Sunday, 21 August 2016


Parish life in Swanvale Halt is simply a medley of extemporanea at the moment. Among these events is the Village Show, which I can't remember whether I've ever shared with you. It is the Saturday in the middle of August when the church is taken over by marrows, dahlias and tomatoes so red and shiny they represent virtually the Platonic Ideal of a tomato. Lots of people come in and look admiringly at them and we serve them tea and cake. It's called 'community building'.

Entries in the Show were down by about a third this year, for which there may have been several reasons, ranging from the weather, both generally (not a good growing year) and specifically (a deluge in the morning which possibly kept exhibitors away), to a lapse in publicity. In the kitchen the tea team muttered about young people not having time to grow things, and covering front gardens with paving. I'm not sure this is the case. Many of the winning exhibitors were relatively youthful. 'Best In Show', in fact, went to a young woman for a brace of glossy aubergines which, the judges opined, were awfully hard to grow.

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