You have to be a little bit brave to enter our village horticultural show.
It's taken extremely seriously and is very well supported - there was disappointment that there had been a mere 200+ entries this year (in the wake of the abysmal summer and subsequent failure of even the most accomplished of local veg growers' crops) - a shadow of last year's 570 entries.
I chose this year (perhaps in anticipation of there being marginally less fierce competition than usual) to make my debut.
I didn't win. Anything.
And as for the leeks... just look at these leeks!
And these are grown in people's back yards, on their allotments, possibly in their greenhouses I suppose, but with no special facilities. I have, quite literally, no idea how you do that.
I was going to enter my onions - I have a fine crop of onions this year, at least - but I ran out of courage faced with this lot. As you can see, it's not all about size: presentation counts for a lot, and these guys are pros.
However, with a little emergency work with the elastic bands at the last minute I did manage to get my shallots into presentable condition - and scored the triumph I am most proud of: a third!
I did think I'd have a chance with my 'five sprigs of herb plants, all different' - but I messed up by trying to be clever. My herbs were - to my eye - much bigger, healthier and generally more impressive than the other entries, so I had really high hopes of a first in that one. But I had decided to put in two different types of mint (I am building up quite a collection and they're rudely healthy at the moment) - and that meant I was the dreaded 'NAS' (Not As Schedule) since they meant five different genera of herb plant. Bother.
And of course there were the fun classes and the kids' classes. The youngest was mighty chuffed to win a whole £2.50 for her friendship bracelet and handwriting entries (best not to mention the sock puppet). And oldest was doubly chuffed that her painting won a second prize against the grownups: she's too old these days to enter the children's classes.
Probably my favourite class in the whole thing, though, was class 111: an animal made from vegetables, in the 3-4 years age category. Don't you just love this little guy?