Yes, in the middle of next week the Appleby Horse Fair begins, so at the moment scores of travelling folk are making their way through our Dales with their heavy footed horses, their gypsy caravans, being followed by their posh four x fours and their luxury 'modern' caravans.
Many people hate it and many villages have fenced off their village greens (there are some large ones in our villages) to try to keep them off. There is, of course, a new law now about fly grazing horses - but it doesn't seem to have any effect.
Our local Auction Mart field always welcomes two families - they are there now with their horses, their trailers, the cattle wagon for the transporting of the spare horses, their gypsy caravans. I must say that when they move on they always leave everything as they found it. (not the case always)
The tradition of Royal Oak Day (yesterday's blog) may have died out but not that of the Horse Fair, where horses are raced up and down the streets, washed and groomed in the local river and traded at the big auctions that take place throughout the week.
Not unlike the Harley Davidson Festival we encountered in Lincoln last weekend, this is an event that means a lot to a lot of people, who meet up only once a year and catch up on the gossip. I have always wanted to go - but not now - too much walking.
I imagine there will be plenty of horse manure for the local gardeners who are willing to go out with a bucket and shovel. The farmer saw folk shovelling horse manure up on the London streets after the Queen's state opening of parliament - should be more than that - so plenty of good veggies to be had this year on Appleby Market!
I shall try Googling the horse fair to see what I can find out. If you are interested you could do worse than try the same.