National Ploughing Championships: Ten things you need to enjoy the festival

National Ploughing Championships: Ten things you need to enjoy the festival

1. You really need to have an understanding wife:

Not every man is fortunate enough to be married to a wonderful woman who understands how important it is that you get to the ploughing in Carlow. Indeed, some partners might even suggest that you don’t need to go at all!

So make sure before you get married that your betrothed has a deep understanding of your calling to the sod.

2. You’ll need wellingtons:

I don’t care what the forecasters predict. Take your wellingtons with you to ensure you won’t be crying after the day is over and your swede shoes are anything but blue.

3. You’ll need to be on good terms with your neighbours:

At last year’s ploughing, an estimated 240,000 people were in attendance, but despite all this, the very first person I bumped into when I touched down was my neighbour. Fortunately, we are on the greatest of terms. Anyhow, this is a common occurrence. So beware before the gates open, that you might be 200 miles from home but it’s your neighbour you’ll be crossing tracks with within five minutes.

4. You need no knowledge of ploughing:

To ensure your absolute enjoyment of the ploughing, it’s best that you know very little about ploughing. Obviously, having an understanding of what exactly is being done to the ground is no harm. But beyond that, I would advise you to spend your day examining sods for style and shape, about as much as I would advise you to spend the day picking your nose. Leave the ploughing to the experts.

5. You need to remember you have children with you:

A bit like Charlie Bucket at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, it can be easy for the senses to become overpowered on the big day. So remember, if you are holding a small hand at the start of the day, you should really be holding a small hand at the end of the day.

6. You need to remember where you parked the car:

Every car park surrounding the ploughing field will has some symbol, name, colour code, or logo attached to it. So unless you want to drop a trail of breadcrumbs, remember the patch where your old wreck is parked.

7. You need to remember that you have no money:

A bad year on the land can be quickly forgotten after one good day at the ploughing. If that shiny new tractor, or four wheel drive jeep has you weak at the knees, run for cover my friend. Bring a bank statement with you to Fenagh and pull it out whenever you need reminding of how bad things actually are.

8. You need patience:

You may need patience before you arrive (travel chaos can be the devil), patience when going home, patience when queuing to go to the toilet. Patience when queuing for a tasty burger. But remember all good things come to people who wait, so have patience, and that burger, parking space and portaloo will be yours, all in good time.

9. You need to enjoy yourself:

There is no point in going to the ploughing only to have a long face on you. The only length should be on the straight furrow. Keep the long face for the day you visit your accountant at the end of October.

The ploughing, if nothing else, is a day to let the hair down. And if you have no hair, will then, it’s a day to pretend you have.

10. You need to not read lists of things to do before going to the ploughing:

This class of exercise is a waste of time and paper. It’s only a lame exercise in shoddy journalism. And any man involved in either writing or reading such tripe should ask themselves ‘Is there anything better I could be doing?

More on this topic

Ireland's favourite prayer has been revealed at Ploughing ChampionshipsIreland's favourite prayer has been revealed at Ploughing Championships

Micheál Martin rules out suggestion of grand coalition with Fine GaelMicheál Martin rules out suggestion of grand coalition with Fine Gael

Ice-cream stalls and 13-year-old sheep shearing commentator star on day two of the PloughingIce-cream stalls and 13-year-old sheep shearing commentator star on day two of the Ploughing

Eurostat  says Ireland Southern NUTS2 region  No 1 in Europe for cattleEurostat says Ireland Southern NUTS2 region No 1 in Europe for cattle