Yes really. One of the best things about moving out of the city is that there are all kinds of interesting village events taking place nearby. I took the train to Cardross on Saturday with Lola Polooza to have a look at the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute show. It was a pretty amazing display of local crafts and cookery skills, with everything from cross stitch and painting to cakes and preserves, flower arranging and poetry being judged. Sadly the 24 hour gap between judging and viewing meant a lot of the food wasn’t exactly looking its best! It was still fun to look at all the entries and decide if we agreed with the judges picks.
We were mostly interested in the handcrafts and there were some really impressive pieces, especially in the tapestry, embroidery and blackwork sections (which I was too interested in to think of taking photos!). There was an astounding 77 prize categories though including some for kids and groups. I especially liked the Commonwealth group challenge with eight pieces of work representing Commonwealth countries, which had to include a savoury, a sweet, a preserve, a sewn item, a knitted item, an embroidered item and 2 more! There was also a recipe challenge, where all entrants had to use the same recipe – very interesting to see how different they all were. Obviously, the whole concept of housewifery is very old-fashioned and sexist, but anything that gets people making things and learning new skills has to be good, especially with so many group and beginner categories so everyone gets a chance. The SWRI also do a lot more around the community year round, not just competitive baking!
As befits any local church hall event, there were also teas being served and everything on my plate was amazing. Luckily, they were also selling the brownies outside – 2 enormous ones for 70p! Plus I won two prizes in the tombola on a £1 ticket so a bargain day out all round. We didn’t hang about in Cardross after but I’m sure I’ll be back for a wander when the weather’s nicer, and I will definitely be at the next SWRI show!