After yesterday’s long walk around Beetley Meadows and Hoe Rough, I arrived home knowing that there was something I could no longer put off doing. Try as I might, I couldn’t ignore the fact that the grass on the lawn had grown considerably during the recent spell of good weather. With the chance of rain over the weekend, I had already decided that Thursday afternoon would be a good time to bite the bullet, and get that grass cut.
Ollie is not too bothered about the garden, unless I am in it of course. He cannot bear to miss out on anything I might be doing, so is always sure to be as close to me as possible, at all times. But to Ollie, boring gardening accessories, like the brown wheelie bin for clippings, the electric hover mower, and the ‘parrot-beak’ secateurs, are just another version of toys. As soon as I started to wheel the bin through from the front, he was off. Dashing around the garden pretending that the bin was chasing him, instead of just being wheeled into position.
Once I started up the mower, he danced around in front of it growling, as if to take it on in a rough game. We all know that a powerful mower, with its huge rotary blade whirring around underneath, is anything but a toy. But to Ollie, it is all a game. Naturally, I make him stand away from the business end of the mower, but I have to always be aware that at any moment, he may decide to rush forward and try his luck. As I move it around, he also likes to examine the areas that have been freshly cut, as if something exciting is awaiting him there, once the long grass is gone.
Mowing over, it was time to sweep up everywhere. The broom and long-handled dustpan I use out there are also objects for Ollie to investigate. He will rush back and forth with each sweep of the broom, waiting for me to create the small piles to pick up and put in the cuttings bin. Once each pile is neatly stacked, he of course has to run through them toward me, just so I have to sweep that pile together once again.
Of course, I could just make life a lot easier, by shutting him in the house when I do any gardening. But then I would be depriving myself of the help from my assistant, Ollie the gardening dog.