All I wanted to do during those three days was go outside in my pyjamas and my dressing gown, sit down and drink a cup of tea in the fresh air.
When you live on the main street and the closest thing you have to a garden is a big clump of weeds growing out of the gutter, that is not an option.
I mean, I could have gone outside in my pyjamas and my dressing gown and sat down and had a cup of tea. But I would have got in people's way while they were trying to shop. And the air would have been full of bus fumes.
Oh, and we lived on the fourth floor; I had my doubts about climbing back up there.
So we moved to somewhere with a garden.
A bit of a garden. We own the flowerbeds around the edge of a lawn which we share with the downstairs neighbour.
"Hmm," thought I, "it seems a bit unfair that the downstairs neighbour gets loads of garden to herself and we get two little flowerbeds."
I was a fool. WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES. Because, people? Two little flowerbeds take a completely unreasonable level of effort to maintain. And I have pictures to hang and dishes to wash and sitcoms to watch as well, you know!
Anyway, nine weeks (I think? could somebody count and check for me, please?) into owning "a garden", this is what I have learnt:
- It is possible to get stung in your own garden. I KNOW! I thought there was some sort of rule.
- Saving your gardening "for a nice day" is a terrible idea. An hour of weeding in the sunshine will make the backs of your knees sweat.
- Mowing the lawn is much easier if you keep accidentally leaving it to the retired lady downstairs to do.
- Lots of perfectly nice plants look like grass until they can be bothered flowering. Weeding takes twice as long if you have to keep replanting grass every time you find there is a bulb at the bottom of it.
- Lots of things your mother-in-law considers to be weeds are very pretty. In fact, the only way to tell if something is a weed or not is this: if you tug on it and it comes out of the ground easily, it was supposed to be there.
- People who talk at great length about how much effort they're putting into cultivating a nice lawn are either fools or playing the martyr. It is very easy to cultivate a nice lawn. All you need to do is describe a patch of land as "a flowerbed" and then proceed to ignore it for several weeks. When you return, it will be covered in lovely, thick grass. And possibly dandelions.
- Irises are more effort than they're worth.