Wednesday 22 May 2024

Rally - Say it with flowers

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Chelsea Flower Show opened its garden gates in London this week for the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual extravaganza of all things gardening, and of course I was there in my official capacity as Head Haggis Herder and Groundskeeper for the royal estates in Scotland.

The opening day is reserved for VIPs and members of the Press, and of course, for an event which enjoys royal patronage it also attracts celebrities, nonentities and selfie-seekers plus folk of all shapes and sizes who read the weather or appear in adverts with spurious claims to fame and notoriety. And in order to help justify the forty quid per head entry tickets the RHS also likes to entice some famous celebrities to their show to give the ordinary punters something to look out for in addition to the floral abundance and enticements.

Unfortunately their budget, bolstered by the eye watering entry prices, doesn’t quite run to genuine A-listers and despite suggestions that the stars of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ would be the main attraction there wasn’t a single wrinkled stocking in sight, let alone a Foggy, Cleggy or Compo. However, this hugely popular television soap series was represented by some of the other ‘stars’ of the show and I managed to beat off the excitable massed throng to get close enough to take a photo of the twosome through the exotic shrubbery.

Of course, even if you’re not a fan of the show you will recognise these two instantly. One of them played the part of a Hell’s Angel riding his vintage Davidson around the village. I say vintage Davidson because his bike is so old, Davidson hadn’t even met Harley at the time. The other character enjoys an equally high profile in the show as he is the ‘meals on wheels’ delivery driver in his Ford Model A box van light commercial vehicle.

Naturally both of these esteemed star guests were invited to cut the tape to open the show much to the disappointment of His Royal Himness and Her Royal Herness who were relegated to the role of cheerleaders for the ceremony. And in my strenuous, but ever so humble, efforts to rub shoulders with such famous personalities I was delighted to receive two accolades to commemorate this momentous occasion. Sadly, not the autographs I was seeking – but a fat lip and a boot up the erse.

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