The last part of our trip was also our longest stop. And it wanted to be as well. The last leg was Sussex, and my Cousins.
They are all younger than me, with the youngest being less than two years older then Fin. I grew up looking after these boys on family holidays and visits, and it was so deeply heart-warming to hear the sound of them reading to my boys in bed, or playing with them in the garden.
Fred helping to organise the hose for car washing.
This was the highlight of the trip though! The Selmeston Village show. Oh yes, the Village Show, you know the score. And if you don't, if you are either not affiliated with a village, or have just never taken yourself along to one, then you must. Almost every village in the country has one, and they all follow the same blueprint, more or less. What you really need is the list of entries, that's the best bit. Deciding whether to enter category 15.a) 'single floating fuscia flower in a wine glass', or maybe 23 'assortment of tropical fruit on a plate', or perhaps go all out for 67 'fruit cake (boiled, not banana or carrot)'.
My lovely Aunt Lucy is on the committee, so was very busy with marquee erecting and hamper arrangement, but had also entered all the categories she thought she could reasonably manage. The various bits of veg and flowers were assembled, and she had a small paper plate of the the best of a batch of meringues waiting to go. The only thing that was left to do was the cheese straws, which my youngest cousin Will's girlfriend Beth had said she would make. So, at about 9.30pm on the eve of the show, in someone else's kitchen, Beth and I made some cheese straws. We even managed to stop Will and Tris from eating all of them before they too were put on their little paper plate to be entered into 59 'cheese straws (3 on a plate)'
The tense gathering to hear the raffle called.
And third prize for the cheese straws! Oh I tried so hard not to be bothered, but third prize in a baking category at a village garden show is not something to be sniffed at, believe me. It's a cut throat, dog eat dog kind of a culture, and the W.I are not to be messed with.