Oh my goodness what a weekend!! If anyone says to me that they had a busy weekend and they weren’t doing what I was doing, well let’s just say they don’t know what a busy weekend is. So let’s start at the best place, the beginning. Friday 20th March: 6am up bright and early to leave by 6.30am. Now the shortest way to get to Ally Pally from my house is to go north, but that takes you straight through London. It’s just under 30 miles away. However, I’m not going to drive through London, so sane person would. So the only other way, is to get on the M25 at junction 10 and drive all the way round and finally get off the M25 at junction 24!! God that road is boring!! Once off, then it’s through Cockfosters to Ally Pally. Doing this more than doubles the miles you have to drive, but is quicker. Yes I know it sounds weird, but it’s the truth. So after 65 miles I arrived. The show wasn’t opening until 11am, so everyone was busy setting up and doing all sorts of wonderful things to their stalls. I put both my show cards up, one on “Sean’s Shed” stand and the other one in the Family Zone. For the next 3 days I would be flitting back and forth between each of these places doing readings and meeting people and chatting.
At “Sean’s Shed” there were a few of us Gardening YouTubers, myself, Aaron, Vivi, Geoff, and Sean from the Horticultural Channel, Rob (winner of this years Big Allotment Challenge) and several others. When we all arrived we greeted each other as though we were old friends. It was so wonderful. There were loads of schools visiting on the Friday and it was lovely to see loads of new budding gardeners eager to learn. I met loads of people who watch my You Tube page and we chatted and swapped hints and tips. I read to some children and they really enjoyed “Lottie and Dottie Sow Carrots”. I signed and sold some copies which was great.
Then at 3pm they all left and the show then went very quiet. We finished at 7pm, and after my long drive home I walked through the door at 9pm, exhausted. The following was definitely needed: wine, dinner, bath, wine and bed! Saturday 21st March: I was up at 5.30am, and left the house at 6am. The show was starting at 9am and I wanted to get to the show with plenty of time to spare. I arrived just after 7.30am and hardly anyone was about. Not even the security guard!! The ladies loo was locked so I had to sneak into the mens (I used a cubicle just incase you’re wondering). The show was much busier today and I did 3 readings. I sold lots more books and chatted with so many people. The show finished at 5pm and on the drive home along the M25 the overhead signs slowed us down to 50 mph and said “Animals in road, slow down”. This did make me chuckle as usually it’s “Congestion”. I’m not sure what animal I was expecting, a horse possibly, but we didn’t see anything. I think they just put that sign up to make sure we were still paying attention. I arrived home at 7pm with fish and chips and wine. I sat on the sofa with it, watching Jake Gyllenhaal in “The Day After Tomorrow”. Yes I know I’m married, and very happily, but phwahh!! Mark and the kids had spent the day up at the NEC in Birmingham for Comic con. Mark was on stage for part of it because “Robot Overlords” is out 27th March!! I picked them up from the station at 8.30pm and when we got home, I finally got to open my cards and presents as it was my birthday and then we all went to bed. I’ve had some odd birthdays in my time, but this one was the weirdest one ever!! Sunday 22nd March: The last day of the show. I was up at 6am, and out the door at 6.30am, so a little later than the day before. When we all arrived at the show we wondered at what point in the day would we start to go hyperactive. I was reckoning on about 2pm, but not it happened about 11am! You just start to get a bit silly, I think it was the lack of sleep. I’m used to 9-10 hours a night, and when you’re only getting about 7 hours you start to loose it. I did 3 more readings and signed loads of books, in fact more than the Friday and Saturday combined.
When we had a few spare minutes we went for a quick wander around the show to see what was going on. There was loads to see from various animals, bees, things that wiggled, garden tools and machinery, but I was straight for the chickens. The British Hen Welfare Trust were there, which is the same place where we go our 6 ex batts from. They also had little baby chicks which were only 5 days old. I had to hold one, and lucky it didn’t crap in my hand.
Mark and the kids came to the show in the afternoon and George loved holding the chicks and anything else that anyone would let him hold. They’re old enough to go wandering round on their own, so they can have lots of fun to. The show ended at 5pm and then it was time to clear away. I’d spoken to 2 chaps who were selling Wood Blocx. They’d come all the way down from Scotland and would not be taking any of their bits back with them as they flew. So they very kindly let me have one of their wooden beds. It’s fairly small, but will be perfect for a salad bed by the back door. I got it for FREE and some FREE plants as well!! If I’d have had to buy the bed it would have cost me £115. Bargain!! Thank you Henry I really appreciate it. I’ll make a video when I put it together. It looks very simple to do, and I’ve got the instructions. If I can put together an IKEA wardrobe, then I can do this. We arrived home at just before 8pm, ordered some Chinese food, ate and went to bed exhausted!! Now that was a busy weekend. If you want to see more photos from the show, you can view them HERE.