Sunday, 25 May 2008

Lawnmower Man..........

Here at Quotidian Towers, our compact and bijou properties, and their associated gardens are laid out in a large 'L' shape. My cottage is at the top end of the long side, while my garden is at the extreme end of the short side. Most of the area in between, consists of a patch of communal grass, that frankly could never be properly called a lawn.

Previously, out of the five cottages, only one of us had a lawnmower. An electric hovering jobbie of limited power and ability. Also the couple who own it are two of the busiest people I have ever seen, with about 3 jobs each, and hence little time for gardening it would seem.

When they do get chance to cut the grass, it's a real battle, and I can see why no-one does it more often.

Now not only do I like to trot down to my garden a few times a day, but I also have a deeply ingrained and really rather sad obsession for neatly trimmed grass and stripey lawns....So it irks me to have to beat a path through the undergrowth, expecting at any moment, to see the heads and swaying bundles of Livingstone's African Porters, coming the other way.

Hence I have been tracking second hand petrol lawnmowers on E-bay for ages.

There have been several I've bid on, but they always go higher than I think is reasonable for a second hand, and therefore probably temperamental machine. Lets face it, Lawnmowers are not an aspirational lifestyle purchase to all that many people (self excepted) so if the old one works just fine, then why get a new one..... If however the old one is knackered, why then, clean it off a bit and flog it on e-bay for a nice little profit.

Yesterday however, whilst looking for something completely different, I found the envelope of Homebase vouchers that friends and family gave me when I moved. (Having spent a year being a bit sheepish about what I bought with them.)

Given that it was also 10% discount day at Homebase as well, I discovered that I could buy a cheap, ticky-tacky, but SHINY NEW RED lawnmower, for relatively little outlay of proper cash money. Less than half price in fact.

On getting it home, I carefully located the instructions, and put them to one side, in order to assemble it the "man way", relying on my innate mechanical genius and vocabulary of choice expletives. I then took it apart again, read the manual and re-assembled it the "proper way" relying on the manufacturers dubious diagrams, and flexible grasp of English grammar.

It appears to be made of recycled tin cans, but does have a respectable Briggs and Stratton engine, and I am pleased to report it started first pull, and made a very good job of our grass. It only took me about 10 minutes, by which time I was warming to the task, and so wondered if the bloke across the street would like his lawn trimmed. I decided not to ask in the end. Partly because of the possibility that I might have come across as a bit weird, and partly because he may well have expected me to carry on doing it all year.

It's maiden voyage completed then, the lawnmower fitted nicely into the shed, where it sleeps quietly, while I shout at the grass to grow faster.

I too slept soundly last night, warm in the knowledge that I have a Lawnmower, in my shed.

Lawnmower, and shed.....

Lawnmower. In the shed.............

If anyone has some half full tins of old paint they are thinking of selling on e-bay, my happiness would be complete!


Frankie @ Veg Plot said...

I'm a Homebase fan - they have some great garden bargains.

Soilman said...

There is NOTHING as satisfying as a) owning a lawnmower, and b) using it. I love the smell of the two-stroke engine and the cut grass. Gorgeous.

lilymarlene said...

A real man.....doesn't read instructions and likes mowing lawns into stripes!!!
However I bet you feel better now....and all those trimmings for mulch or compost....a bonus!