Monday, 21 May 2012

A Frustrating Day

Monday 21st May 2012
Dawn over the Dyke
Cow Parsley decorates may of the dykes around here in early summer.
I think it's a plant of understated, delicate beauty.

This hare has been gallumping about in the orchard for the last three days. He (or she) is slow to scarper and seems almost nonchalant to my presence. (I only had a 100mm lens on the camera)

At last the thermometers are set to soar in the UK this week. Just not quite here, not quite yet. Problem is, apparently, the North Sea is still only 9 degrees C and since we're only about 12 miles from the coast we'll be covered by cloud for most of the day. Mind you, at least it should be dry and warmer than the rest of May.

This will be a week to catch up with all that sowing. But before the sowing, the mowing.
April and May are incredibly busy months on the smallholding but, with the weather hindering so many vital jobs, it has been a difficult balance between maintenance and creation.

After visiting the immaculate garden, mine somehow looked even shabbier and more unkempt than before. Now these are qualities in which I take some pride when it comes to my appearance, but not to my gardening!

With the ride-on out of commission, it was time for Plan B. I decided to have a bash at the shorter grass with the second-hand mower I had recently purchased (only really intended for the verge, inaccessible to my other mowers.) It was hard going.To tell the truth, the grass was a little too long and a little too wet. But we struggled along, occasionally jamming up when asked to tackle the longer patches, until one time the engine stalled and refused to start up again. Presuming something was blocking the blades, I tilted the machine, only to hear a glug glug sound and an unhealthy dose of black oil emerge from the machine. And that was that. However many different techniques I used to pull the chord, however many times I primed the fuel, nothing.

So, Plan C.... the Strimmer
First problem, I seem to remember the spool of strimmer line unravelling itself when I investigated it at the end of last year. After endless attempts to sort this out, I eventually decided I might need to refer to the instruction book. Not the clearest (you always know you're heading for trouble when you get a thick manual and realise there's only about two pages of instruction alongside minute diagrams, just in every imaginable language going). Finally worked out the plastic line needed to be threaded through a hole in the plastic spool. This is where the next two hours disappears, for in the middle of that hole, and totally unreachable, had lodged a piece of masking tape! I poked, prodded, soaked in boiling water, poured washing liquid in. I may even have cursed a few times! After two hours a small graveyard of paperclips lay before me. One had managed to push through, but the tape remained. Then...and I wish I'd known clumsy prodding caused a plastic cover to come off and there was the piece of tape, easily removed and the cover easily replaced!

Most of the day gone.

Not a lot achieved.

Start up the strimmer... no! Strimmer strike. Ignored over winter for too long. So I put the battery on to charge and gave up.

Tomorrow I'll forget the mowing and stick to the sowing.

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