Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Coleman Family versus The London Flower Lovers' League

In which I am exposed as slightly better than average by the London Flower Lovers' League
"What the hell is this nonsense?" my sister asks.

She is at my father's house in Cornwall, and is Going Through Stuff, and using the electronic witchcraft that is Facebook to convey significant finds back to me and my brother.

And indeed, what the hell is this nonsense, and what the buggery were we doing getting mixed up with the London Flower Lovers' League?

I slept on it, and it all came back. Just before Christmas, a group of nice ladies with large handbags would visit our school on the Fulham Palace Road and give each child one daffodil bulb. They were the London Flower Lovers' League, and their existence has been a complete blank in my mind for the last four decades. We were expected to take the bulb away, grow it in a pot, and bring it back on a set day in the spring term, and Face The Judgement of the London Flower Lovers' League.

Naturally, at the age of six, I couldn't give a shit whether my bulb lived or died, and once it was safely at home, it was all down to my mother to do all the hard work. After a few weeks, still giving zero shits, the plant was ferried back to school and The Judgement of the London Flower Lovers' League commenced.

I have no memory of this, except for A Very Special School Assembly, where a group from the London Flower Lovers' League (looking exactly like the Monty Python team in drag as the Batley Townswomen's Guild) stood at the front and gave prizes to the winners. After a brief moment of hope mixed with giving a shit, I found I was not a winner, and returned to my default setting vis-a-vis daffodil bulbs (ie not giving a shit).

But, on returning to my class, I was handed a London Flower Lovers' League certificate saying my mum's daffodil was "Highly Commended", an item which I have no recollection of ever owning. My sister, as you can see, got a second class certificate of merit, and she claims she once got a first class one as well. Pictures or it didn't happen, swot. Away from these scenes of jubilation, my brother got a certificate saying "Thank you for your flower", clearly missing the words "but it was shit and we've already stamped on it".

Now he's got a house with a swimming pool in the garden, so sod you, the London Flower Lovers' League.

"Which one of you's Coleman? I know your mum grew your bulb for you. Don't deny it"
And what of the London Flower Lovers' League? The London Flower Lovers' League became the London Children's Flower Society, are still going as a registered charity, appear to be lovely people doing this as volunteers, and still do the spring bulb-growing competition.

I'm sorry if I was rude about you and your efforts to bring some colour into children's lives. Don't send the Batley Townswomen's Guild round.

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