Sunday, September 06, 2009

'Freshly made just for you'

OK, that's probably not true. But sunny Sundays will always mean sundaes at Hale and Hearty. This snap was taken at Lymm's annual rushbearing festival – an event with roots in the medieval practice of parading bullrushes to the parish church for use as a kind of analogue-age carpeting.

Today, of course, this requires a police escort along the A56, traffic snaking back while morris men throw shapes to The Floral Dance. But it also brings the dust-covers off ice-cream vans. This year's parade will be chiefly remembered for our first double 99 of an unimpressive summer: super soft, certainly, and with the addition of raspberry sauce, unarguably twin-flavoured.

It's hard to tell which tradition needs protecting most. While the rushes are now purely symbolic, these evocatively decorated rigs and their distinctive smell – created by a second motor powering the soft-ice machine – are becoming a lesser-spotted species. Ben & Jerry's Phish Food might alliterate, but it sure doesn't chime.

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