Sunday, 5 September 2010

It's Showtime In The Hills

It's Showtime!

No not a Broadway spectacular, just the local village show. Don't underestimate it as the competition is fierce, particularly in the cake making category. There seems to be murmurs of discontent over this year's winner. the bone of contention is whether icing sugar is permitted to be dusted over the Victoria sponge, or not. The judge is always caught in the unenviable crossfire and subsequent mutterings.

"I make the best scones and cakes in the world," said the village's oldest inhabitant. "The only thing is that the judges don't realise it." A Highly Commended was a disappointing result.

The tent displaying the local home grown produce never fails to disappoint. The leeks are humongous. The cabbages were the size of medicine balls. And if there were people who still doubted climate change, they only had to look at the proliferation of chilis, peppers and garlics. Eagle eyed passers by were pretending to admire the vegetables, but in reality were seeing who had won what, who had beaten them and their finest produce and whether there had been any funny business or inconsistent judging. It was intense under the smiles.

The elderly belly dancers were at their very best. They seemed to be gyrating at a more productive and faster rate. No doubt aided by the swarm of midges which lurked around them all day. The midges in this village are world famous. When they bite they really bite, sending grown men into gibbering wrecks. The midges' Scottish cousins are no match at all and seem barely out of nursery school by comparison.

The beer in the pub flowed freely. Too freely. In fact it ran out. The chairs and tables were taken by people holding victorious dogs on leads with different coloured rosettes attached to their collars. The owners looked knackered having walked their pure breds around the dog show arena and were recuperating with a pint of whatever.

The dogs, however were tetchy and itching to take part in Dog Show 2 or as Harry Hill would have described it:

"But what's best? There's only one way to find out............FIGHT!

The owners held on tightly to their leads, ignoring the growling, snarling and flashing of teeth, as they calmly swatted at aggressive wasps with their other hand, which were intent on a dip into their beer. Occasionally there would be a yell which drowned the noise of the dogs as someone was stung.

The auction of produce at the end of the show is always well attended. The bidding is fiercer than that you see on Bargain Hunt. They will go to any lengths to get that prize marrow. I, of course, misbehave. I try to up the bidding as the proceeds go back to the show which is run by a core of selfless, hard working volunteers. But this year I was collared by one of the wives just before the auction started:

"Last year my husband had to pay £6 for a pork pie," she said looking a little nervous. "I hope he won't do that this year."

Fortunately the pork pies were taken home by their makers and not included in the auction. I did however manage to get someone to pay nearly £3 for some turnips.

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