I spent a couple of days helping Mum setup her new raised bed (well, I say help – she ordered and I shovelled shit mostly), and met several of the other plot-holders. Most were lovely, nearly everyone had advice – and everyone wanted to know what was being planted… which is where the rivalry cropped up (pun, excuse me): The need to boast on previous year’s successes, but not wanting to let on what they’re planting this year. It seems it’s a big secret to some, what will be planted, with their carefully raked over plots and empty canes all staked, ready to go.
I’m not a huge gardener, but I would have thought their crops would be recognisable once they start sprouting? Aren’t courgettes quite distinctive? Or runner beans… or tomatoes? Maybe that’s the point though, by then it’s too late for competitors to grow their own versions.
I know the village frequently wins an English Village award for the flowers that are planted outside every house, on the green, around the pond, in the formal ‘welcome to’ bed… just about everywhere there’s space. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the allotment owners are equally proud of their veggies. The characters from the plot absolutely had me in stitches though. One old guy was so overbearing and obnoxious he actually had me crying with laughter as he directed my efforts, and I had to pretend I had something in my eye.
Seriously, the comedy gold around this microcosm would write itself! I am already involved in one comedy as a co-writer, but I’m still not sure my comic abilities are up to scratch to attempt this myself. Verbatim, taking the interactions from the weekend, the 2-D characters and their overt-Britishness werefar too ‘scripted’ to be believable. How mad is that?