Friday, 14 August 2009


We might as well call this the Arabella Sock challenge cup, but I leave it open to all so that we can enjoy the fruits of your many communal hours spent stalking gardening faves round Chelsea etc. Rather than actually, er, looking at plants. 

The Emma Townshend photobanks are depressingly poor in paparazzi shots, I have really let myself down this year. The only one I could find is this one of an out-of-focus Joe Swift chatting up a moose. Hopefully it will inspire you to do better.

Emma Cooper did slightly better with this shot of James Wong at Kew's day in celebration of ethnobotany. She added, "And I'm now wishing I took a photo of Alys while I was at the Master Composter conference ;)". She is so dedicated. Have I mentioned she's written a book? 

A brilliant entry now from Rachel, aka Rothschild Orchid from Wisteria and Cow Parsley.
This is actually titled "Wong Tickle" which I think is just RO trying to name her pic appropriately, but it made me laugh! Perhaps we should have a separate James Wong category, I'm starting to think...

And her other one, as she says, is "that wonderful man in a hat". Ahhh.

And now an entry from the man in the hat himself, entitled, I think quite rightly, "Cleve West: the Dark Side." I think there had been some disagreement about who'd already said allium. 

This one is entitled "Carol Klein and Jelly from CBeebies". I would like to know how Mr Alexander-Sinclair even knows about Jelly from CBeebies, but I guess he must be getting up to something in his office, it doesn't take all day to design gardens. 

Ms Sock's entry, as you might have guessed from the Beardshaw slant... Tee hee. 

Another from the Sock camp; Ha ha, I am suddenly having visions of James-as-Simon-Cowell ha ha ha ha

Friday 21st, update
As usual, this category is proving to be a firm favourite. Today, two from Ms B, one of James A-S looking "thoughtful" (I'm sure that can't really happen in real life) and one of Joe and Rachella de Ville. 

And finally there's this one which claims to be a photo of none other than me (on the right)! Here is the blurb, from James A-S: 'Could it be?
No, surely not... not her. Not shaking her booty to disco dance music. Not up after the News at Ten......
Yes, I do believe it is Miss Emma Townshend herself.
The Parish of Emsworth's much admired parish councillor, dog warden, postmistress, church warden, stalwart of the flower arranging and organ polishing committees, meals-on-wheels operative, soup maker to the workhouse, leader of the folk dancing group and bellringer.
Whatever next? the vicar in a crack den? Mr Plumpton the parish clerk cottaging? or Miss Fieldmouse the washerwoman in bed with Pete Doherty?
Shouldn't be allowed'
Claiming to be me? I very much doubt it. Though that does look significantly like Mrs Joe Swift on the left. I admit to going with that illustrious woman a few weeks ago for tea and scones at Blackpitts... then I believe there was a suggestion of going for a nice country walk, and I can't remember very much after that, but I doubt Mrs Swift would have taken advantage of my post-tea haze to invite me to go raving. Would she? 

Update, 24th August

Mr Alexander-Sinclair has come up with an explanation. He writes, " 
Phew. I've just realised that Miss Townshend was only there in her capacity as tireless St John's Ambulance volunteer. Here she is preparing to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre on Ann-Marie Powell."

Then there's one from Happy Mouffetard. As she says, "Finally (for today at least), an entry for the Paparazzi class - I don't know why News of the World didn't snap me up years ago. (It's Joe Swift, in case you can't tell.)"

And now four from Victoria: 
One, she says, for the Sock:

One, she says, 'For Zoe":  (so thoughtful)

I like to think this one is for me:

Joe and Alan look like they are ushers at a wedding. They have that super smart / lounging about vibe.  

But I am afraid the judging committee is going to look rather askance at all these pictures of me, I don't understand how anyone can possibly think they are of interest to anyone except in recording the annual waxing and waning of the Townshend arse. Let me reiterate: Best Paparazzi Shot of Matthew Wilson or Similar. Not Emma Townshend or Similar. Harumph. 

29th August update

What a treat! James A-S thoughtfully sent this which has cheered me up no end. He writes, "I thought you better have at least one photo of Matthew Wilson. The Landscape Man dreaming of wild moorland and pliant ovines. (with the gorgeous Nina from the Malvern Show)."  

And this one made me laugh and laugh because it's EXACTLY the kind of photo I take. From New Shoot, in her words: "My next is a combination of categories - the pap snap and the artistic licence… which is my way of saying I'm rubbish at taking 'quick-on-the-draw' photos. Alan Titchmarsh, Beth Chatto and a very rude lysichiton."

Some more Sockeration! 

This one is tactfully entitled "Alys gurning" :-)

And these two, my dears, speak for themselves. She is a very, very BAD sock!!!


another snap with full Sockability, this one from VP. Thank goodness they put that little screen there for him so he doesn't have to remember what to say and have to try and walk at the same time. 


  1. Tsk. The lengths people will go to eavesdrop on JAS' conversations

  2. Indeed but what I really want to know is what did he just say to her? Perhaps we need a caption competition too...

    (Emma I also have one in reserve called "Wong Zombie" -Not that I spend all my spare time stalking James Wong you understand!)

  3. I'm sure VP has a good one of JAS and the drag queen from Malvern for this category

  4. No PG, as you can see it was Arabella :)

  5. I DID send you a picture of Matthew Wilson and you didn't use it! (OK, you were in it too...)

  6. A great photo of the gorgeous gardening god submitted by Victoria. I have to say though that I think since that was taken he has tanned, toned and honed himself and lost the awful jacket too - he was looking much better at Malvern!

  7. Thanks heavens for James. I was beginning to think I would have to submit a phot of myself, myself. Which is completely against the spirit of the show.

  8. I know, what is the world coming to???