I didn't even know it was a thing!
In 2018 I took the NoBooksOnTour.com pop up stand to the annual Black Isle Show for the first time. The Black Isle Show is the largest agricultural show in the north of Scotland, and is in a very small town (village maybe) called Muir Of Ord, just 10 mins or so north of Inverness. Unless it's show day, and then it's a good hour north! It's an absolute fixture of the highland farming calendar, and very often the only day out of the Summer for families from all over the country, visiting the show to exhibit their vehicles and machinery, enter the flower show, shop with brands big and small, catch up with friends and family, go to the showies, watch monster trucks, and or, get pished haha It really is a superb show, and always has a brilliant atmosphere about it.
I was pleased to find it was a fairly easy set up for me. Some of my set ups are fucking nightmares. Honest, you wouldn't believe the assault courses that stallholders have usually completed to be able to stand in front of you, all fresh faced and looking like we just open a box and out exhibits pop out haha Anyway, this was a great venue. Giant metal shed with concrete floor. Bliss. I set up my stand as normal, and proceeded to chat to customers and visitors for the opening evening. Arrived early the next morning - very early actually, as I'd allowed an extra 30 minutes in case of traffic and the infamous queues to the showground. Met not another soul on the road and got there in record time. Typical - could have got a long lie until 6am and still made it in time :P
So I took the rare opportunity to grab 10 minutes away from my stall, and bought, and dropped, a bacon roll, and sat down with my third pint of tea of the morning thus far. There needs to be a disclaimer here. I don't eat meat. I'm pescatarian and have been my whole life - except from around 18 months where I got it in to my head to give meat a try. Did nothing for me and I found it tiresome trying to decide how and where to add meat to my meals, so I reverted to type. Just saying, in case I mention not eating meat in another blog, and you think HOLD UP, and scroll back to see this:
Wow, this is becoming a long #NoBooksBlog haha
So, yeah, back inside in time for show open on the Thursday. The main day. In fact, I wasn't alone in not even knowing it was on on the Wednesday night. EVERYONE knows the Black Isle Show is the first Thursday of August. Always has been, always will be. Apart from 2020 and 21, ken? haha
Great craic with fellow traders and show visitors, such a fun day. And somewhere around lunchtime a group of 3/4 of the show officials came to my very busy stall. Everyone's an official at these shows. Official this, that or the next thing. And it's nice they get a break to browse, in between events. So once the crowd round NoBooksOnTour.com moved on to neighbouring stalls, I had a natter with these folk, and they too moved on. I thought nothing of it.
Do you know, I'm second guessing myself now. Maybe it was the Wednesday that I saw them? Canna mind. Anyway. At some point, I had another 3 deep queue of customers (thank you) when I noticed there was someone trying to catch my attention at the back. Well, f*ck me sideways, they'd come to present me with a rosette for Best Craft Trade Stand of the year! Like WTaF!? I was completely STUNNED. I had no idea at all that that was even a thing! Not a scooby. I was pretty much lost for words at this point - when the lady handed me the award, I took it out of her hands thinking she needed me to hold it whilst she went in to her bag for something hahah didn't know I was being presented with it hahahah So yeah, the show officials weren't on a break in between judging, when they popped past for a browse, they were in the middle of judging...me hahahahahaha
So. That was nice.
A few weeks later, a letter popped through the door, my tickets for the presentation awards ceremony dinner. Guess what. I didn't even know that was a thing hahahhahahhahahahaha Are you sensing a theme here - I'm out there doing my thang, it never occurs to me that anyone is 'judging' hahahaha Unfortunately NoBooksOnTour.com was already booked to be in Newcastle the week of the awards dinner, so Mr No Books went to collect it on my behalf. A big fuck off silver plate, with NoBooksWereHarmed.co.uk etched to the list of winners over the years. A silver trophy!
I didn't even know it was a thing...
And so that's the tale of how i occasionally say "Award winning". Not often. In fact mainly just on applications for events that I think I might not get in to otherhaha. But yeah, it was an entirely unexpected surprise. Although I still think about that bacon roll from time to time.
of AWARD WINNING
NoBooksOnTour.com fame (can you see my tongue in my cheek from there? Yeah? Good!)