we heart this show) for many reasons. It well and truly signals the start of the hens laying again. The schedule usually arrives as the egg output is growing day by day. Good job really, as there are lots and lots of egg classes and if the hens weren’t starting to lay again I’d be reaching for the service revolver at the thought of all those entries we wouldn’t be able to enter.

There are more than 30 egg classes, for everything from teeny-weeny bantam eggs to big old chook eggs and kiddie-painted eggs.

We enter quite a few of these every year, and every year (including our first ever year) we have come back with prizes, including quite a few red cards. Now, if this was football, that would be a Bad Thing. But in this case, it is a Good Thing. These first-place cards are treasured at Shoogly Towers. It has enabled us to put (puffs with pride) the legend: ‘Award-winning eggs’ on our home-made eggbox labels.

Unlike showing a bird, which obviously involves a lot of hard work preparing it for the scrupulous judging process, showing eggs involves choosing the matching colours, shapes and sizes to make a plate of one, three or six, depending on the class, making sure they are nice and clean, and placing them carefully on a paper plate with shavings on. Done.

No crates and crates of birds cluttering up the back of the car. With egg entries, you can enter loads of classes with just a few egg-boxes needed.

And once you’ve put them on the designated plates, you can retire to the canteen to drink tea and scoff bacon rolls. Heaven. The lovely ladies in the canteen do rolls, soup and home-made scones and cakes. Worth the trip alone.

If you’re into your chooks or are thinking about getting some, this is a fab place to come. Because it is a championship show for lots of breeds, you will see all sizes,shapes and types of chook on display, plus ducks, geese and turkeys. And there’s a sale of really top-notch stock during the afternoon.

There are lots of friendly folk on hand to offer advice, so pop along after judging to have a good mooch and pick their brains about the various breeds.

See you there. I’ll be the one with 10 egg boxes, wearing a manky fleece and clutching a bacon roll.

The show is on Sunday, February 27, at the Community Centre, Walkershaugh, Peebles.

More information at www.peeblespoultryclub.co.uk