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Digging & Strimming

Back at the end of April, Val bought me a strimmer for my birthday. Well things being as organised as usual, it was only this weekend that I got around to giving it a go. Being somewhat mechanically challenged, I actually read the instructions before carefully mixing the two stroke oil with the petrol and starting her up.

By starting her up, I mean attempting to start her up. Pulled and pulled at the cord to no avail and re-read the instructions but no joy. In the end I decided the best thing to do was to go into a local repair place and seek advice on Monday.

So, one last try on Sunday afternoon and my luck was in. I don’t know what I did differently but it finally got going. Now in the instructions there’s a bit on health and safety. To be more accurate, there’s a bit that’s not dire warnings.

You know the type of thing. “Do not use this machines whilst drunk out of your mind and undertaking brain surgery, Do not use this machine with a petrol engine in an enclosed room” The problem with all these over the top safety instructions is that it is hard to know what to take seriously.

There’s a picture of a chap dressed like a knight in armour. How much of this is sense and how much is just the manufacturer covering their back from some legal case.

I know we’re supposed to follow all these instructions but I like to live dangerously! Besides, if I did manage to strim my foot off or something, there’s only me to blame. I’m all for being sensible – you wouldn’t catch me using a flymo in sandals or suchlike – but if we do everything by the book then nothing would get done. Anyway, if you use a strimmer then do follow the safety rules (that’s my back legally covered!)

It suggested ear defenders but I made do with my radio and earphones. It’s no louder than the rotovator and my ears are no nearer the engine. Steel toecap boots make sense but in this weather? I soon figured that I’d have to be a contortionist to actually get the strimming head near my feet.

Goggles, however, are a good idea or even a face mask. The strimmer can throw stones and bits of chopped nettle back at your face. Gloves, thick ones, are good as it vibrates a lot and the gloves dampen it down.

Anyway, I survived and a lot of nettles and grass have been cut down. What’s that you say? Pardon? I can’t hear a blessed thing.

The weather was supposed to be a bit wet and windy but it was actually a rather lovely afternoon, hence my being outside. And I didn’t have any suncream on either. Apart from the strimming, I mainly spent my time digging over the garden area to the side of the house. This is Val’s domain and she’s plans for a herb garden and various bushes. It’s all a bit vague at the moment, I dare say she’ll tell me what I need to know as we go on. For now my job is to turn it over.

I dug over about 6 square yards, which isn’t very much at all. The problem is that there are so many large stones and rocks in there. It’s like digging over hardcore. I’m not at all sure this is natural, perhaps there was a building here in the past as I’m bring up some rusted metal bits and broken pottery as well as the rocks. Eat your heart out Time Team!

The larger pieces went into the wheelbarrow and over to the shed base where I’m building a retaining wall. At this rate it will rival the great wall of China.

Whilst all this was going on, Val went to the Focus closing down sale and returned with some trellis and a very large pot. Our neighbours gave us a honeysuckle which is going to be trained up the wall and there’s no soil, hence the pot.

Since the weekend the weather has gone downhill. Cold, windy and showers. In fact it’s that cold we’ve put the heating back on. And yes, I’m wearing a sweater but my fingers are cold trying to type.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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