Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday February 7th 2016
Isis needs a lawn. Finally the decision has been made: we’ll try rubber mats and extra tough Sprogs and Dogs grass seed. C. has fitted us in for tomorrow, Monday. Weather permitting – ironical guffaw. But before then, flashback to Friday ……………………
Well, procrastination may be the thief of time, but it’s what keeps me going. The back garden has to be cleared before eight on Monday morning. I intended to do it at the end of September. Tomorrow, Saturday, heavy rain is forecast. On Sunday there will be no time. It’ll have to be today. I avoid the task until 2.00 p.m. Isis will expect another walk at four.
I peer morosely out of the kitchen window. Reluctantly, I push myself outside. Perhaps the task is less onerous than I imagine. I squelch down the garden. No, the task is definitely not less onerous that I imagine.
Approximately forty of Hairy One’s toys are embedded in the claggy mud. There are heaps of wet, slimy, dead leaves beneath the hazel tree and against the fence. From these poke out dozens of sticks, bits of dead plastic, strips of rubber ball, hairy lengths of coloured rope and shreds of dirty canvas.
And I’d forgotten the bundles of aluminium struts and panels from the old shed. Sick of taking them from Isis in the summer, I’d jammed them out of the way behind the laurel bush. They’re still there, of course. As is the wooden structure erected around the young pear tree (the one which Isis didn’t eat) to protect it from said hairy.
So are the lumps of concrete and the row of bricks employed to prevent her from digging under the fence in pursuit of the black and white cat.
Then there are the last of the shed’s decaying contents: old silk screen frames and a set of pigeon holes rescued from a skip.
Not forgetting the large stack of tall, heavy, wooden posts obtained in October from a nice lady via Freegle and stacked ever since in the entry alongside two asbestos sheets which should have been disposed of months ago and three six foot fence panels.
And I’ll need a spade to dig up the paving stones which cross the ex-lawn and the defunct concrete block which once held the washing whirligig.
Splooge, sploosh, sklerk. I make my way to the garage to fetch spade, gardening gloves and rubbish sacks.
But the door has warped in the wet weather and is stuck fast.
Gloveless, spadeless and sackless, I rummage through the piles in the kitchen seeking substitutes.
Much later and about to call it a day, I notice in a border the garden seat which is awaiting repair, and a concrete bird bath. Both must be moved against the wall of the house to join six plastic garden chairs, one with only three legs, three tables and a deceased kettle.
After two indescribably revolting hours, I chuck half of the dog toys in the washing machine and lug three or four sackfuls of rubbish down the entry.
The padlock on the side gate is stiff but is persuaded to yield. I’ll oil it later, I decide. Having re-closed it so it doesn’t get mislaid, I heave the heavy damp sacks out into the front garden, jam some of them into the bin and dump the others next to it. At least the entry is empty, ready for the rubber mats which will be delivered tomorrow.
Absently, I fiddle with the padlock. My hands are strong but the key won’t turn. Extracting it with difficulty, I observe that it has now assumed the shape of the z-bend depicted on a roadside sign. I must have been feeling rattier than I thought.
After a few hearty smacks with a stone, the key is flat enough to re-insert in the padlock which can then be opened and replaced.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Isis is slowly awakening from a warm and delicious sleep. She stretches contentedly and yawns. The wind is getting up; it’s beginning to rain again. She’s ready for her walk.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk