If I'm honest.........................
I am not a regular attender of this event which is now in its 25th year indeed today was only my second attendance! I find it quite claustrophobic, very warm and very tiring. However, my motive today was to visualise, handle and dream about new camera lenses! Having bought an e-ticket I found myself in the longest queue but was soon bounding towards the Canon stand. A very well endowed, delightful and very helpful young lady soon brought my attention back to my quest of camera lenses! I soon had a 500mm prime in my hands and was pleasantly surprised at its light weight! Next was a 300mm 2.8 - a remarkable lens! The prices of both lenses brought my dream half hour to an end, so I consoled myself by admiring two very nice endowments before picking up a booklet and heading to the Sigma stand! The 500mm lens and 300mm 2.8 retail a lot cheaper here but the male assistants were not as aesthetically pleasing! I now have a dilemma of which to go for - had I got £15000 to hand, I would have come away a very happy boy with a Canon 1D, 500mm prime, gimbal head and 2x extenders! Dreams on to my retirement pot!
Wandering around in a dream of new optics, representatives of the world tried to gain my attention. Those brave enough to engage me in conversation went away very puzzled! Why? My standard answer is, will I need a passport? Of course they say! Hmmmmmmm! Says I, it'll be two years before the government will consider issuing me another passport. Puzzled looks and why is that? You do not want to know, you really do not want to know! This usually sends them off to other (normal) punters!
It was very disturbing to hear over the tannoy, pleas for several dog owners to return to their cars as the dogs locked inside were in distress. Twats! They should have had their windows smashed and the incident reported to the RSPCA. Or alternatively, be forced to sit in the vehicles as the temperatures rise and see how the animals suffer.
I must say that the art marquee had some excellent work on show and ideas were gained for our small sales business.
I would like to attend the Rutland reserves more often, but access cannot be gained until 0900hrs. During the summer this means 4 - 5 hrs of lost birding. A special offer of a permit costing £25 and covering all Anglian Water reserves was available. However, I was still told that I could only access after 0900hrs due to "health and safety"! My reply of what happens after 5pm could not be answered!
Overall, I enjoyed spending three hours wondering the fair and achieved my objectives. Will I attend next year? Probably not!
I could've wandered to the hides but carrying equipment is not possible at the moment.