JonnyB’s Holiday Snaps – #3 in a series of 3.

The plants have been thriving!!!

We return home to find them healthy and strong. Having asked Short Tony if he would water them every day – despite the fact that he is a man of the most unreliable and irresponsible character – we are extremely pleased at this.

However, as I had just assumed that they’d be all dried up and dead, this puts me in a difficult position – viz, I have not purchased a small packet of ‘A Present From Northumbria’ fudge that is standard payment for things like this. Fortunately he is out, so I have time to think of a plan.

I decide to mow his lawn.

It’s looking a bit overgrown, and is a nice neighbourly act I can perform.

The thing is, Short Tony has quite a big lawn. I hadn’t realised quite how big. I usually look at it from the vantage point of my own scraggy piece of grass, and perspective makes it seem quite small. But no. I lug my big throbbing great fuck-off petrol mower over there and start on the stripes, but ten minutes and one bag of grass cuttings later I don’t seem to have dented it at all.

After what seems to be an age, I finish lawn #1 and start on lawn #2. I bag up some more grass cuttings. I work out how many pots we have that required watering, I consider whether it would be reasonable to sort of half-mow this lawn and leave the rest as a sort of nature haven for rare birds etc.

More grass cuttings get bagged up. The mower runs out of petrol. I refill the mower. I bag some more grass. The landscape is dotted with bags. By the time I have finished lawn #2 the first one has grown back, but I have had enough. There is a limit. I am stinking hot and covered in sweat, flies and grass cuttings.

But I am happy with a job well done.

These simple acts of neighbourliness are what I like most about living in the village. I wrestle the mower back into the shed and retreat into the cottage for a shower.