Friday, 28 May 2010

Gardening is shite

I hate gardening. I have long avoided it until absolutely necessary ( such as I can't get in the house unless I use a machete) . I hate getting that dirty. I hate not knowing or caring which are weeds and which aren't. I hate the physical labour required. I hate the inevitable insects. I hate most plants. So what did I do? Move somewhere with big gardens and a legal requirement to 'maintain' them. I am already building my case about what maintain actually means - I think something along the lines of 'being able to get access to the house'. 


But there are more pressures to keep the garden neat. The neighbours all have neat gardens for one, but more importantly.....it's not rocket science. Stupid people have nice gardens. Gardeners can be stupid and make a living. It's a pride thing I suppose.....and it's not going to lick me. The final challenge I have is that the whole way I run my life is to do everything at the last minute, usually under pressure. This does not bode well for gardens which require constant tending, nurturing, fiddling. I need a garden that needs a blitz once a season which after much moaning and groaning to my husband I finally get someone else to do as it's 'too big a job for me.' 


So to my gardens. We live on a corner plot with gardens on 2 sides in an 'L' shape. Lots of trees, lots or borders, a few lawn areas and a mix of shaded and sunny. I couldn't design a more complex garden. So, my efforts so far, which have been meagre, are go for the biggest impact with least effort. When I say 'least' I hasten to add that even these turn me into a sweat monster. Cutting the lawns is fairly manageable (except the slopey storm parts at the front which requires a brute forced husband) and has quite a big impact. Next, turning over the soil and weeding/deplanting the borders. Big impact - hard work in both the decision-making process and physically. Physically this made me go blind with sweat and curse the idiots who decided on borders over gravel.  Deciding which greenery to dig up was a bit of a gamble which strangely grew proportionately easier the longer I did it due to the fact I grew to care even less. The only weeds I really know are dandelions (more of these later) and nettles. In the interest of time and effort saving I decided that the nettles look quite nice and may deter intruders so I left those.  After an hour of back breaking and knee aching I managed to do half of one of the many borders which accounts for about 15% of all of them.  Oh, and of course the bastard mosquitoes decided to sap my energy further concentrating on my feet of all places.


So by now I know how shite it is to do my garden and I am faced with the rest of it.  But by far the biggest challenge is the sodding dandelions.  The scourge of Canada due to last years ban on weed killers with any useful strength. So the only option is to dig the buggers out. Everyone has been there...but I suggest not everyone has the number of dandelions that I have. Millions. Fields. So close together that what you end up actually doing is digging over whole expanses of garden. Digging is bottom of my list of garden things to do, it comes just below spiders running up my trouser leg. 


Help.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Leon has arrived.

After months of deliberation and a week of crappy staff dodging phone calls at the Dodge garage we finally got Leon. Leon is a Dodge Challenger RT. I'm not sure how much more I need to say unless you are a hopeless non-car person in which case I can add that it's very fast, looks gorgeous and drives like a dream. It is a drool-worthy car. Literally, a head turner. An Oh My God car. A bastards, I want a car like that car. 


We decided that life it too short to not get a car like this at least once in our lives.  Of course I have to bare the pain of my husband inspecting it every 5 minutes for smudges or, god forbid, a scratch.  I'm warned daily to 'drive carefully' and 'you're too near this side of the road' and 'don't park near anyone'. I've gone from nabbing the closest car parking spaces to the front door of shops to parking a couple of miles away and hiking there.  I close the door with a corner of my t-shirt to avoid smudges and dust my feet off before I get in the car. I was so paranoid that someone would steal it if I left my daughter in it for 5 minutes I made her come with me so I could lock and alarm it (I wasn't worried about them stealing her). The funny thing about this car is that....coincidentally.....my husband now seems to be working at home more. Spooky that.


So, in order of preference here are my favourite parts of the car:
- it's front end - looks fierce.
- it's back end - big black bum.
- the big shiny wheels - 20" chrome
- the iPod thingy so I can play my tunes without using one of those crappy radio lead things.
- the in car phone thing


These, of course, are overshadowed by the vroom vroom of it.


It's a lovely new toy and we'll love it forever and ever. 

Monday, 3 May 2010

Coronation Street Club

I was at a friend's shop on Saturday and the organizer of the Coronation Street Club came in and asked my friend if she was going to attend and, because my husband and I were there and had been introduced, we were invited along too. We agree because it seems like a bit of a laugh - neither of us has seen Coronation Street since the days of Hilda and Stan and their muriel, but it sounds like a blog-worthy event. Then we are told about the 'theme'.  A colour theme for your attire - we struck lucky as it's 'pale blue' this month. Our friend told us Halloween is particularly challenging as they choose orange over black.  The meetings are held in a lovely local restaurant - as it happens this blog's head picture was taken from the grounds of this pub, so right on the lakeside. We arrived a little late but we had a table booked and looked around to see where everyone was. A sea of pale blue at one end of the pub showed the way - almost everyone had taken the theme seriously.  And all of them were a couple of decades older than us.

The organiser introduced visitors to the group (we got a round of applause thank you very much) and then proceeded to wax lyrical about cast members and saying things like 'this isn't a spolier but so-and-so gets fired by the writer's next month'. That is actually a spoiler, mate. I'm not sure how long he talked, we just laughed and chattered through it all. Some people at the table next to us were seemingly enraptured by his words, staring intently at him and piping up with questions every now and again. I think we were the only ones actually speaking to each other (albeit in muted tones). It's not a club as such, just this guy talking about the cast members - nobody else really says anything and they don't discuss story lines or characters as I thought you would. Oh, and best of all, one guy came over with his photo album with pictures of when he visited the Rover's Return - not in Weatherfield, but Toronto.  His wife who is the co-organiser and setter of themes (long pale blue linen coat, blue earrings and rings) sold us raffle tickets at one point. The prizes are all along the same theme as the meeting. Fortunately we didn't win. She asked me if I was an aficionado of the Street. 'Erm.... I wouldn't go that far' was my reply.  So, after hearing about Denise Welch's drug taking and affairs and stuff about actors I had never heard of, we ate.

It was a really nice afternoon despite, or perhaps because of, the weirdness.  Wine helped too.