Lockdown sows fake culpability

And it’s still a long way from Level 1.


My gardening experience has never gone beyond mowing and trimming edges. The rest is left to garden service teams. But that has changed since lockdown Level 4 when outside gardeners were considered lepers. I’ve had to do the job myself – suiting me, since I have to find something filling the time between writing and scrubbing loos. Problem is, I need tools. Old ones are rusted or stolen. So, I find myself in the gardening aisle of the supermarket where I espy an array displayed. Spades, forks, rakes, pruning shears – all the stuff needed for pukka gardening. I’m hooked…

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My gardening experience has never gone beyond mowing and trimming edges. The rest is left to garden service teams. But that has changed since lockdown Level 4 when outside gardeners were considered lepers.

I’ve had to do the job myself – suiting me, since I have to find something filling the time between writing and scrubbing loos.

Problem is, I need tools. Old ones are rusted or stolen. So, I find myself in the gardening aisle of the supermarket where I espy an array displayed. Spades, forks, rakes, pruning shears – all the stuff needed for pukka gardening.

I’m hooked and come away with a boot-full I proudly show my Heidi. The look she gives me reminds me of my mom when I came home with a new toy – one that she knows would be shelved or broken in a few days.

Like the rake breaks when I accidentally ride over it with the car. The spade’s wooden handle breaks off when using it as a pick.

Fortunately, most of the planting had been done, so all that is left is having to clean the beds, feed fertiliser and keep watering.

So far, the response from the plants has been pleasing. Except the roses. Wilted and stilted. Then one day, for some weird reason, the image of Prince Charles appears before me. He it is who pow-wows with the flowers.

If such a weed can do it, why can’t I?

So, while Heidi is out shopping I kneel beside the rose bush and audibly say: “You are so beautiful, and I love you. But, for my sake, so that I can prove Heidi wrong, get a life. Pout those lips and let the colours flow.”

And to my horror the bush replies: “Hi, Cliff, I didn’t think you felt that way about me!”

It slowly dawns on me that the voice is that of Carol, our next-door neighbour, having me on – through the brick wall.

Red-faced, I slink into the house, cursing His Royal Highness and his greenies for believing such garbage.

With dread I’m awaiting the day when Carol blows the whistle over our romantic (sic) exchange. No spouse would believe the true story.

The roses, still wilting, are further damning evidence.

And it’s still a long way from Level 1.

Cliff Buchler.

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