When I intimated yesterday that I might cut the grass I didn’t imagine that was all I would do, nor that the task would take me all day.
I would like to tell the tale of this man’s mastery over a machine. Unfortunately, like George Washington, on this occasion, ‘I cannot tell a lie’. At least that fledgling U.S. President had successfully cut down a cherry tree. My job had to have been easier than that.
First I had to take the Bosch Strimmer out of its box. As I feared, there was a certain amount of assembly required. I managed, to a rather insecure extent, to do this , found the extension lead, plugged the machine’s cable into it and set sail. I cut a couple of blades of grass and the nylon cutting line broke. After rereading and following the instructions I was able to extend another piece the required 9 centimetres and have another go. Same again. Except that this time there was no line visible and neither Jackie nor I was able to decipher how to undo the holder. Clearly the cutting device had difficulty coping with our macho grass nurtured on the soak away area from the septic tank. Apparently our excreta leaches through the walls of the tank into the soil at this particular point, producing a very healthy crop. There are lots of alliums in the garden. I wonder whether their rather pungent aroma serves a masking purpose.
It is not really a good idea to leave me to my own devices in such matters, but Jackie had no option because she was still trying to turn the terrible overlapping and chopped up tiling squares on the bathroom floor into a reasonably level and complete surface. Reflecting on the fact that she was grappling with a botch upstairs whilst I was doing the same with a Bosch in the garden, I gave up.
I conceded victory to the Strimmer, but I did not give up on the grass. I abandoned modern technology for a trusty, albeit rusty, pair of garden shears. It was down on my knees again. The kneeler was in service upstairs.
I had made considerable progress by lunchtime. Enough to give me confidence to continue afterwards.
My lady carried on upstairs until she had finished her job. She then came down and began to cook the dinner. Observing me snipping away outside, she thought: ‘I can’t leave him’. Thus taking pity on me she sat on the bench and put her mind to working out the problem with the machine. She realised I was using the wrong line and used more brute force than I had been confident to employ to remove the holder and replace the line. She was soon on her feet strimming away. Naturally I got to my feet too.
Jackie did allow me to have a go at strimming. I finished the job whilst she raked up the grass.
I t was quite beneficial that Jackie returned to cooking our dinner, for it was delicious.
She had taken chicken breasts marinaded in ginger, lemon and lime, added a Nando’s piri piri lemon marinade, topped the chicken with red and yellow peppers and baked the ensemble in olive oil for thirty minutes. This is her recipe for lemon and ginger chicken.
Mashed potato, crisp cauliflower and carrots, were accompanied by par-boiled parsnips stir fried with two sliced red onions and garlic. I call this a recipe for stir fried parsnips.
Jackie drank Hoegaarden with this, whilst I chose Marques de Montino rioja 2010. We finished our drinks on the garden bench.