“Just four faults there for Tabitha Smythe-Tompkinson on Dancing Moonbeam III in 58 seconds. Well done Tabby.”

Ah the familiar cut glass vowels voice of the announcer over the crackling tannoy floating on the breeze to tell the townie he’s approaching a country show.

Yes in the next few hours he will see more Hunter welly, Barbour jacket, and farmhouse chutney stalls then he can throw a shooting stick at.

Pungent smells of the, ahem, country will assault his nostrils, primary coloured (mainly mustards and reds) men’s trousers will blind his eyes and a general sense of ruddy well-being will contrast with his urban pallor.

Back in the parade ring immaculate horses are cajoled over fences in the name of sport while elsewhere huge disgruntled pigs are kept in line by their handlers with the aid of bent stick and what looks like a tea tray as bowler hatter judges take a mysterious interest in their udders (or are they teats?).

Yes the South of England show is here again and over a ludicrously expensive plastic glass of Pimms (top tip: get them to remove half the ice before they put the drink in) poured from a vulgar tap I am taking in the once-a-year scenes of rural life.

It is the time of year when the other half of British life impinges on the urban dweller’s consciousness with its talk of yields, subsidies and the costs of stabling aforementioned Moonbeam.

Men stare lovingly at bits of machinery designed to cut, chop and cube while you pause to marvel that, at a time of rampant global capitalism, these fellows and their colleagues still produce more than 70 per cent of Britain’s food.

I’ve never really understood the countryside. Partly this is my fault but also its. Growing up in semi-rural Kent we were forever being chased off land by angry farmers and much of the Garden of England could only be glimpsed through high fences and privet hedges. Dogs barked at any incursion and public footpath signs were scarce.

In later years I’ve embraced our green and pleasant land a little. Hell I’ve even become what rural dwellers probable snort at: an urban stockholder.

I exaggerate a tad for I actually have a couple of chickens at the bottom of the guardian.

It started a few years back when a friend persuaded me to take in three hens rescued from a battery farm by a welfare charity.

They were pitiful when they arrived, shorn of almost all their feathers and emaciated. They’ll take months to recover, said my friend.

Two weeks later in full plumage(?) they had broken out of their poorly made pen turned the garden into a post nuclear wasteland with their talons(?) and were a disconcerting presence, staring sideways (as they must) at me through the glass of the kitchen door as the house and garden became theirs. Oh but the fresh eggs.

Eventually I tearily waved goodbye to my “girls” as they went to a bigger home and started to reseed the lawn.

Now I have two gentler bantams, totally stupid but loveable.

That is why you might have seen me last Friday spending time in the poultry tent, arms behind my back nodding sagely in conversation with thickset breeders. Looking almost like I belonged.

The Argus:

When did England become so angry? Open a newspaper, turn on the TV, listen to radio and there we are with incoherent rage seemingly unable to analyse why we are so. Depressing ignorance abounds.

Europe has become the lightning rod for this disgruntlement but to be honest we could be voting on the price of fish and I doubt we would be any different.

The Prime Minister brought on this turmoil in an attempt to save his own skin. History will not judge him kindly for it.

If we were to put up a mirror to ourselves right now it would not be a pretty sight.