The Bashley Flower Show
There was not only a selection of tombola stalls, sandwiched between bric a brac tables groaning with the weight of jars of pickled onions and Miss Marples Videos (eleven for a fiver) but ALSO a Dog Show, and the Annual Fruit and Vegetable, and Craft Show.
An incredibly hot day, the variously sized and shaped dogs, panted and performed their tricks to a throbbing 'Bob The Builder' soundtrack, each dog handler and one huge French Poodle managing also to wear a bright yellow builders' hat throughout. Having seen two teams of dogs race over a series of low fences, eight children were then invited from the audience to challenge eight of the dogs in a race over the same low fences - I think the children just nudged it, but it was an extremely close call.
The Fruit and Vegetable Show in the Village Hall, with painstakingly arranged plates of prize winning beans, tomatoes, and onions - and curiously just one entry of carrots - was a far more sedate, though I am sure, no less fiercely contested affair. Next to each prize winning exhibit a white card proclaimed its 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Recommended position, sometimes with a judge's additional, handwritten comment - I coveted one of those gilded cards.
Meanwhile in the Craft Section a striking donkey made by a ten year old boy using pieces of scrap wood was awarded Best in Show, and there was a section devoted entirely to a display of small gardens made by children who had combined real plants with plastic toys and figures in small wooden boxes.
But I fear, this rural idyll was not as it seemd, for as they say 'Rules Is Rules' and one cake, which looked beautifully cooked, was disqualified, and the reason, because it measured seven, not the required eight inches in diameter, was proclaimed in red ink on one of the judge's cards.