There is a farm some way further into the network of tiny lanes which sells home-grown potatoes. Sometimes they sell fat carrots by the bunch, bulbous beetroot, and tender spring cabbages, depending on the season. But the potatoes are what makes a visit worthwhile.
It is a measure of the how perfect the potatoes are that I buy mine there, despite the presence of Mental Dog.
Mental Dog is a new addition to the farm, and with the best will in the world, is not a successful marketing solution. He is bouncy, and happy, and full of enthusiasm. So much so that this morning, as I got out of the car in the farm yard, he'd crept up and skillfully removed the scarf from around my neck before I had chance to even try to stop him. He was away, bounding with glee and tossing the forlorn purple wool into the air as he ran. When he reached the field gate, he leapt sleekly through the bars, then dropped my scarf in the mud and rolled delightedly around, wrapping it around himself like a black, Satanic version of the Andrex puppy.
The farmer's wife chased Mental Dog to the field to recover my poor scarf as I resignedly pulled the zip of my jacket to the top, knowing that this would be my only chance of having a warm neck now. Mental Dog showed no remorse as his owner returned his loot, and grinned at me mischievously from the sacks of potatoes he'd scrambled upon while the farmer's wife apologised profusely.
The potatoes were free of charge, because of Mental Dog's lack of appropriate manners. Perhaps that's just old fashioned village trading.
Three pounds of potatoes. Cost: 1 scarf and 5 minutes' entertainment for Mental Dog.
Or maybe the entertainment was mine.