Saturday, 15 July 2017

Lake District Live 2017

As with the same show last year, I travelled down to the Lakes with my friend (and new owner of Magpie Models) Heather, though this time we had an extra travelling companion in Magda, who I'd seen last a few weeks prior at the RHS. She didn't currently have any Julips, but we assured her from personal experience that she'd manage to acquire at least one in the spares. :P

The journey was good, save for that one time the sat-nav directed us around the world's smallest roundabout! (which was literally a clump of grass in a very narrow country lane!) We were staying somewhere different from our usual room at the George Washington pub, this time we'd be at the Arnside Independent Hostel  overlooking the estuarine Morecambe Bay.

We arrived in good time; so good in fact that we were far too early to book in, so we went for a wander instead.


It was a beautiful little village with lots of quirky features and buildings.




We had to make a minor detour when we came to a very steep path that led down to the estuary. It was really quite a significant gradient, and when covered in damp leaves, I really didn't trust my converses' grip! The alternative route took us past some nice houses and fields instead, then back round to the water so it was actually quite a nice walk of about a mile and a half.




 After the extra trek to avoid the big steep hill, guess what we ended up ascending on the way back! πŸ˜†

We were still too early to book in when we got back so we got back in the car and headed off for our usual post-show pub meal a day early at The Ship Inn. After some very good food, we finally returned to the hostel and booked in, where we were met by a selection of interesting signs. Clearly the owners have a good sense of humour!




Our room was modest but comfortable, with a view out over the estuary.


The trees blocked most of it, but it looked gorgeous at sunset.


I didn't sleep much at all that first night; the combination of a warm room, a different bed (with hugely insufficient pillows!) and well, snoring from the bunk above me, (πŸ˜…) kept me awake for most of the night.

As usual, Heather was up at the crack of dawn, and as I had by then lost all hope of getting some more sleep, so was I - something which doesn't happen often I can assure you!

Once we were all vaguely conscious, we headed off in search of breakfast. We hadn't booked anything at the hostel as we knew there were probably plenty of wee shops we could grab something from en route to the show hall. In the end it was probably just as well we were all up so early as we took far longer than expected to find food! We'd passed a nice little bakery in Arnside the day before but when we arrived at it that morning it was closed, with no opening times on the door or windows, just a selection of increasingly tempting looking pies and pastries devastatingly out of reach behind the glass. With a grumble we wandered down the road and grabbed some food from a little corner shop which was fine, but we couldn't help but glare at the bakery when we got back into the car as it had apparently just opened while we went elsewhere. πŸ™„


Arnside is a lovely little village right enough, and this part was particularly nice.


IMG_4299 long as you mind your footing that is!
I couldn't get enough of this little house we passed on the way back to the car - it was just so unusual! It must have been split into two homes, one called Overhill, the other Underhill - someone's a Lord of the Rings fan perhaps?



With breakfast and lunch sorted, off we went to the show hall. Despite taking longer to get there than we'd planned, we were still there before anyone else!


We opened our goody bags(!) and got our tables set up as the rest of the gang began to trickle in. There's an almost instinctive migration to Laura's table when the spares start to emerge, which pretty swiftly descends into a feeding frenzy, so it's always best to be there early so you can get first dibs, or can at least make grabby hands towards everything!



The animals tend to linger longer than the horses do, but some people were still taking them off the display before all of them were even out yet! I really liked this little cat, but I'd already taken my fill of pets by then so I reluctantly put her back.


Ever since Julip started producing chickens, I've been trying my best to get some from the spares page but they always vanish so quickly it's impossible to nab one. I could order some up but I like being able to pick from a selection instead of choosing something in advance. I knew I probably wouldn't get such a good choice online afterwards so I made sure I grabbed a couple...which became three...then six. (so they would have an equal number of friends. XD)


 At one point Laura took me aside to thank me for fixing the forum when everything pretty much went belly up the other day after photobucket blocked half the banners and things. It wasn't hugely difficult to fix, just annoying, but she insisted I pick something off the remaining pets table as a thank you. It was totally unnecessary of course, but greatly appreciated, so I picked out a pheasant, as I've somehow never managed to acquire one since they came out! πŸ’“
I don't have any photos of him yet so I'll post about him later.

