When I became a single parent some 16 years ago, it dawned on me very quickly that I would now have to do the work of two people instead of one. So as well as managing a six year old and three month old, dealing with the fall out of the mothership discovering she had breast cancer, and the break up of my marriage; I also found something else to add to my woes. I was now the only person in my house who could cut the grass. Apparently there’s some stupid law about not letting your six year old near a rotating blade so I had to do it, and I hated it. As I trudged up and down the garden with the hateful mower I would often think about buying one of those remote lawn mower thingys you see at ideal home exhibitions. It was only ever a pipe dream though as unless I sold one of my internal organs I couldn’t afford one.
So for years I cut the grass and declared it as one of my most hated household jobs. Skip forward to marrying Orkney Beef some eleven years later and I was only too happy to hand the mower over with the full intention of never cutting the grass again. Just as well as we bought a house with an enormous garden, probably 5 times the postage sized stamp one I whinged about in the early single parent days. Thankfully he’s always been quite happy to do it and I’ve been quite happy to let him.
The other day, Orkney Beef announced he needed to cut the grass before the weather changed and for some reason for which I have no understanding or explanation I said ‘I’ll do it, I need to learn how to use the lawn mower’
What in the heck? What in the actual heck?! Did I really say that? I seriously have no idea where that came from.
Orkney Beef picked himself up off the floor and went straight to get the mower out before I had chance to change my mind, plead shrapnel wound, do my rain dance or become deeply engrossed in defrosting the freezer or cleaning the oven.
So out I went to cut the stupid lawn kicking myself for shooting my mouth off without thinking. I was given my lesson in starting the mower and dutifully pulled the cord which makes the mower start, except it didn’t for me after several attempts. I whinged a bit and said I can’t do it but Orkney Beef got it going then told me what bits I had to pull or press or whatever and the mower took off at great speed with me trailing behind. I guess the mower he invested in has a bit more oomph than I the one I had for the postage stamp lawn.
I made my way down the garden and Orkney Beef kept a safe distance, but after a few rows I could sense he was becoming jittery. After I surveyed my work I knew exactly why. Orkney Beef does precision straight lines of equal distance. My lines were evidently a bit slapdash by comparison. They weren’t terrible but they were a tad wobbly, and I could telepathically read his mind.
‘do I let it go’ he thought ‘or say something and risk my wife going nuclear at me and storming off saying she never wanted to cut the stupid lawn in the first place?’
He decided on silence, but his body language said plenty.
I trundled along and dare I say it, began to quite enjoy it. There’s something satisfying about seeing the lawn freshly cut. It was about a quarter of the way into it (remember its a massive lawn) when I encountered a problem. There was a cow on the other side of the wall, watching me. (I have mentioned my cow fear before and I’ll put a link to the story at the bottom of the page) Every time I think I’m getting over my fears I encounter another cow. I was frightened to turn my back on it in case it jumped over the wall and trampled on me. I stopped the mower and called Orkney Beef to tell him the cow was looking at me funny and I was too scared to carry on. Needless to say Orkney Beef took not a blind bit of notice and told me the cow probably felt the same way about me.
Couldn’t get the mower started again. Pull, pull, pull, whinge, call Orkney Beef, continue cutting the grass while not making eye contact with funny looking cow. Vow that if the cow tramples me to death I will come back and haunt Orkney Beef for laughing.
After an hour I’d well and truly had enough and Orkney Beef had probably got sick of being called over to start the mower again every time I let go of it and caused it to stop. He offered to do the last bit for me and I graciously agreed to let him as I know how important straight lines are in the garden, and didn’t want to deny him that joy. But at least I’ve done it, and on a good day with a glass of Prosecco at the finish line I might even do it again in another 11 years.
For more on my fear of cows read here
P.S If the makers of those hands free lawn mower thingies would like to send me a free one I would be more than happy to write a review about it. 😀