Some people compile lists of things to do before they die; I have a mental one of things to avoid, such as cancer, broken limbs, root canal work - and mowing the lawn.
Cutting grass was not a problem at the bad place: there wasn’t any. I adored the house previous to that, but unfortunately that warm, fuzzy feeling didn’t extend to tending the garden. I would occasionally pull a couple of thistles but the grass and hedge were rampant. The cats liked it: my parents didn’t. Eventually, my dad would become so embarrassed that he and my brother would descend, armed with garden implements to tidy it up. I would smile secretly to myself: mission accomplished.
I also have warm and fuzzy feelings towards my current home; I also have, as a condition of tenancy, to keep the garden presentable. Last week, after nagging him from the day he returned home from university, I cornered my brother and forced him to come and cut the grass.
He appeared with grandad’s hover mower. “He’s going to buy a smaller one at the weekend,” said my brother, “so you can keep this one here.” It is now living in the shed. I try not to look at it when I go in for the horse feed.
The first cut, so they tell me, is the hardest of the year. Once the worst of it had been slashed through, my brother made me try. “It’s just like Hoovering,” he said. I didn’t tell him that I also avoid that whenever possible.
I was instructed to mow again at the start of the week. I didn’t, and now multiple treacherous green shoots are pushing up through the dry cuttings that I failed to rake off the lawn.
There is a bowling green close to my house. At the moment, a battalion of groundsmen, armed with machines sounding like demented dentists’ drills, are attacking all signs of growth. When they are finished, the green will look as if it has been trimmed with nail scissors. Compared to that, I simply can’t cut it.