The weather forecast for the last meeting of the year was not favourable and was preceded by a week of what seemed like constant rain at home in Somerset. In fact, it seemed like it was constant because it was. I fell asleep listening to the rain and woke up to the sound of it every morning.
A last check of the forecast at 5 am on the morning of the meeting showed a pattern of light rain moving into heavy rain right up to 4 pm along with significant wind. Great! Ideal conditions for a meeting :-S
We set off in darkness and pouring rain and while it eventually got lighter, the rain kept up. Passing Stonehenge I noted that it was the first time I had seen it without visitors, even at that time in the morning. The question I had in my mind from the time I got up was "Why are we doing this?" Still, we were obliged to go even though I had doubts about whether anyone else would turn up. We knew that we were going to be short-handed with a couple of key committee members unable to attend but we did have promises of help from some of our wonderful members.
So, we got to the field and it was still raining. I had misgivings about the gazebo handling the wind but our Chairman, Graham Daw, soon had it lashed down I think everyone setting up wondered if anyone would turn up and if they did would we end up cancelling the meeting part way through. But then people and dogs started arriving! There was a fine array of water proofs on display but everyone's spirits started to lift despite the rain and of course our wonderful hounds were undaunted by the conditions.
Somewhere along the line we had to face the reality of the situation though. Although we have a large umbrella to shelter the judges and scoresheets in wet weather, the winds were too strong to allow for it's use. The decision was made to call off the days competition and effectively just do trials and "fun runs" for as long as we could keep the equipment running and there were hounds wanting to run. As it was the last meeting of the season, we had a lunch time buffet featuring Kate Bent's gorgeous cakes and a fine array of other finger foods all laid out in the gazebo.
So, the heavens poured, the hounds ran, the humans ate, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Part way through packing away, the rain stopped and the sun came out!
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