Grasscutter Blues

When the previous owner of the property told us that he had treated the land to make it more fertile, I conjured up in my mind pictures of a garden formally laid-out, sections of it blooming in a riot of colour, other parts yielding enough fruit and vegetables to render us self-sufficient in garden produce of all kinds. We even foresaw creating a protected area where we could keep chickens, so we’d have a constant supply of fresh, organic eggs. I wanted a few geese, too; partly for the larger eggs but mainly, I had to admit, because they can be so delightfully aggressive – especially Greylags (I’d had a run-in with a few some years ago. I was feeding them from bread rolls I’d… ahem… acquired from the university refectory. When the rolls had all been taken, the geese made it very plain to me that they weren’t ready to stop eating). They’re also noisy brutes that are, collectively, more effective than any guard dog. But I was over-ruled. No ducks, either.

But enough of my foul domestic arrangements (see what I did there?). That he had treated the land was beyond question, and his claims that he had, by changing the very nature and composition of the soil, produced what he termed a ‘magic garden’ weren’t in the least far-fetched.

Look at the picture.

What do you see?

Yes, I know it’s me on a ride-on mower, working my way through what looks more like sub-Saharan savannah than a western European back garden; but look more closely.

Can’t you see it?

Look again.

The grass behind my mower is hardly shorter than in front. It’s growing almost as quickly as I can cut it. And I have more than three thousand square metres of it to keep down. And rain is forecast for tomorrow. Somewhere along the line, the arithmetic has gone awry.

I might just give up, go back indoors, fire up my computer, and compose a nice letter to Network Rail.

What does Network Rail have to do with the state of my parcel of land? Well, nothing, but they do own and maintain the Forth Bridge. Perhaps they need more painters! Suddenly I feel more than qualified.


I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 129, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.


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