Packing the car we realised we had overdone it. Three large suitcases and all the stuff for the bird fair just didn’t fit. So two cases were returned to the house and part of each, our clothes and scarves to sell, we decanted into one.
The predominant feature of the journey to Dover was a constant stream of roadworks, but, despite this and including the M20 being shut around Maidstone, we arrived in time to get an earlier ferry than we had booked. No sooner had we arrived than we were off. The ferry looked like a refugee boat with people sleeping wherever they could find a flat surface, mostly the floor, but a few early and lucky people found padded benches upon which they could spread out.
Arriving on the continent we faced a long drive to the Netherlands. On this journey Elis's job was to keep me awake. As we left Dunkerque docks she fell asleep, and, despite stirring several times when I stopped to stretch my legs, she awoke in earnest as we arrived at our destination in Flevoland several hours later. We checked into our digs and it was then that we realised the carefully repacked suitcase replete with a good quantity of our clothes and a goodly proportion of our stock was languishing on our bed at home!
|The A6 in Flevoland after a shower.|
Never daunted we proceeded to the show ground, a procedure which was more complicated than it should have been due to some highly questionable directions for the hotel staff. It was raining and the wind was getting up. We found our pitch for the weekend; a stall with the cover still rolled up on the table, in the open air no cosy marquee for the hardy Dutch. Clearly we could not leave our goods there overnight, so we placed the cover over the top of the stall in the hope that it would keep it dry overnight and went back to the hotel and to sleep; perchance to dream.
The first day of the fair was punctuated with short sharp showers with thunder mixed in but it did not seem to dampen the spirit of the visitors and we had a great day.
|Early morning on our way to the fair.|
One of the highlights was meeting Anne Keijser who came to the stand having tweeted us yesterday telling us she would do so to make a donation for the Hooded Plovers. This she did and it was very generous too speeding us inexorably towards our target.
|Anne Keijser at the stand presenting her generous donation for the Hooded Plovers holding her Hoody Pin.|
Whilst not as big as the British Bird Fair, the spirit is much the same and we had many interesting conversations on a variety of topics, mostly about waders of course.
|A part of the fair; our stand on the right.|
|The stand looks a bit bare with half the stuff missing!|