Over the past 18 months of off-and-on lockdowns, who can honestly say they haven’t dreamed about shopping? I don’t mean nipping down the shops for milk, bread, cigarettes and emergency chocolate or sitting hunched over a keyboard. I mean real shopping. Shopping for stuff that sets the pulse racing and wilts the credit card. The type of shopping they call ‘retail therapy’. A new shotgun, a new 4x4, new tweeds, new handmade shoes or perhaps that helicopter you’ve been promising yourself.
Well, after a stuttering start, the Government is allowing us out once again to indulge in the our favourite pastime without fear of being arrested. And what better way to celebrate than visiting the Game Fair at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire on 23 to 25 July.
As I write, shows are still cancelling in some parts of the UK, but the country’s biggest country sports event has received its ‘good to go’ certificate and is all set to welcome exhibitors and the buying public alike. There will be many questions spinning around the minds of ticket holders. Can we shake hands or is the ghastly elbow bump here to stay? Can I pay for tiny purchases with a credit card? That’s easy to answer: there are no tiny purchases at the Game Fair — everything is reassuringly expensive.
According to the organisers, tickets are selling like rolls of lockdown loo paper and they expect hordes of eager buyers to descend upon the showground on all three days. And for every buyer there will be at least a couple of equally eager sellers.
So, is it business as usual? Well, not quite. I did witness at first-hand the ‘champagne cork’ sales effect at a couple of the early shows where something of a buying frenzy erupted among buyers. Shoppers have saved up considerable sums during lockdown and seem determined to have a good time at shows, so expenditure was on the lavish side.
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