Left home at midday Saturday under a heavy sky; luckily the rain failed to eventuate and I had a dry trip. There was a lot less traffic than I'd expected, being a long weekend and all; the only hold-up was at Morayfield, approximately 50km north of the city, where three lanes of traffic are funnelled into two lanes. We crept along at 20km/hr for a few kilometres, but I didn't mind. No stress, no hurry, no deadlines, and 2gb of music on my mp3 player - I was singing along and really not paying attention to the time the trip was taking.
As it was, I was in Gympie and lodged in my motel room by 3pm, not a bad trip at all. My roommate arrived shortly thereafter, and we sat talking until dinner time. Seafood basket at a local fish&chip shop - good food, excellent service, and the owner asked us to sign his guest book afterwards! That was kinda odd, but we did it.
Sunday was show day. I hadn't entered anything (a long way to go for a pie, anonpussynamer!) but had been invited to steward for one of the visiting judges, Harley De Vilbiss from Texas, USA. Some judges like to get the cats out and put them away themselves, which makes for a boring assignment if all you're doing is opening and closing cages, but Harley wanted me to get the cats out and put them back, so I got to handle a whole range of exhibits - all Group 2 exhibits in Ring Two, Group Three cats in Ring Two, and Domestics in Ring Three. In particular I loved the Siamese cat that Harley awarded Best Group Two cat - Sandrakat Rhea, a beautiful lilac point girl with a nature to die for.
I had trouble with the British, as they don't like to have their feet off the ground, and Harley kept handing the cats back mid-air, even though I'd specifically asked if I could take them off the table. One British actually spun around as I put him back and smacked the back of my hand seven or eight times, just to let me know he didn't appreciate the way I handled him - luckily the owner had abided by show rules and the cat's claws were trimmed. (Probably the only rules that the Bush Pig ever adheres to... *grin*)
Another time I put an Aby back then couldn't find the metal rod that slots through the loops on the front of the cage to do it up - I had to ask the ring clerk (Robbie W) to hold the cage shut for me while I tried to find what I'd done with the rod. Finally decided I'd have to just tie the cage shut with pipe cleaners; only then did I realise that the cage had been tied shut in the first place, which was why I couldn't find the metal rod. RW just shook his head at me!
All the Bests came out onto the stage at the end, and a Best In Group was awarded by a judge who hadn't seen those particular exhibits before eg Harley judged the Best Group One exhibit, as he'd only judged Groups 2 and 3 in their rings. It was exciting as there were THREE Birmans up for consideration - Jodalyn Sir Edmund, owned by my friend Saandy; Gramar Mandolin owned by my friend Nicole (and full sister, from a different litter, to my Hippie Chick) and the beautiful Bindura Embers, about whom I posted in May 2007. Her owner had come up from Canberra and was most excited to see her cat in contention for the finals.
However it wasn't to be, and Group One Best Exhibit went to Mshindi Jamarla, a cream and white Persian bred by Lauren Jones and owned by Tammy Rushton.
Group Two Best Exhibit went to a gorgeous little Siamese kitten, Karuss Hot Blooded, owned and bred by Karen Strickland and R Falvey.
Group Three Best Exhibit was a Blue British male kitten Ambritt Hidden Treasure, owned and bred by Julie and Aaron Maas.
Overall Supreme went to the Persian, and what a beautiful kitten it is, and quite a deserving winner!
Yesterday was the AGM, at which a few breakthroughs were made. APN, watch this space for some very interesting announcements once the minutes of the meeting are ratified!
I took my time getting ready this morning, and eventually rolled out of the motel at 8.30am. Had a good run back, getting home at 10.40. Listened to my Mighty Boosh audio CDs on the way home; they certainly made the time go faster too. One scary moment when a truck threw up a huge rock (or so it seemed to me - I ducked and swerved!) which resulted in a star in my windscreen. Will have to get that looked at before it costs me a replacement.
Next year's ACF National is to be held in Adelaide, and I'm thinking that I'd like to go. Better start saving my pennies now.