Exposing parts of your flesh that have been unexposed all winter. No don’t worry folks; I am not offending the rest of the human race with my multiples stomachs. I am simply wearing shorts – Yes, it is warm enough to wear shorts – and I don’t mean in the British sense, where males feel obliged to wear them as soon as the weather rises above 15°c.
NO. We have got real short-wearing weather – almost 30°c outside. Just think on this – only a couple of weeks ago, vast tracts of France were covered in almost knee-high snow and now, Spring has finally sprung.
Hooray for Shorts
The state of shorts. Back when I was a kid in the 70’s, boys just didn’t do shorts. Winter or summer it was jeans. If you wore shorts at all, it would be at school for a gym lesson. Now though, shorts are in vogue – enormous baggy « combat trouser-style » shorts with pockets absolutely everywhere. Brilliant. I don’t need to take a « manbag » with me in summer – keys, cigarettes, phone and ID papers – they all go in the numerous deep pockets of my shorts. And of course, even when you think you intimately know the pocket layout of your shorts – Hey Presto, you always find a new pocket.
Up the Garden Path and Down the Dump
It’s warm enough to head up the garden path and actually se if you have any garden left after a long cold and wet winter. I have heard that snow can « burn » your lawn – though I don’t have a lawn – just an expanse of green stuff that I call grass – occasionally punctuated by weeds and moss. What the hell, when you cut it all back, it looks half decent.
So, I gave the grass it’s first « haircut » of the year with my puny electric mower. It does the job and frankly I don’t want to go spending masses of my hard-earned cash on a posh mower.
Now, I like a good clean cut. I use the grass box provided with the mower to pick up the grass as I go. The « waste » grass normally goes on the compost heap, though when this has reached Himalayan proportions, I collect the grass in huge bags and take it down to the local rubbish dump – garden refuse section AND HERE is yet another joy of spring – the near weekly trips to the dump with a car loaded up to the gunnels with garden refuse. Over recent years, I have even invested huge re-usable garden refuse bags – they’re great. And once at the dump – well, you meet friends and neighbours or work colleagues, you have a chat; you compare garden refuse, refuse collection techniques or just talk about gardening. A veritable hive of social activity, almost as much fun as the supermarket on a Saturday morning.
Another joy of spring is of course the BBQ. I used to have a BBQ, but one day in a fit of rage (like a lot of my garden Tools) it went flying up the garden, landed in a corner and stayed there for a couple of months, until I took it to the dump. Nowadays, I frankly couldn’t be bothered with a BBQ. The meat is always burned, the charcoal contains cancer-giving substances, cleaning the BBQ is a pain and – well every time I cook on a BBQ, I come away stinking of smoke and fat AND furthermore, I have never managed to cook anything properly on a BBQ and never managed to cook everything so that everyone eats at the same time.
Now, I don’t mind coming for a BBQ at your place, just as long as you buy decent meat and wine, and you don’ use you BBQ as a giant ashtray cum household waste burner – YES, I am a smoker myself, but unlike other smoker/BBQ friends – I don’t throw my dog ends into the burning charcoal and I certainly don’t use the Barbie as an opportunity to burn the fistfuls of crappy brochures and adverts that have been thrust through my letterbox during the week.
As for wine and meat – why do people always feel obliged to go for quantity rather than quality when they have a BBQ – It seems that the wine box and the supermarket BBQ meat pack have become standard issue.
Other joys of spring – the smell of spring in the air, cherry blossom, dreaming of summer and of course, getting the garden furniture out of the shed, cleaning it off and setting it up in the garden, knowing full well that it is going to rain all bloody summer and you’re only ever going to be in the garden to do some gardening.
Enjoy your joys of spring.
And finally, the “not joys of spring” – setting and marking vast quantities of exams, which explains my absence from this blog.