A thought occurred to me at the weekend – in my entire adult life, I have never mown a lawn.
Shameful, I know, but as a city slicker for the whole of my working life, I have never lived in a home with any grass outside.
Sure I’ve had a few pot plants, some of which have even survived for more than one season, but my ‘garden’ has never incorporated a patch of land big enough to merit planting any grass. Until now, that is.
6 weeks ago we moved into our new home and as a result, I have now become the proud owner of a decent sized back garden, complete with real live lawn.
For the first few weeks, I found the whole novelty of being a lawn owner a source of great excitement, finding any excuse to visit the shed at the end of the garden, primarily so I could experience the feeling of grass beneath my feet. My very own grass.
Then a couple of weeks ago as the heavy rains set in, I started to notice something. Grass grows. In fact, it grows quite quickly.
Before long my lawn’s appearance had changed subtly in character from kempt (is there such a word?) to unkempt to downright scruffy.
Clearly something had to be done and in the absence of a team of crack lawnkeepers, I figured that the responsibility for taming the (by now knee-high) grass probably fell squarely on my own shoulders.
What to do? Despite my inexperience, I felt instinctively that I would need a lawn mower of some description, but an initial sortie to Homebase left my head reeling with the variety of options available and I ended up slinking home with my wallet still safely in my pocket.
Do I want petrol or electric? rotary or cylinder, or what about hover? do I need a grassbox? what brand? how much should I spend?
Returning home to ponder my next steps, I decided as a distraction, I would finally get around to sorting out the pile of junk the previous owners had left behind in the corner of the shed.
Whilst carrying out this rather mundane task, I came across a mysterious looking electrical object lurking at the back, covered in cobwebs and looking as if it just might be a distant aged cousin of the lawn mower family.
It was a strange looking upright beast with a handle and a trigger at one end, flaring out into a base containing a rotary disc with a little piece of cord sticking out and copious warning labels advising that standing too close while in use could result in loss of limb.
Nothing ventured, I plugged its long cord into a nearby socket and headed towards to lawn, still not quite sure if the mystery machine was intended to cut down stubborn grass, blow away piles of leaves, or maybe even sand blast the pathway.
Fortunately my first instincts were correct and as soon as I gunned the trigger, it sprung into life and hungrily started hacking down the forest of grass shoots that were by now concealing all evidence of the lawn beneath.
A couple of rather tiring hours later, the lawn had been restored to its former glory and I had found myself with an exciting new toy to add to the collection.
So, how was my lawn mowing debut? Well, overall, apart from an aching shoulder as a result of swinging this deceptively heavy implement around all afternoon with great gusto, I found the whole experience strangely satisfying.
Whilst the end result is probably a little too patchy to satisfy the lawn purists, it certainly now looks 100% better and I’m far less likely to lose a child’s toy (or even a child) in its darker recesses than I was before.
And inspired by my early success, I can see myself heading back to Homebase in the near future with far greater purpose in my step, soon to be the proud owner of my very own lawn mower. I feel like I’ve arrived!