I don't do gardening I am deemed a clumsy oaf
THE barbecue has been taking a bit of a battering of late. Not from excessive use but from the good old British weather. As we headed into May it found itself tucked up all cosy beneath its all-weather cover at the bottom of the garden......standing in about six inches of water.
It was a forlorn scene, yet typical of all that is summertime in the UK.
Anyway, I find that at this time of year, no matter what the weather hurls at us, my wife and I spend some serious leisure time at garden centres.
I don't do gardening, by the way. I am deemed a clumsy, useless oaf in that respect and only good for moving heavy hernia-inducing pots and containers, or retrieving and re-fixing the floral window boxes which lurk beneath our bedroom windows.
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So, while my wife disappears into aisle after aisle of various blooms and greenery, I while away the moments looking at what are quaintly deemed garden accessories.Barbecues fall into that category, of course.
I reckon they will always remain the most under-used bit of gear we ever buy in Britain.
But we do need a new garden shed. The window's broken thanks to wayward footballs, the roofing felt has blown away and what remains just flaps around, and the door's a bit dodgy, too.
Inside there are various Triffid-like fronds which have come from outside.
It's not the way I imagined it would be when it was in its pristine newly-built glory some years back.
Now, I have a fancy to do what my favourite great uncle used to do, and use the shed as a refuge from the trials and tribulations of the world on the other side of the garden fence.
In other words, a place to have a quiet nap, out of everyone's earshot and eyesight. But no. It's currently crammed with half-empty weed-killer sprays, fertilisers, broken spades, rakes, blunt tree loppers, brushes with no brush head (or no handle), a battered lawnmower, and an electric cultivator, a Christmas present from me, which my wife has used just once.
There is no room for a small floor cushion, let alone a comfy old rocking chair.
So I'm thinking seriously about replacing it and, maybe, just maybe, I thought to myself, I might get a different, bigger shed design.
Treat myself to a little retreat, as it were.
Then my wife hoves into view pushing a trolley which looks like a miniature rainforest on wheels.
I am just about to put my shed proposal to her when she pre-empts me saying, "Oh, are you looking at that Wendy House? Agatha (youngest grandchild, aged three), would love one of those."
Well, she might, but you can't get a rocking chair through the door.
Ah, never mind, there's always next summer.