It seems ages ago since we had our annual charity clay shoot at the farm. Turns out it was 2 weeks ago, and I’m a tad behind writing it up so no wonder it feels like ages ago.
It’s now become an annual event as we’ve been doing it for a while. It’s a great social event as well as everyone getting chance to show their prowess (or not), a lot of chatting and some lovely food. Oh and not forgetting raising money for charity. We always split the fees between 2 local charities, always Katharine House Hospice (which is where my mum was incidentally), and the other varies between air ambulance or local hospital wards.
As with every event it takes some organising. I don’t tend to get very involved due to working, but the men spend time clearing the barns out, topping and rolling the field out back for car parking, putting up new fences and just generally making the farm look tidy.
The OH tends to get a bit stressed about it. If he asked me to get involved earlier then I could do him an amazing spreadsheet list with everything that needed doing, and then there wouldn’t be a last minute panic the day before asking me to go and get clipboards and pencils (on this occasion the pound shops failed as did Tescos, so I ended up having to panic buy in the only place I could get to at a ridiculous cost of £23 from Staples!). I’m sure he’s got a couple of my old clipboards floating around the office at the farm from previous years, so next year, I shall be getting him pinned down on what is needed so I can buy in advance online.
Usually we get around 70 people, this year we had 90 people shooting, while another 15 just came for food. My job is always to take the entry fees, and hand out the results cards, and tot up the scores at the end. There’s always lots of banter and winding each other up; some of the guys who come have known each other for years. It was nice this year to see more women shooting, mostly late teens/early 20s, as usually there might only be 1.
Needless to say I don’t have a go. For starters I had to vaguely keep an eye on N, and also the one time I had a go at clay shooting years ago, I had no idea where I was aiming for (should I be tracking the clay or just waiting for it to come into view?!!) so I didn’t hit a thing.
The food spread is put on by most of the family – cold meats, game pie, potatoes, salads, various cakes and drinks. It always goes down well, although because we had a lot more people than previously, I did worry that we’d not have enough food. There was nothing to worry about in the end, more kept appearing, and we even had a few leftovers the next day.
N had an absolute blast. All his cousins were over – the older ones had a go at shooting, but mostly they spent the time charging around the farm and playing. N loved having all the people around – some he sees quite often, while others haven’t met him, so there’s always people saying hello and asking about him. It doesn’t seem to both him, he’s happy just having random people talk to him, mostly because he just runs off or carries on what he’s doing.
The children had their food earlier so had plenty of play time, but N was a dustbin that evening. He’d had a piece of cake early on, then kept coming back for more. I caught him stealing a second piece of his Granny’s fruit cake, and then after his main meal, came back for chocolate brownie.
N was out and about until past 9pm, and didn’t want to go in to bed. He was having way too much fun.
The prizes were awarded for top scorers, and while we headed back to our house, the others stayed out chatting for a few hours longer.
We raised a few thousand for charity, so as well as being fun, it was a great success. It’s so nice that it’s an annual event and that we get to catch up with so many friends…well, the male half anyway.
Do you get involved with local charities? Have you ever tried clay shooting?