This is the season of summer fetes, village fayres and sundry competitions to judge the tallest sunflowers, straightest runner beans, largest pumpkins and tastiest jams and pickles.
I was driving along the North Devon Link Road, listening to the radio with half my attention, when I heard the results of some village fete or other being read out. There had been thirty entries in the best tomato section, first prize was awarded to Mr Jones, second to Mrs Kelly and third to little Joe Grundy Jnr. Twelve people had entered the parsnip wine section; first prize went to Mr Kelly, second to newcomer Fred Smith and third prize (as usual) to James Malloy. And so it droned on.
"This year, there was only one entry for the best decorated cake competition. That was from Mrs Hamilton-Smythe. The judges awarded her second prize because the cake was not worthy of a first place."
Blinded by tears of laughter, I almost ended in a ditch.