08 April 2010

Drudge Hobby

That is what yardwork/'gardening' is to me and everyone who visits Casa Corfuchsia to totter potter around Maman's creation gets a loud earful of my intense dislike.

Actually, after 4 years this April 11 of close encounters with the hobby, it is closer to hatred.

Bravo, therefore, Rob Crampton for his piece on why the word hobbies strikes fear into his heart.

Most people know by now the numb enmity that comes over me at the very sight or sound of yardwork but it's a measure of the arrogance of jardinery types that they then ask,

"So what hobbies do you have?"
as if one has to have something to fill the gap left empty by yardwork.

I've never thought of guitar or writing or composing - or blogging, even - as a hobby so it doesn't even occur to me to mention them. I just say that I don't have a hobby or, if I do, it's staying clear of being sucked into yardwork.

But you know what? I sometimes get the feeling - a look in an eye, a twitch of a gnarled finger - that these self-referential loam types don't think of vile jardinerie as the back-breaking dispiriting passer of time that it is (and an exceedingly drudge-bound one, at that).

I think many of them regard it as some loftier activity, elevated from soap or candle making; model aircraft; knitting/crochet, and all the other harmless activities of distraction.

It isn't.

It's worse than the others because

  • (A) It's so effing dull and repetitive and pointless and scratchy and stumbly and toe-stubby and nail-chipping dirty ... the list is endless.
  • (B) It's so utterly thankless
  • (C) It intrudes disgracefully on others' lives. Have you seen and heard the way horti-hobbyists go on and on about their floral faffery without bothering to check who else is around who'll be offended and bored?

    It's a treadmill of futility that has had some good PR thru the years but its dulled (and dull) cult following should learn to shut the frock up in polite company.

    I often wish - OK, every day with every mention or glimpse - I imagine myself back 4 years when Life trundled on with friends and close family, nary a whisper of accursèd 'gardenry', not a seed, stamen or trowel intruding on real life.

    Stop Press: I have just looked up 'hobbies' for any choice rubbish to ram down the throats of those 'gardener' types who have a go at me, and lo and behold I find that yardwork is a pastime, as is guitar.

    All the more reason to practise it in private or with consulting adults and FFS stop blathering away about it in front of others.

    Yes, I'm glad to see it bunged in with all those other anoraksik activities.

    Stop Press ~ Look at this piece of roobish I've come across, plugging some useless GardenWatchCam gizmo. One born every minute.

    Listen to this:

    "Every year tens of millions of people love designing, planting and caring for their gardens.

    Gardening brings many hours of relaxation and enjoyment, and instills a feeling of satisfaction at being able to share this beauty with others.

    [Pass the sickbag, Alice]

    However, gardens only lasts [sic, illiterate buffoons] as long as the growing season [my itals] and only those who visit the garden can enjoy its unique splendor.

    A gardener may remember to take a photo or two but that doesn't capture the total experience."

    I don't know what sort of garden they think they're talking about but the ones I know go on and on and on ad literal nauseam.

    "Only lasts as long as the growing season", my ass. And what about this bit of coy ordure:

    " ... capturing the gardens [sic] growth from the first shoots breaking the earth to the graceful surrender of the last petal to cooling nights."

    Excuse me as I gracefully surrender the last of my breakfast - and what a load of gardenry codswallop these hobbyist pastimers can drudge up.

    Commentaria: Badass Baddeley has,

    "put in request for In an English Country Garden to be played for you on the radio.

    I know how much it'll be loved."

    'How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
    In an English country garden?
    We'll tell you now of some that we know
    Those we miss you'll surely pardon.'

    I actually find that a rather sickly tune. If we're going to do botano stuff, give me Robeson's Tree poem.

    Also good is Gerry Rafferty's Garden of England. Gorgeous dated accent right at the end from the minister of whatever.

    While talking of what is "also good", Miles and John Lee 'take the rake', as we jardiniers says. Tried for a loong time to get this album online.


    Simon Baddeley said...

    Sherlock Holmes and lots of others - including lesser minds - use yardwork to think. Hobbies ditto. I think you've got into your head a stereotype of the birdwatching, stampcollecting anorak who when looking at grains of sand sees grains of sand - and catalogues them, while harbouring psychopathic fantasies about killing his neighbours. That kind of yardwork.

    Busker said...

    Listen. I *live* with the futile treadmill. When I get up in the morning, there is no escaping it. When someone tells me it is a wonderful, it becomes a little less wonderful because, from experience, I know the danger of yardwork and gardenry raising its drudge head.
    I have no awareness or understanding of the hobby whatsoever. If it didnt intrude on my life from time to time, I would have no thoughts or opinion whatsoever. But I *see* these hobbyists when they come to the house. I sit at tables and hear their talk. I have unwillingly passed and wasted time on this pastime and I am exceedingly sick of everything to do with it including its continued presence in my life when it is very very far past its bore-by date. I don't have a stereotype. I don't think about them. My intense loathing goes from 0-60 in 0 secs flat only when i am yet again - thru carelessness or bad luck - forced into contact with this garden drudgery.

    Simon Baddeley said...

    shadarib'Bored by date'. I'm stealing that! (:))

    Simon Baddeley said...

    I've put in request for "in an English Country Garden' to be played for you on the radio. I know how much it'll be loved...
    How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
    In an English country garden?
    We'll tell you now of some that we know
    Those we miss you'll surely pardon
    Daffodils, heart's ease and phlox
    Meadowsweet and lady smocks
    Gentian, lupin and tall hollyhocks
    Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, forget-me-nots
    In an English country garden

    How many insects come here and go
    In an English country garden?..(continued on p.99)