18 May 2009

Turf Wars

Accountant huffed past me, scowling and sweating heavily. He glared ahead as he dumped his 15th wheelbarrow of turf onto my wellied feet. I could tell he was beginning to hate me. And I was beginning to hate gardening, despite an enthusiastic start and the stirrings of a curious crush on Alan Titchmarsh.

Perhaps Accountant had been right. Laying a whole new lawn over the weekend may not have been one of my better ideas. Unwilling to accept that that could ever be the case, I’d ignored him, badgering him relentlessly until he broke. My victory was short lived when he informed me that I’d be laying it alone.

So I spent everyday working the land - digging, excavating, stamping, levelling and raking then re-raking in readiness for the Bank Holiday weekend. When Chickie slept, I raked. When Chickie went to playgroup, I raked. When Chickie went to bed, Accountant dug and I raked.

Twenty hours of hard labour and hands that would never look womanly again and we were ready.

As I surveyed the 27 squared metres of levelled mud, the 4ft high piles of turf and my husband’s retreating silhouette, I did wonder what I’d been thinking. It definitely hadn’t looked that hard on Groundforce but then Alan was a skilled professional and they had featured his lawn laying in fast forward.

Upon unrolling my new green carpet, my spirits wilted further. Rather than the lush, thick bowling green grass I’d expected, I found a sad looking offering, yellowing and smelling of something familiar.

Whilst Accountant barricaded himself in the house, I plundered on. One hour and four squared metres later and I decided a call to the garden centre was overripe as was my, now steaming, lawn.

Me: "It's yellow and smells funny"
Penny at the Garden Centre: “What does it smell like?”
Me: “Horse poo”Penny at the Garden Centre: “It shouldn’t smell like that, that means it’s fermenting and won’t root. You need to bring it back”
Me: “Marvellous”
I knocked on our back door, which Accountant had thoughtfully locked. I watched his peanut shaped head poke through the curtains which he’d also closed.
Me: “We need to take the lawn back”Accountant: “@#;!in& b@#%!** hell!”

That was the last time I heard him speak for a while. He didn’t speak at all as he began reloading all the grass he’d previously unloaded back into the wheelbarrow and then into his car.
He didn’t speak much this weekend either as he trundled back and forth with his wheelbarrow piled up with all the new grass.

On Sunday evening, my green (literally) fingers ached and everything else hurt but I had one last thing to do before I could rest.

Collapsing next to Accountant on the sofa, I poised myself.

“Sweetheart” I began, “I’m sorry.” Deep breath. “You were right.”

It had taken ten years, but it had finally happened and Accountant couldn’t have looked smugger.

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