Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Ducks loose!

Oh yes, it's that time of year again when madness descends on the sleepy Kentish village of Loose and hundreds of yellow plastic ducks thunder (well, to be completely accurate, very slowly bob) along the Loose stream for the Loose Duck Race.

If you've never lived in a village you really would not believe the amount of organisation, cajoling, manipulation, charm, dedication and outright force of will it takes to make an event of this kind happen. To start with there are 875 ducks involved...and then there are the cakes...

...Everyone in the village bakes like mad (competition? Nous?) producing a cornucopia of georgeous scrumptiousness which will be scoffed within a couple of hours along with gallons of tea...and don't even mention the barbecue, which last year ran out of all meat orientated products two full hours before the end of proceedings. This year double the amount has been ordered but still the local butcher is on standby just in case...and we've got even more coconuts for the coconut shy...don't ask!

And did I mention plants? Not for us the usual collection of scraggy, pathetic, unidentifiable odds and ends that get offered at village fetes. Oh no. Our vegetable plants and annuals have been lovingly sown and nurtured by my neighbours Tom, Pat and David, and we'll also have some beautiful and interesting herbaceous plants, which is where I come in. Yippee, an orgy of plant buying from my trade nursery to look forward to!

It's a pretty exhausting day, and after all that bobbing the ducks always enjoy the leavings in the drip tray in the local.

If you're in the Maidstone area on the next Bank Holiday Monday (30th May) come on down to Loose. It's a lot of fun. And what have you got to Loose? Sorry...too good to resist.