The day after the village show and all the massive marrows and oversized onions have been cast on the compost heap. Prizewinning cakes have been consumed, but someone was left with a bitter taste in their mouth.

I was pretty pleased that my raspberries snuck a second prize, beaten by four prime plums in the ‘any other fruit than apples’ class. I mean, you can’t compare raspberries with plums, can you? Raspberries are infinitely better, definitely worthy of gold. But I was happy with second and my 75p winnings, which I made up to £1 and bought tombola tickets which landed me a bottle of beer, so I was quids in and had a celebratory drink too.

Most of the plots down on the allotments had been stripped bare of anything show-worthy, but according to one plotholder who bent Noel’s ear as he was digging up our show-stopping weeds, we locals never stood a chance.

‘Poly-bloody-tunnels,’ she said, grasping a bunch of her spurned gladioli (‘stems too curved’, commented the judge. Harsh, I thought).

‘Poly-bloody-tunnels, that’s how they grow their giant tomatoes. They come down from that there Eccleshill with their pom pom chrysanthemums and massive leeks and they’re all grown in poly-bloody-tunnels. It’s not right,’ she protested.

Noel carried on with his weeding, probably the longest he’s ever weeded, but every cloud, eh?

‘The Committee,’ she spat out the upper case C, ‘The Committee won’t let us have them, you know. We’ve no chance against the Eccleshill poly-bloody-tunnels, they win all the prizes, there’s nowt left for us, it’s not fair’ Apart from the ‘anything but apples’ class, I thought, now feeling rather proud with my second place.

Maybe for next year I’ll build a poly-bloody-tunnel in the garden, that’ll show ’em.

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