On the horse front, this gorgeous dark dapple grey Family Horse caught my eye instantly and I was even more pleased to have grabbed her when Laura said she thought of me as she was painting her - obviously it was just meant to be! I'll introduce her properly on here once she's been groomed. XD


As we predicted, Magda bought a horse and a cat...though I'm sure the usual Julip-people peer pressure probably helped. πŸ˜‹ I didn't get a proper photo but he was a gorgeous and very striking black overo Mustang!

As ever, everyone else's tables were far neater than mine, though in fairness I did have a lot of diorama-y bits...

and look, I had a LIST, I was being ORGANISED πŸ‘







This was actually taken later in the day but I'm going to stick it here anyway XD


First up were the Mould classes.

'New Horses' aka moulds which are still in production today.


As she only had one horse, Magda became the official photographer! (which explains why I didn't take as many shots as I usually do!)


This was one of the morning's spares and if I hadn't already nabbed my grey I'd have been really tempted!



Same horse, without and with flash - check out those dapples! πŸ’“

'Old Ponies' (aka vintages)


'Altered Moulds'



I was super chuffed when my own Talisen took first place in the Altered Moulds class...


...then went on to be the overall Moulds Champion!


Next up was the colour classes. I always love these as there's such a wonderful variety of  painting styles across the years, and as this division isn't separated into modern and vintage Julips, you can see some really nice old style shading mixed with the new stuff.







...Other (includes roans)



I adore this shade of roan on vintage horses!

'Spots and Stripes'


The first and second from each class went onto the Colour Championship - my Rosa and Magda's newbie took first and second in the pinto class!


One of the special orders Heather collected from Laura at the show was this gorgeous, almost glowing chestnut CJP and I think she'd have quite happily snuck into one of my boxes had I the chance to grab her! She took the Colour Championship!


This beautiful fleabitten grey Arab Stallion took the reserve and I'd have quite liked him in my herd too to be honest...


Mysteriously, the next class 'Customised' was forgotten about before lunch, until Elli and I both wondered why it had been skipped, so it was hastily added to the 'Fun' division afterwards. XD

Lunchtime went by quickly, with the usual sales table (I resisted!) and the raffle. (I didn't)

You've gotta love own brand knockoffs. XD
Amongst the very generously donated prizes was a limited edition Magpie Arab courtesy of Heather, some handmade tack, a whole host of Unicorn themed bits and bobs and a couple of Julip animals, including a rather handsome black and white cockerel. I put most of my tickets in for him and the rest on the Magpie, who ultimately went to Jan. Laura had made some comment about how much she wanted the cockerel too, as despite being the maker of all things Julip, she doesn't always get to keep them! In the end, it was my number that was called out and I did feel very slightly guilty when I went up to collect my prize! πŸ˜… He'll have a good home here though, I promise, and if he starts being a pest to the rest of the hens I'll know who to pass him on to!
Magda landed lucky and got pretty much everything she put a ticket in for, including the big pile of unicorn themed things!

With lunch over, it was time for the Fun division.

First up was the previously forgotten about Customised class. XD






Fred here got third



Next up was the ridden classes which I completely neglected to photograph along with the pairs, so instead, here's the 'Families' class.


 The tacked up ponies in the foreground were actually from the 'Best Dressed' class.


Congas now!

My Family Horse herd is growing steadily...



...but I'm still in the minority!


The ranks of Stacey's Dartmoor Army grow almost exponentially!



The rules of the Conga class are fairly relaxed, so it can be multiples of the same mould, same colour, breed or indeed, tack! XD


This would have been a brilliant photo showing the evolution of the Julip Welsh Pony moulds over time, had I actually photographed it when the modern one was actually included. XD


The animal classes are always really hard to judge!


However, this graduation present of a pupper won the dog class easily.






After the pets came my favourite division of all, the Scenes!

Each class had its own theme open to interpretation and this year they were especially brilliant.

1) Fundraising Julips – How do your Julips fundraise for their favourite charities?

Stacey and Nicky as ever went all out for their entry, showing a popup horsey car boot sale, complete with a whole host of items for sale!








Heather had obviously thought along the same lines with her 'garage sale' for charity, starring cheeky ponies and what looked like half the Playmobil spares catalogue!







I never did find out who's entry this was but I loved it, especially the tiny packet of teabags on the shelf and the rather conspicuous pile of poo! πŸ˜†




I however, had other ideas. While everyone else seems to have been thinking along the lines of sales and sponsorship, for some reason, the first thing that popped into my head when I read 'How do your Julips fundraise for their favourite charities?' was a nude calendar.

