Err, mid summer? Isn’t that a June 21 sort of thing. Well, yes. I am a few days early with my dates. But I thought I would try and beguile you into not being cross that I am a few days late with everything else.
I seem to have gone walkabout with my routine.
First there was the giddy joy of finishing my 10 000 word translation project.
Coffee cup? More like a tumbler of a whisky one.
Then came a sudden visit back to London to take on the allotment. (I’m here right now and counting the hours before I can get back to the garden. The real garden in France.)
And house guests. And planning for house guests. And doing that mad laundry work where you are almost stripping the sheets off the beds of the sleeping teenager because you have calculated how little time you have between visitors.
Remind me never to become an hotelier.
So. To try and ease my way back into the routine, herewith a post about mowing.
We had a pattern of weather that has lasted around a month. Warm, mild, boiling humidity, and by about 4pm most afternoons the mother of all storms would brew up and crash on our heads.
It makes you very very good at timekeeping. No lingering inside at lunch. You go out and hammer the grass cutting when you can.
And of late we have been a tag team of mowers. Meet the mountain team. Jean Daniel’s mighty mowing beast on the left. Big teeth.
No grass catcher. The Beast creates a touch of havoc. It tends to iron out all the curves I put into my edges.
But the road is shared and I think our dear neighbour gets up a head of steam behind this behemoth and just teeters all the way down to the letter boxes.
I follow behind with my smaller mower with a grass catcher. It is the elegant one on the mountain. Heaps of effete effects.
And then we have the worst job of all. Strimming. Reducing the jungle to manageable slopes. David wielded the noisy but effective strimmer all along the first terrace below the road to great effect.
We can’t keep the steep banks wildflowery and ‘interesting’. The rain batters the grass and weeds too flat. And if you leave it too long therin lie dragons.
Or in our case deer, wild boar, badgers and foxes. And pine martens. And verbascums. I know which is worst.
And we need to be ready for any potential bush fires. So no tall grass below the house.
There is the vile task of raking. That usually takes place in the late afternoon when the crashing of thunder gets closer and closer to the farm. You start to think about all the metal decorating your person – tines of the rake, tick. Metal belt buckle, metal earphones. Oh yes.
So you retreat. Dash into the house to unplug your electrics and forget to download your pictures or write your blog for days on end.
And if this rain keeps up, it will all grow up lustily again.
Actually the forecast bodes better for next week when I am out. So you can read all about me moaning about lack of rain and drought from here on in.