So, having given myself the permission to freak out most of Sunday evening, I got my act together by 9am Monday and took my seven entries to the village hall.
What a palaver!
The whole adventure began with an email out to the village folk about a month ago; I immediately signed on.
I’ve been watching and waiting and planning for about three weeks prior. I had hoped for a mixed flower arrangement from the garden, and a bowl of roses for show, but there the English weather didn’t cooperate. Two weeks ago there were still about 10 beautiful roses and I’ve been watching them with hope, but last week a gale whipped up and they all either got blown to smithereens or bloomed out. This week a few new buds started…wouldn’t you know it?
The English weather did it’s best to cooperate with the wildflowers though and some were still blooming at the end of August.
You would have laughed to see this crazy, welly-wearing girl running thru the meadow inspecting and dead-heading the weeds. Yup, that was me.
And that was me talking the seed geraniums into blooming and moving them from sunspot to sunspot all day long.
And that was me gathering blackberries, a few handfuls at a time as they ripened, and freezing them till I had enough for a batch of jam.
And that was me balancing on top of the ladder trying to get the best looking cooking apples from the top of the tree, failing to reach them, and dropping them to the ground where they would bruise and go brown in seconds. I just needed three perfect ones to show! That was me shaking that tree muttering, “Come-on-tree-give-em-up!”
And that was me trying to stand on a rickety old chair to get six ripe Victoria plums.
And that was me baking the apple/pineapple/ginger pie and the leek/bacon/three cheese flan last minute.
So Monday morning all that was left was to run thru the field collecting all the wildflowers and arrange them skillfully and gather the rest of my entries and drive to the village.
Got to the village at 9:15 am for the 9:30 judging and the children helping out gave me the #7 stickers to stick on my seven entries.
The hall looked amazing with loads of people contributing to the show and soon the tables were laden with baked/preserved/grown/arranged and displayed goods.
And we were all ushered out for the judging.
And then we all came back.
First things first, I had a strong cup of tea and went to look at the results.
My friend Julie from the great Moments of Perfect Clarity lovingly said: well done! You’re practically English now.” on my Facebook, and it’s true, I’ve always thought that. Had a British dad, grew up at times in London and been part of this community for 10 odd years. But some people still treat me as…you know…the opposite of English. As in either you are or you’re not one of us. I had an older woman, who I probably shouldn’t identify, ask, “are you one of the Germans moved into the village?” Huh? And another woman I know well, and have met in other social situations over the years, dismiss me as not worth talking to.
I read my friend Celi brilliant post about being a foreigner in her own town because of her accent and I think…yeah, I get that.
Yesterday I was walking thru the fields with R discussing this situation and I remembered a little girl I knew when I was 8 or 9 yrs old. I kept asking her to come play and she finally said to me, “I don’t have to like everyone you know.”
But thank goodness I have so many lovely old friends in this village, many of whom I’m so proud to know and with whom I celebrated this country show. And also many new friends who I already adore and hope to get to know better.
And so life goes on in twists and turns. Yesterday I did well in some of the classes and won a beautiful bronze Phalaenopsis orchid, today I changed the broken head gasket in the Astra. (But that’s a post for tomorrow.)
Tonight I’m in bed looking at the almost full moon silvering moonlight thru my window and I’m thinking I’m a lucky girl.