I lay some turf.

Short Tony has over-ordered turf; I had promised to buy the extra rolls from him. In the end there are just six. He gives them to me cheerfully.

“I’ll do that if you want,” offers the Industrious Builder. I turn him down politely. I am currently as broke as broke could possibly be and anyway it is always good to learn new skills. Having watched him turfing away, it seems a fairly simple task.

The LTLP returns just as I am finishing. Her eyes boggle as she sees the front lawn, and I can see that she is trying not to laugh. I give her a ‘this isn’t as easy as it looks’ look and she wisely shuts up.

When she has disappeared indoors, I take a step back and try to be honest with myself.

It is true that I am no stranger to performing jobs with ineptitude. I am inept at many things, and have occasionally made an art form out of it. In fact, I was briefly a consultant to the National Inept Society – they used to write to me for professional advice occasionally but unfortunately their communications never arrived (apparently they had the wrong email address). This particular job, I have to reluctantly admit, is near the top of the scale. It is truly inept. Fabulously inept.

The cuts are wonky and amateurish. There are still huge bare patches. The turfs meander up and down and up again, and whilst you could not quite drive a combine harvester through the gaps between them, a John Deere 8330 225-horsepower tractor would just about fit. I snarl at the grass in frustration, before turning the hose on it.

Booooooooo, I am useless at everything. Everything that there is, I am useless at. I gaze across the front garden one last time, open to the mockery of the Village, then stomp inside to make myself a cup of tea. It has brown scum on it.

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