Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The Village Gardening Show

Last Saturday saw the annual gardening show in our village in Somerset. Despite the title, the show is not just for gardeners but is also open to crafters, painters, bakers etc.  I really wanted to be a part of the show this year as it had been mentioned that due to a lack of interest, if more people did not come forward to enter in future, there would no longer be a show.  I think it's very sad when these old wholesome traditions go by the wayside, I suspect largely because of apathy, so I entered some of my preserves.  I didn't think I'd have much of a chance against all those dear old ladies who've been churning out jams and chutneys for donkey's years.

There were some wonderful entries: onions nearly as big as a football; dainty knitted throws and baby cardigans; fruit scones aplenty; divine looking squidgy choccy cakes; beautiful blooms; even this amazing creation made from a real goose egg...

Having safely deposited my preserves at 9am, we set off for the farmers' market in Bridport. The weather was truly awful but we still enjoyed ourselves before hotfooting it back for the results of the judging later on in the afternoon.


Well, not too bad, I won second prize for three of my entries: my marmalade (seville orange with whiskey); jam (summer fruits - remember all those blackcurrants?); and chutney (green tomato- I had many green tomatoes after my tomatoes last year succumbed to a deadly disease and so had to be harvested before they were red). No joy with the lemon curd but I had thought it was a bit too runny so I'll just have to do better next year (what a chore it shall be having to eat lots of lemon curd in the bid for perfection in the coming year)!  Horribly competitive girl that I am, I was a bit disappointed at first but in the end, I was grateful even to have been placed.  It was my first try, after all!

Now I have some nice decorations for our cottage wall...

The good news is that a lot more people had come forward to take part this year, keeping this staple of the village community alive and well.

Talking of village traditions, last week also brought the fabulous news that the campaign to keep open the village post office had been successful!  The post office has been reprieved and there was a very jolly air amongst the villagers.  Bunting adorning the exterior of the village shop was called for.

I seem to have been coming across camper vans in attractive settings of late!  First, there was the blue camper van when we went cherry picking (see my previous post) and this weekend, there was this gorgeous split-screen number parked in the village high street.

On a completely different note, I wanted to share with you my collection of hens which are in residence on the kitchen window sill at our cottage. I've always had an irrational love of these egg houses and have collected a few over the years. Last Thursday, I was so chuffed to find the amber glass one in a local charity shop for a mere £3.50.  

I'm sure I have a mini sized royal blue glass one somewhere in the attic in a box from a previous house move.  I must search it out.   Please let me know if you find any more henhouses out there that I don't have...

My other half was also a happy bunny this weekend when he arrived to find his birthday present had finally been delivered.  You may remember, he is a big steam railway enthusiast so for his birthday in June, I bought him this bench.

The metal end posts are originals from the Great Western Railway, somewhere between 70-100+ years old.  A gentleman from Sheffield (in his '80's) puts these original posts together with new wood planks perfectly shaped and sanded and painted in traditional GWR chocolate and cream colours. It'll be very handy to perch on whilst taking off boots after a long country walk.   It's also the perfect spot for some late afternoon sunbathing!  When my Gertrude Jekyll English rose gets going against the cottage wall, it should hopefully prove a wonderfully fragrant resting spot...

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