Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Our gardens are self-tending by design. One or two weekends a year we put in a bit of effort to weed and trim, and then sit back and let nature take its course.

This process has evolved into an annual event at the beginning of summer, which neatly coincides with our return after our now regular lengthy absences.

We've almost finished for the year now. A few more hours spread over the rest of the week and we'll be ship shape till next year (or for whichever part thereof we remain at the Home of the Biting Midge), with gardens tidied, pathways cleaned and lawns fed, but there's something missing.

For the past decade the lawn seemed to take care of itself as Don would sneak over whenever he felt it needed a trim. He kept the lawns in half the street tidy whenever they were in need, without prompting, as a sort of extension of his own front yard. Whenever his mowing run got too big for him, he'd sell it off, keeping the houses in our street for himself. Every now and then we'd slip him a few dollars and ask him to let us know when he needed more.

We were his special project.

Now his house sits empty, owned by a Government which has no need for it, and he has moved too far away to return with his mower and trailer. The street is the worse for his absence.  Of necessity brand new mowers are appearing on footpaths well overdue.

We borrowed one of them, just this once to make things respectable, and it did, without fuss, but it just isn't the same.

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