As the air crisps up in all its Autumn glory, as the easter eggs roll down the aisles of the local supermarket, Sydney gears up for the annual agricultural celebration, “The Sydney Royal Easter Show”.

Yesterday was the first day of this BIG event. Us city slickers crammed onto buses and trains to see how the other half of Australia lives. First to the fruit and vege displays. Onions, tomatoes, seeds, oversized pumpkins were all creatively grouped in various scenes, fiercely competing for best in show. I loved the cartoon one with the man stuck under the tractor, the snake about to pounce on an unsuspecting chick and the pig rolling around in the mud – all with goggly eyes! Very entertaining.

Off to the dog show and the up-close animals for the little ones to feed. Greedy sheep merged their way into the face of my four year old who defiantly held her hand up in the air waiting for the sheep to give in so she could give it to the little goat kid. Cos they’re cuter right?

Much pushing and shoving and holding up hands later we emerged from the baby animal petting place, washed our hands, downed a milk or two and headed to the rides!

Oh Easter Show, we love you but could you please not charge $4 per person to go down the giant slide? Talk about greedy sheep, who was the bright spark who thought of these ridiculous prices? Imagine the disappointment on tiny faces who can see all the rides but the poor, poor parents can only afford 2 or so rides. And one of the $5 rides ended up being a disaster as my four year old realised, halfway through, that the ride was far from fun and actually quite scary. After the drama, however, we shook ourselves off and headed for our last port of call.

Ah yes, the show bag arena, the pinnacle of the day. As we staggered with sore toes and jelly legs to the ends of the earth (massive room 4), the call of bags full of crappy toys and sugar rushes urged us on. On hands and knees we crawled through the crowds, straining to find an appropriate bag for girls and boys on budget. First you are struck in the face with the premium bags $22 for a Tinkerbell or My Little Pony numbers. Reeeeediccuuullouuus. Keep moving kids, there’s bound to be cheapies further in!

And there were, though you had to weave through the afternoon crowds to find the one. When the kids were bouncingly happy we started the final walk back through the crowds past the scary statue that came alive, through the gates and out towards our bus. By this time my four year old had lost the plot, demanding to be carried (didn’t want to go in the stroller for some reason) and on refusal of this proceeded to whinge and whine. Well, what is the show without a tantrum?

The sun descended over a crowd of tired bodies, full of sugar, memories, excitement and contentment. Bonds had been strengthened between cousins, fears overcome and animals fattened. The crowds were doable, the sun shone and ultimately everyone came out relatively unscathed! A successful day all round.

(Animal cruelty or innocent entertainment?)