Words from a Bird. Day 123.
I am a great fun of the instant garden. Let me explain. I am not one for waiting for plants to grow and flower. I would much rather buy the plant all dolled up and ready for a night on the town. This explains why a visit to the garden centre was on the cards yesterday morning, as befitting a Bank Holiday weekend. The sun was out and a barbecue was planned for the afternoon, which meant that the no man's land, commonly known as 'the back garden' needed some serious TLC before our guests arrived, otherwise they would have to slash their way through the undergrowth with a machete to get to the table.
Flowering plants and hanging baskets were purchased. Within an hour of leaving the garden centre, the baskets were hanging, and the plants had been hurriedly thrown into empty pots and scattered around the borders. It all looked rather lovely.
Out came the sun loungers and their cushions. Daughter number 1, who is a complete cissy where spiders are concerned, was unable to venture into the storage box where the cushions are kept, so I got that job. Strangely enough, I had done a similar thing for son number 2 (also a cissy, just taller)earlier in the day, only with a cricket bag in the garage which hadn't moved for two years. As I unzipped this bag, the smell which assaulted my senses will stay with me for some time. Dirty boy...
Patio furniture was washed down, and the barbecue fired up. Actually it had been going all night, as the husband wanted to 'burn it off'. This is a technical term, only ever used by husbands, to make the cleaning of a barbecue sound vaguely dangerous. I am sure that if I was allowed to get anywhere near it, a bowl of soapy water and a scourer would do the job just as well. As a female, I am not permitted to touch the barbecue as it's 'man's work'...anything with a naked flame (open fire, matches, candle lighting) falls into this category. Electric ovens and gas hobs don't count, and can be left to the women.
Our guests arrived, the garden was duly praised, and pieces of raw chicken and sausages made their final Green Mile walk towards the husband and his naked flames. It is always worth mentioning at this point the sheer nonsense of handing the responsibility of the barbecue to the one person who is least qualified to cook it. Apparently, a blue and white striped apron, and a jauntily held bottle of beer are all the qualifications you need, so why would I worry? (Life Lessson #2 - always stick to the carbs and salad).
As the husband gave a ten minute warning as to the readiness of the burned offerings, the heavens opened. A major decamping exercise into the kitchen was on the cards before the bread went soggy, and the wine was diluted.
Why were we surprised? This was Britain for heaven's sake - the country of the impromptu outside event, the planning of which should go something like this:
'Is it raining?'
'Did we use up all the gas last year?'
'Good, fire up the barbecue'.
It wasn't all bad though. At least I didn't have to water the new plants last night...