I had just finished writing a rather ‘steamy’ chapter in my novel Twelve Days and the Thatcher and was reading over what I had written, when the landline rang! It was a local number which I foolishly answered without thinking. I soon regretted it because it was Meryl Watson – editor and chief of the Vertonbridge Parish Mag! Without too much preamble Meryl asked me to do a write up of the local Scarecrow Competition (a double page spread – no less) because she was going ‘in’ to have her varicose veins ‘done’ and would therefore be laid up for a while. She thought I might be up to the job – what with me being a journalist (in the past) and a writer – oh the honour and joy….must update my CV with this one.
So the Vertonbridge Valley Gazette (local newspaper, not the parish mag, keep up) organises the Annual scarecrow competition which encompasses all the villages in the ‘valley’. The paper likes to promote it heavily and in doing so whip the villagers up into a lather of inter-village competiveness. You’d think that the prize for best scarecrow would match the hype right? – no! The prize was a pair of full blooming luxury hanging baskets from the local Nursery. My track record with ‘caring ‘ for hanging baskets meant that this was enough for me to want to move house to a sophisticated city. Exeter was calling………..dot dot dot.
You may remember from my post when we took part in the village ‘Open Gardens’ that we already had a homemade scarecrow, but because of the recent wet weather ‘Donald Trump’ had not faired too well (he was currently lying facedown and flaccid over our slug eaten lettuces – where he probably belonged) and the real Donald Trump (atishoootosser – there goes my hay fever again) had had enough air time frankly. So I decided that the children and I should start from scratch and make a new one (obviously a rubbish one so we didn’t have a hope in hell of winning the hanging baskets). But who/what should we do? Could we do Mr Bygraves the headmaster who was quite scary? Deirdre Snellon from the Vertonbridge Horticultural club (Dictatorship) who was cat’s-bum-mouth scary? On deciding that we didn’t want to be expelled from school or indeed the village we settled on ‘Gru’ from Despicable Me!! Lottie (aged 6 and always up for ‘crafting’) and Toby (aged 9, more of a Minecrafter than a crafter) actually had ‘fun’ making him. We had a go at the old blow up a balloon and slap papier mache on it for his head, then we stuffed an ancient anorak with screwed up magazines and Anna (local best friend) lent us the striped scarf which basically pulled our shoddy effort all together – along with some borrowed blow up Minions. Does that mean I can tick off crafting until at least Christmas? 2018.
Despicable scarecrow alert: ‘Gru’ and two of his Minions!
Anyway, here’s my piece of local (award winning – probably not really) hard hitting investigative journalism that went into the Vertonbridge Parish Mag! Anything in italics got cut out like Meryl’s varicose veins unfortunately!
More next week.
As you were!
PS. Thanks for ‘bearing with’ this post because I appreciate that for some, scarecrows are of the same ilk as clowns and therefore fairly creepy/unsavoury/repugnant. You did well to get through it. X
PPS. It’s the Mumsnet Blogging Awards. If I’ve given you cause to snigger, chortle, giggle or even LOL with my bloggingness – I would love nominations for the category ‘Best Comic Writer’. My URL is https://turningupindevon.com Thank you! Every person who nominates me will get a mention in the Vertonbridge Parish Mag (probably not really). Ta
Note to myself: the one about the Scarecrow Competition.