Monday, 8 June 2009

Put the flags out, it's fete time

My mother told me the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, the road to West Bay certainly is. We didn't make it last Friday night. Instead we were lured into our neighbour Mrs Bancroft's house with the cry: 'Coo-ee, fancy a glass of wine?' So we popped in and, an hour later, fell out again.

The draining board was full of her best china from earlier, after the 'girls' (average age 65) called in for tea, cake and salmon and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. This was a pre-fete meeting, where Mrs Bancroft butters up the ladies to prepare them for helping out with the teas. Each year, they dress appropriately according to the theme. This year it is children's fictional characters and she had an idea. But how would they take it? Hence all the grub.

'How about 101 Dalmatians?' she asked, dipping her toe into the water.

'Woof, woof,' they barked in unison. If they'd had puppy dog tails they would have wagged them.

So that's them fixed. The next day, the 'boys' (average age 55) were putting the flags out, ready for the big day next weekend. I was pleased that, for once, Mr Grigg listened to me and did not do his usual trick of going up a ladder in open-backed slippers and a load of bunting wrapped around his neck.

Yesterday, he rigged up a bucket on a string outside our window for Mr Sheepwash to put our paper in. We are just a few yards away from the village shop but Mr Grigg and I were too lazy to get up and, as Mr Sheepwash was passing anyway, it seemed like a good idea. We were still in bed by 9.30am, waiting, but there was no sign of Mr Sheepwash. I went to the window and tugged on the string. The bucket was empty.

So Mr Grigg put on his best Sir Alan Sugar voice as he rang Mr Sheepwash to tell him as a paperboy he was fired.

'I'd even put a tip in there for you,' Mr Grigg said, after hearing that Mr Sheepwash, eyes tired from the night before, had failed to see the bucket hanging out of our window.

However, it is probably just as well Mr Sheepwash did not see the bucket. As an Observer man, his reaction to Mr Grigg's request for the Torygraph would probably have been a rolled up copy of the Sunday Sport and a dog turd.

This week, in between work, we are trying to come up with an idea for the village scarecrow competition. It is being judged by Cerrie Burnell, a presenter from CBeebies, a friend of a Sheepwashlet, who is also opening the fete.

We usually do something peering out of the window, so we only have to do half a scarecrow. Last year, for the Olympic theme I did just a pair of legs sticking out, with a big bamboo cane attached and called it 'An Over-enthusiastic Pole Vaulter'. This year I have an even better idea. It'll be called 'Imaginary Friend' and be completely invisible.

That's about it
Love Maddie x


  1. Love the imaginary friend idea, that could come in handy for all sorts of things! The saga of the bucket made me laugh...

  2. The Ginsters pasty seems to have left a lasting impression on you both, but did Mr Grigg ever say whether it was hot or cold!

  3. Cait, I am really struggling with the scarecrow idea. I'll post some pictures of others' entries from previous years and you'll see how strong the competition is.
    Oh Reuben, oh Reuben, don't be so unkind, old Grigg's got a pasty stuck up his behind. I think it was a cold one but warm by the time he got it out.

  4. Well my interest was piqued by the teaser about paper boys - never for a moment thought you actually meant paper boys, as in newsboys.
    I love the idea of the bucket for the paper - if I could I'd rig a little wheeled thingy and leave it at the end of the drive and then just pull it up through the bedroom window on Saturday morning.
    Still trying to get my head around all the women of a certain age dressed in the 101 Dalmatians theme, but it's a bit much, even for a village as exciting as yours.

  5. Ha ha - yes you paint a wonderful picture of Mr Grigg up the ladder in his slippers fiddling around with bunting - that was a disaster best avoided I think! x

  6. Loved this post. You made me smile.

  7. This made me smile too. I don't know why but sometimes when I read the names, Mrs Bancroft, Mr.Sheepwash, I start to think of Wallace and Gromit!

  8. Pondside - sorry, that's what we call them over here. Did you think I meant boys made from paper? Now that would be bizarre, even in this village.
    MT - I was so pleased Mr G had sensible shoes on up that ladder. Although he did spend a lot of time eating toast and telling others what to do.
    Yolanda- glad you enjoyed it - please pop by again!
    Reasons 1,2,3 - so glad to bring a smile to your face. Fancy some cheese?


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