Up fairly early as was due to help one of Gill's friends Beth with some gardening. She needed to take out some shrubs but doesn't feel strong enough to do that kind of work, and I offered the use of my 'wrecking bar', a metal bar which is brilliant at helping take out stumps.
Gill took the kiddies to school and I got to the garden with the shrubbery removal job soon after 9am. I worked til nearly lunchtime, and came home with a trailer-load of shrubbery and sticks.
During the afternoon I shredded all the stuff I brought home and then at 3 went to get the boys plus one of their friends from school. He came for tea and then at 5.15 I cycled with all three of them down to St Nicks for the Pumpkin event. This was organised by York Rotters as they distributed pumpkin seeds at the beginning of the season, as pumpkins can grow well in garden compost-enriched soil, or even on old compost heaps. The event was a pumpkin competition, for the biggest, the most interesting, and the best carved, adult and child categories.
So I had bought two pumpkins for the boys, as mine didn't grow well this year. The friend's mum and younger brother arrived, also with two bought pumpkins. My friend Jo arrived, with quite a few bought pumpkins. More than enough to go around.
The event was well attended, including my friend Jim and his girlfriend and her kids, and Jim's mum whom I'm fond of. After signing in, and saying I had responsibility for my sons with knives, they got going with the carving. I chatted to a florist who works nearby about composting, and the competition's judge, a lady named Sue who's a fundraiser for Marie Cure Cancer Care, who may also take up composting...
When 7pm came the judging took place. Jean had managed to grow a specimen about 12 cm across, and won the biggest pumpkin section, and got a Can O Worms, donated by Wiggly Wigglers, lucky her, I paid nearly £100 for mine! John from St Nicks had submitted a tichy pumpkin about 2cm diameter, it won the most interesting pumpkin. Not sure what he got for that. The florist won the adult carved pumpkin, with a wonderful image of a witch on her pumpkin-lantern. Finally, the kiddies section, and amazingly, my eldest son won! He was so happy! He won a wormery, one with a thin cross section so the tunnels could be seen easily.
We came home happy, with the two pumpkins and the prize, and they went to bed very tired.