Thursday, August 02, 2012


redshank, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
I moved to Drumtara in 1978. The house was newly built and I was its first tenant. Reader, I had nothing!

Well - I had a child, another on the way, several hundred books, a bed, a toybox full of toys (but that wasn't mine) and a couple of chairs.

Word soon got round that I was in need of household effects and furnishings and friends rallied round to help. I soon had more furniture and bits and pieces than I needed. I never said no and that is a habit I have to this very day.

The house sorted, I began on the garden. I'd never had my own garden before and I was very excited. With help from my father I began to create a lawn for the children to play on. It was hard work breaking the soil, getting the stones and builder's rubble out and raking and finishing. At last Daddy pronounced it ready for sowing and gave me a plastic bag of grass seed. I scattered, sowed and waited with mounting anticipation.

It wasn't long before the first green shoots appeared. At first it was only a light green haze but as the days progressed it became greener and greener. My father came to look at it. There were a lot of areas where the seed hadn't taken. He said, "Don't worry. They'll fill in."

The grass continued to grow. It actually started to look quite lush. Except... except it didn't really look like grass. Daddy said, "Redshank." I was very disappointed. My first attempt at sowing a lawn and I had created a weed patch. A lush and green weed patch but a weed patch all the same. I asked my father what I should do. He said, "Just cut them back, don't let them flower, the grass will come through."

I didn't even have garden shears so I tackled my weed patch with the kitchen scissors. It took a long time and I got blisters. But the grass came through just like Daddy said. Of course the kitchen scissors proved impractical when that needed cutting and I acquired garden shears from somewhere and used them to keep the grass in check. To tell the truth it was never much of a lawn but it was good enough for my children to play on.

Nowadays I have a lawn and a ride on mower and a man to cut the grass for me. It's not the best lawn in the world but it's certainly good enough for my grandchildren to play on.

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