Anyone who happened to be lurking outside the kitchen window at the back of Dixon Towers last Friday night would have been (a) trespassing and (b) mystified.
For what would the putative lurker have made of the sight of the householder, on his knees with one of those strap-on torches on his head, peering through the murky glass door of the oven (cleaned by Mrs D only four short weeks ago), and conducting a close inspection of the interior?
Enough riddles – the answer is obvious. Having rashly decided to enter the scone-baking competition at the Weston Village Flower Show the following day, and having never baked a scone his life, the bloke with the torch was doing a trial bake.
And it wasn't going well.
Mrs D had gathered together her vegetable crop ready for the next day's competition, and was standing by with helpful advice. "Read the recipe twice before you start," she said.
No time for that, we're on a deadline.
"Ten minutes to make, ten minutes to bake," she said, recalling the wisdom of a long-retired Domestic Science mistress."Knead it gently," she said. But how can you when it's thrashing around on the worktop like a disgruntled moray eel?
We eventually counted the first batch in, counted them out, and decided they were "All right".
|Scones. Or Scowns. Or Sconns. In a tea towel. Last Friday|
Saturday dawned, and with it a second round of scone-baking, even more stressful than the first. You know how scones are supposed to be flat on top? Well these went in flat all right, but came out slanting.
We displayed our produce in the village hall that morning, and stood by for the results.
Mrs D swept the board with her veggies, and is now the proud holder of the Nelson Wiltshire Memorial Trophy (the gardener's equivalent of the World Cup). Not unsurprisingly, the scones came nowhere.
There was some consolation. Yours truly won the guess-the-name-of-the-teddy competition. He's called Merlin. He's brown and fluffy. And he's a lot more cuddly than a scone.