Monday 12 October 2009

what we did before computers

Another day and night without internet, and without warning either - what is Mr Branson thinking? At least the utility companies usually tell you when they're going to deprive you of their services, so that you can steel yourself. This outfit just cuts you off without a word, then tells outrageous fibs on the phone about when your service will be restored.

And there was strangely-fragmented television reception too - the highly-watchable Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour just wasn't the same, with jerky stop-start images and words missing mid-sentence, when you really wanted to see and wonder admiringly at his ability to speak foreign languages fluently, ride horses, abseil, dive, climb, draw, (and, memorably, fall off a stool whilst drawing), often in an elegant suit and all with an understated wry enjoyment. I shall just have to watch the entire series again. And thanks to cable tv, I will be given many chances to do so, no doubt, as repeats ad nauseam are what my very basic package mostly has to offer.

But I did steel myself. I got the back yard cleaned up, all those pots filled with nameless brown twigs sorted out, the messy, disease-ridden New Dawn rose cut back so that it no longer scratches anyone who looks at it, even from a distance, the last
(three) of the Heritage sweet peas picked from their dead-looking stems, and an astonishingly large heap of leaves disposed of.

The ferns have a while to go before I need to do anything with them, being just at the dying-but-not-dead-yet stage. I don't like to tidy them too early - ferns look so terribly, forlornly dead over the winter, and I peer anxiously at them every Spring, each year fearing the worst, till suddenly, there they are, fat buds suddenly unfurling, miraculously surviving cold, drought, and the occasional visit from a cat. I love my ferns, the only things that save the house end of the yard from being a sad, slimy green dead space where sunlight never penetrates and only evil-minded cats lurk, bent on depositing unspeakable offerings in corners.

And then I got the little pressure washer out, and cut clean bright swathes through the greeny-grubby sliminess coating the cement. A satisfying tool, a pressure washer, once (well, if) you get the hang of aiming it properly and not soaking yourself with ricocheting wet debris and alarmed woodlice.

Once the yard was all pristine, scrubbed and brushed and leaf-free, I remembered the little colony of woolly aphids on the trunk of the acer, the last of their stubborn invading army, the few resistant to the spraying with methylated spirit that had been reasonably effective earlier in the year. So I turned the pressure washer on them, and blasted that little tree clean. And inadvertently blasted all the leaves rotting under the tree out of the raised bed and all over the pristine, scrubbed, brushed, etc. yard.... I'm not the brightest, I know.

This week will be bulb-choosing time. I might shop for them online, if Mr Branson permits.

last year


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It's a marvellous feeling to get it all done in one go !
The Japanese maple is very pretty and I look forward to seeing your Spring flowers . Bulb catalogues are far too tempting though and online are probably worse ...... a bit like Betty's but less fattening .

Pam said...

Very impressive. How are we poor working mortals supposed to do things like that.

Actually, I may not be one of these much longer. Our principal is about to send us all - all the teaching staff - letters terminating our contracts and inviting us to sign new ones with an extra (2 hour)class per week in them. O joy. I cannot imagine being any busier than I am. The unions are up in arms and are telling us not to sign... Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Looks great! Gardening can be a hard slog, but then the rewards are well worth it.I love standing back with a cuppa afterwards, admiring all the handiwork...that lovely time just before the stiffness sets in and it's time for a muscle-easing bath!

Susan said...

Is your computer down again ? We need our daily dose of UK kitten cuteness.

xo les Gang

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