Thursday, September 02, 2010

When vegetables go get weird

So that’s it then. No more bank holidays between now and Christmas. A three-and-a-half-month desert of work, weekend, work, weekend, work…

Meanwhile, of course, the clouds have parted, the wind has dropped, the sun is shining and it’s summer at last, just in time for the kids to go back to school.

You get the picture. We need something to cheer us up. Now and every weekend between until the festive season.

Well, we can start with the Weston Village Flower Show. It’s this Saturday, and it should provide enough fun and jollity to get us through the first week of the Long Hard Slog Through Autumn.

Wallace and Gromit fans will remember the climactic scene in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Rotten cad and all-round bounder Victor Quartermaine chases Wallace, who has been transmogrified into a gigantic and voracious rabbit, through the village fruit and vegetable show. Quartermaine has armed himself with an ancient blunderbuss, loaded it with golden bullets supplied by the vicar, and is out for bunny flesh.

Meanwhile, in the skies above the show another chase is going on. Gromit and his arch enemy, Quartermaine’s slavering hound Philip, are slugging it out in an aerial dogfight (geddit?) in planes untethered from a fairground ride.

It’s not spoiling the story too much, if you’re one of the few people who don’t know it already, to reveal that the good end happily, the bad unhappily.

Don’t imagine for a minute that anything quite as dramatic as that will be happening in Weston on Saturday. The show is a generally calm affair, with more than 100 classes for produce, crafts, cooking and art.

With one exception: the Humorous Vegetable competition.

Quite possibly this part of the show was inspired by Blackadder II. (Remember the turnip that looked like a thingy?) It may equally well have its historical roots in the odd-looking produce that were such a memorable feature of That’s Life.

Be that as it may, if you want to see contorted carrots and preposterous potatoes in abundance, Weston All Saints Centre is the place to be this Saturday afternoon.

Mrs D was going to enter her secret weapon: a tromboncino. For those who don’t know – and there’s no reason why you should –  a tromboncino is a monstrously mutated cousin of the courgette, with a curved body and a club-shaped blobby bit at the business end.

The specimen that Mrs D has nurtured lovingly from seed is now more than 120cm from nose to tail, and threw a system error when we tried to weight it on the electronic kitchen scales.

It also causes spontaneous and uncontrollable laughter in all who see it, and is quite rude into the bargain. We don’t really feel we can take it out of the house during daylight hours without causing a breach of the peace. So for now we’ll just stick with a comedy carrot.

Weston Village Flower Show, Saturday September 3, 2.30pm in the All Saints Centre, Weston High Street, Bath.

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