Friday, May 12, 2006

going down the garden to eat worms....

Think of me this weekend.

My sister and brother-in-law are coming to stay, with one of their (lovely) daughters.

Thats the good news.

The bad news is that they are coming specifically to help us sort out the bottom of our garden.

Which has no fairies living in it. They have long since fled.

There is no room for fairies because its full of junk, rubble, broken fence, slugs, buckets, rampant ivy, snails, weeds, worms, old broken cold frame, discarded garden table, sacks of compost, tubs of pelleted chicken manure (yumm), long thin slimy ones, broken flower pots, an old, slime-covered, snail encrusted paddling pool, short fat fuzzy ones, cat shit most probably, more weeds, more slugs, more of the above.....

This is what it currently looks like:

There are positive and negative things about this plan and this weekend:

positive: this is a job which needs doing, which I've been putting off for too long, which will get more difficult and unpleasant the longer it is left; we need help; sister and BIL are v.v.nice (and fun) and will work hard, be organised, give moral support, take junk to the tip, bring beer; we can't afford to pay someone to do this for us; we all get on very well with them and with L, our niece, and are very fond of them; we don't see them often enough; many hands make light work; a burden shared etc. etc.

negative: not how I would choose to spend a weekend if it could be done for us (by the fairies, maybe?); I hate slugs and snails; we could be doing lots of other things with my family which would be much more fun; above all - M.

He hates DIY of any kind. Hates with a vengeance. Really.
He will spend some time on jobs that need doing, but miserably, and needs regular and extensive breaks to restore himself with more fun activities. He doesn't believe it is possible to (or that he can) make the best of things. He will be expecting to be organised, dragooned, marshalled, over-worked, judged for working less hard than everyone else - in short he will be expecting it to be a miserable weekend.

The positives will make the negatives bearable, I hope. The weekend has been carefully negotiated with all those involved. There will be some sense of treading carefully, and I don't mean for the sake of the slugs and snails. I don't mind the worms.


Life surely shouldn't be this complicated? Its just a day or two's work for goodness sake, mixed with a fair amount of fun hopefully.

M does have a point, I must admit, that my family (including me) are too driven by the damned protestant work ethic. His perspective is far far away, at the other end of the spectrum (away with the fairies? I've never got the impression fairies much like work.)

From being with M, I will readily admit that I am learning important things about relaxing, letting things go, working less, relaxing more. But I wish the learning process wasn't such a conflictual (is there such a word?) struggle.

I'd get on with this particular job by myself if I could but there are some things - like putting in new fence panels - which really need more than one pair of hands.

What if it rains? I hear you thinking. M would be very pleased of course.
However, we have a second-back-up weekend booked ahead next month. [At my sister's suggestion - she is an even more organised person than I am.] {and very very sensible}

Just down the garden from the pile of old crap is a fairly large climbing frame. LG has finally agreed to part with this. It gets scarcely any use these days, though she and her friends do like to perch on the top of it while they chat. I think its a feline-power thing. (

Although its been fantastic to have it, and its seen A LOT of use ...
...and some great memories - fab pics of LG and Tat's and RW's girls clambering and sliding, and one of LG's birthday parties when there had been a lot of rain and the climbing frame - under the weight of 14+ little bodies - began to tilt and sink into the ground...
... I am so looking forward to getting rid of it. It will go to someone else, hopefully, through Freecycle, freeing up a large area of garden. I have visions of deck chairs, a little table with home-made lemonade in a crystal jug, maybe a gurgling water feature. LG has visions of dens, tents, canopies, brick walls, keep out signs (weapons no doubt) and me having to ask her permission to get past to the washing line or compost bin.

But that is a future negotiation to embark upon.

So think of me. I'll be absent from blogland for a while this weekend, down the garden eating worms.

Maybe when it all looks better, the fairies will move back in.


ramblingwoman said...

oooh not to mention the dead foxes !

Good luck with the work and with M! A bit of physical work will do him good! Makes that cold beer all the better!

cream said...

Looks like the fence's need of a wee bit of TLC, Lettuce...
Don't work too hard!
I hate gardening except my little herb patch and even that's gone now...

Molly Bloom said...

Oh you'll have to do a Ground Force thingy where you post up the 'after' pics. I know you will. Will Alan Titchmarsh and Charlie be visiting during the proceedings?

Please don't squash any slugs....or snails. Put them somewhere kind (over next door's fence).

I hope you have a good weekend.

Slug said...

Yes, I agree with Betty. Don't be horrid to us slugs.

Sluggalina said...


= a slug in submissive pose.


= a slug looking really shit scared.

I - a slug ready for battle against M, L and LG.

> - a slug pointing the way to next door.

wendy said...

Oh Betty - you make me laugh!

Have fun Lettuce...I also have loads of lousy things to do this weekend...will be thinking of you..


Kitty said...

Back to lack of underwear again I see!

Perhaps having Charlie Dimmock bouncing about your garden might give M the impetus he needs?

Good luck anyway. Wouldn't it be easier if you just let him go down the pub and got on with it between the 3 of you?

Kitty said...

Back to lack of underwear again I see!

Perhaps having Charlie Dimmock bouncing about your garden might give M the impetus he needs?

Good luck anyway. Wouldn't it be easier if you just let him go down the pub and got on with it between the 3 of you?

Molly Bloom said...

Why aren't you up yet? You should have been out there ages ago. Get your old jeans on and get going. The weather is fine.

Have a good one!

Entire Slug Population led by Sluggalopolis said...

Oh God, it's a new day dawning.

Right everyone - RUN FOR THE HILLS!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(The blog equivalent of slugs running very fast, like lemmings over a cliff.)

Baby Betty Slug said...

Wait for me..I'm only little.


Charlie Dimmock said...

Where did you say you wanted the water feature?

Alan 'Tit'chmarsh said...

Look, we've only got 10 hours to do this. You better get your MDF fencing sorted. I'll just stand behind the plant pots and order everyone around.

But you know I'll be there for the celebratory champagne at the end.

Calamity Tat said...

hahahaha Betty,
What! I tell ya, What! you're getting rid of the climbing frame... yes that has some memories, all the girls on it, clambering, hanging, sliding, giggling..They're all too big now, they're growing up.....:-( sad face....

Calamity Tat said...

Apart from Pink and Titch, they'd like it, bring it with you would ya??

Donna said...

It will be sooooo worth it Lettuce. I can't wait to see the finished result. Good luck :-)

Gardeners World Outside Broadcast said...

hurry up!

lettuce said...

lots of homeless slugs and snails down the end of our garden now - those that escaped being relocated to the dump.

No sign of Charlie so far.....

wendy said...

Piccies of the clean garden please...leave out the slugs though...eeek! Bet you're feeling pleased its done!