A combination of laziness, ineptitude and detesting gardening means that the poor lawn has been deglected for the best part of a year. Well, I say lawn, it was more of a meadow after not seeing the lawn mower for so long.
I got the mower and strimmer out, plugged it all in and surveyed the 12"-18" high grass. Mostly grass. I decided on strimming it first as the mower wouldn't have coped too well. Enter first casualty.
Not more than a fifth of the garden had been mowed before the strimmer choked to death on the impossibly long grass, clumps of meadow grass that had taken refge there and innumerable weeds. Not a problem thinks I, it probably just needs to cool down a bit so I started mowing what I had just strimmed.
The mower kept getting clogged up with the huge amount of cut grass on the lawn (can't find the rake) so in a flash of genius I tied the flap up at the back where the box (not present) should go. Now the grass flies out of the back of the mower all over my legs but it does at least cut the grass. Or it did until approaching halfway through the lawn when it stopped dead.
Oh bugger I thought, it's the mother-in-law's mower. The terror you feel when breaking your mother-in-law's lawn mower is something only married men will understand. As luck would have it, the mower wasn' the second casualty in this story - it merely had lots of long grass wound round the shaft that the blade sits on. I ripped the grass out and the mower ran smoothly. In fact, I got it started again just in time because the mother-in-law had just arrived with the new strimmer she'd just gone and fetched us (Somerfields, £11.99 - bargain!).
I strimmed the rest of the lawn with the new strimmer - minus the protective cover because it was crap with it on - and then finished it off with the mower.
So where, I hear you ask, is the second casualty? No mention of chopped up toes, no expensive pride and joy plants cut to pieces, so where is the casualty? Well, it's my hands. The very worst thing about strimming an entire lawn is that it turns your hands and wrists into jelly for hours afterwards. When I had finished I couldn't even scratch my ear, I had such little control over my hands. I struggled valiantly to hold my wine glass and drink the contents without spilling any. It's taken me a good half an hour to type this blog entry because I can't keep my fingers under control for long enough to press more than a couple of keys in succession.
Still, it's done now and in a few hours I'll have got most of the feeling back in my hands. I got it finished just in time because it's now raining so hard it's flooded the patio in less than two minutes and the satellite receiver can't pick up a signal - yay, 3 TV obsessed kids and no TV.