Monday, 5 May 2008


Today is a holiday in the UK, for what reason I'm not sure. Anyhow, it being a long weekend, we went over to Manchester to visit Helen (Bill’s daughter) and Martin. Our labour was requested to help with the Great Back Garden Clean Up.

Now that Helen has moved in the house is getting a new look inside and out; work on Martin will probably have to wait until after the wedding. Simon (Bill’s son) was drafted as well, to help build a deck.

Bill and I cut the grass and we all hoyed a tonne or two of rock into the skip, leftovers, I think, from the former drive way which led to the former garage which had to be demolished because of an asbestos roof. Fortunately we have 20 or 30 years before we need to worry about asbestosis.

When we started work, I had a momentary pang. The weather was fine for a change and the sun was warm on my back. The fresh cut grass smelled green. The radio was on for the football (soccer) match (Man United v. West Ham). The announcer’s intonation and the roar of the crowd were universal; with my eyes closed I could have been back home in Oklahoma City helping my Dad with the yardwork.

I tried a number of implements on the weeds at the edges of the garden and can tell you that British strimmers are just as rubbish as American ones. I did manage to de-house enough spiders to make another Harry Potter movie and we scared some poor little frog nearly to death. I relocated all the earthworms I found amongst the rocks into the back of the garden to atone for the ones I’ve sieved in my own garden.

We were well pleased with our efforts and more than a little surprised at what 5 people could get done in a few hours.

And of course, the cat supervised.

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