In a moment of what I can only assume to be temporary insanity earlier this summer I blithely agreed to act as a judge at the Horton in Craven Show last weekend. What was I thinking of?! I was required to judge the vegetable exhibits, and as I found out on Saturday I was volunteered by someone else who had been asked but declined the berth because he didn’t know enough about the subject. Well, you knew more than me Eric! As the dreaded day grew nearer I got more and more concerned. All I knew about vegetable judging was gleaned from old TV programmes, from which it seemed a most competitive environment, full of intrigue, skullduggery and intense inter-generational rivalry. What if I upset someone? What if, despite hours of internet research, I made a complete fool of myself and disqualified the prize specimen which should have won?
I needn’t have worried. Despite my inexperience, my obvious lack of confidence, my not having a tape measure or knife about my person and my anxieties about misinterpreting the rules, everyone involved was so nice, so pleasant and so helpful I actually ended up really enjoying the experience. Even finding out that eggs come under the auspices of flowers and vegetables for judging purposes failed to throw me. The sight of all those perfect eggs though, especially when Derek strted cracking them open, didn’t half make me hungry. To date I haven’t ended up face down in a ditch with a pitchfork in my back, so perhaps ‘Midsomer Murders’ do over dramatise things a little. Mind you, I do still have that curious itch between my shoulder blades!