I'm not entirely sure what that says about my subconscious mind but there you go.

I had way too much fun posing my Heidi Ott doll (the only doll I had with decent abs) and customising some of my Julip riders (which I needn't have bothered with in the end as I covered them up too much and one's newly applied boobs actually fell off) then doing a spot of photoshopping to headswap my more famous staff members onto them. XD


I think David's living in a perpetual state of regret at this point.



I wanted to go for that kind of 'Calendar Girls' style, with conveniently placed buckets and riding hats to retain a modicum of dignity, but I'm not quite sure how well it worked. XD



Next up...

2) Special occasions – For this scene, please show us your Julips celebrating a special occasion.

Unfortunately there was only one entry to this one, but it was still a great scene!

I don't think the dog's supposed to be dead btw


I think everyone had great fun with the next class...

3) Something scary – What are your Julips scared of?

From terrifying skips...



IMG_4395 tractors...




...and flapping newspapers...


...Julips can be startled by anything!

I put my own spin on it with two entries, the first, a rather literal interpretation of the 'horse eating monster in the hedge' excuse for a spook...




I cobbled everything together at the last minute, from the papier mache and wire tree I've had in my WIP pile for years, part of one of my old college projects and I even roped in my old Gloamglozer as a helpful extra!

My second entry was a little more abstract, as after all, what's scarier than vet bills?


The final class (4) Competition time – Any show or event scene.) only had a couple of entries and due to the harsh lighting was too hard to photograph properly, but I had Rory and Digby doing a spot of showjumping. I meant to have him actually jumping one of fences but I forgot on the day!


The other two entries were great - I didn't get anything of the dressage scene sadly but the Polo setup was brilliant!



Finally the votes were totted up and I was super pleased to see my entry got first in his class as well as Reserve Scene Champion!


Unsurprisingly the wonderful boot sale scene took Scene and then Overall Show Champion!


Heather's new CJP clinched the Reserve as well.


As per tradition, after the show we were all going to head off to the pub for a meal and a good long chat, but as we had about an hour (?) until when the meal was booked for, the three of us headed off elsewhere as we'd spied an interesting looking junk shop in Arnside that morning and there was always the possibility of a box of vintage Julips appearing. Unfortunately we all thought another of our group had told everyone else in the hall where we were going, so I later found a facebook message from Stacey asking where we were as 'we seem to have lost you' πŸ˜†




After confirming the lack of vintages in the shop, we somehow managed to get lost en route to the restaurant, despite it being literally only a couple of miles away from the show hall.


 We thought we ought to keep the water on our left...then it literally ran out so we turned round very confused - it turned out to be an inlet and not the actual estuary...πŸ˜…
It then turned out that poor Richard and Laura had followed a car around for a while thinking it was us, only it wasn't, so we were all as bad as each other!

 Somehow it wouldn't be a Lake District show without a bit of scenic route taking! πŸ˜‚

We weren't able to book our usual place so we went elsewhere and I have to say, I was very impressed! I had the most gorgeous goat's cheese tartlet thing, and it was just so nice to get all of us round one table instead of split up into small groups like we usually are. It's so lovely to just sit and chat outwith the show, where there's no pressure or rushing about to plonk a pony on the table, and I think a good time was had by all. 


We had some bonus Julip time on the way home the next day, as Heather wanted to call in to see Anita, another collector, who had just sold her a model, and as we'd be passing her on the way up, it seemed like the logical thing to do rather than faff about with postage. After standing awkwardly in front of her house for a couple of minutes until we worked out it was the right one, we were ushered inside to meet the ponies and her very excitable and gorgeous little dog! We didn't have long, as Magda needed to catch a bus at the other end, but we pored over her enviable collection of vintages, and left with a couple of unexpected extras - a repair job for Heather (courtesy of the aforementioned excitable dog!) and an utterly gorgeous old TB for me to rehair!

All in all, some minor car sickness and nearly missed buses aside, it was a very uneventful trip back north, and the weekend was over far too soon - bring on next year! :D :D 

Here's my two big winners of the day, Talisen and Roscoe!



It wasn't until I put them next to each other like this that I realised they were both the same mould - Talisen has added feathering and a dropped head though.

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