Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Onions deconstructed

In a kitchen the onion is second only to the potato in importance; in the wider world it seems a limited basis for entertainment. Hence an investigatory visit to the Newent Onion Fair.

We could easily have missed the onions. The streets of this little Gloucestershire town were host to carousels, a Ferris wheel, slides, stalls selling cheese, wine and sausages and stalls run by charities and local organisations. “In the community hall,” we were told.

Stepping inside I stepped back fifty years to my weekly newspaper days when vegetable shows ruined many a Saturday afternoon I’d have preferred to devote to rock-climbing or motorbiking. This was the original nucleus of the larger event in Newent: a gardening competition based on onions. Produce arranged in a layout as far removed from nature as possible. Rosettes had been awarded; condemnation too. Against one exhibit was attached – rather cruelly I thought – a note saying that one onion’s diameter had exceeded 30 mm and was therefore disqualified.

Zach slid, rotated and consumed a whistle made out of sweetmeats. He also climbed enthusiastically into a fire engine. This reminded me of our local fun fair intended to gather data for a parish plan. I quote from the newsletter: BARRETT BONDEN. General dogsbody. Accosted at 11.30, and then every 20-minutes by a ten-year-old who wanted to know when the fire engine would arrive. Told the ETA was 2 pm, he showed up at 2.05 pm to register what was clearly an official complaint. “The engine might be attending a fire,” BB said. The lad’s frown suggested this wasn’t a plausible excuse.

Kids love fire engines