28 April 2006

Proof i grumble to excess: path to 'Christine's bench' that I cleared of own accord.


My yesterday's pathetic scrabbling amid weeds starts me thinking.

Beyond the pale: thinking to impress entrepreneur book baron Paul Hamlyn, I mentioned a business trip to Tokyo. Knowing me, I'd have been the token gaijin , under orders to hold my tongue and the handbag of my almond-eyed manager.

We were on his company junk sailing out of Hong Kong harbour. Paul gave me a "look" before stating quietly that he found doing business in Japan "totally unacceptable."

That ended *that* conversation, but his blanket dismissal stuck in my mind for its very forcefulness and quiet sincerity.

I now know whereof he spoke, with vengeance.

Yard-work, gardening, call it what you will: the whole temper-tattering package has to be some sort of all-time knackering nadir in time-squandering futility.

I shouldn't go on about it except that I'm so appallingly inept at avoiding contact with the sodding sod. I should accept it as deserter's just desserts for fleeing daughters, debts and downpours for a land of sunshine and siestas.

A little learning: Obvious question is to embrace the enemy and learn a little about this whole plant nonsense, but you know what? Hope springs eternal and I keep thinking that if I just stay my ignorant and venomous self towards this repellent treadmill, I'll one day, Samson-like, commit some vengeful terminal blunder allowing me to be hauled off the case forever and released for more pleasant duties in the field of latrine cleaning or scraping swallow guano off the patio.

Till and Burn: So here am I, bending and stooping over these repetitive tasks.

Didn't some wag once talk of Life as "One damn'd thing after another"? Gardening comes gruesomely close to that.

You couldn't invent this sort of thing even if you wanted to, and if you could, you wouldn't want to.

Here we are dancing attendance on these scabrous growths that seem to demand almost daily attention.

No More Mister Nice Guy: Here's an idea, a sort of logical final solution.

  • Hire a stout yeoman with backhoe and bulldozer.
  • Equip him too with matches and gasoline.
  • It's a day's simplicity to turn and churn and ride roughshod over the wretched demanding 'plants'.
  • Having checked that no leaf or bud is visible, use the gasoline to blacken and char.

    Et voila - an end to all this dismal dancing attendance around these whoreson growers and climbers, clingers and entwiners.

    Diminishing Returns: It's all very well for me to make light-hearted jest of this verminous waste of time and temper, but it ruins the simple things in life such as walking from A to B.

    entrance driveExample: the house here has a rather nice drive which, without examining it too closely, has come to represent nice things like arriving for holidays, getting home etc. The path could be lined with rotting carcasses for all my plant-shunning eye is concerned and it would still have joyous connotations.

    But actually work on it, grubbing around on hands and knees with horrid 'tool' in hand, and of course it instantly becomes a reminder of Life's ugly inconveniences and unpleasantness.

    No Eye Contact: Even after only a few weeks, I find myself accelerating past scenes of labour, eyes averted.

    Knowing my spineless inability to avoid even this final indignity, I can see the place shrinking to fewer and fewer spots free of connection with the "G" word.

    Mega Bore.