…and so does the lawn mowing season.
Although there is no direct causal link between the two, they both happen about the same time every year, marking the start of a period of many months spending several hours each weekend either sitting on or walking behind a lawn mower.
For the next six months or so the weekend weather forecast takes on a greater importance, wet weather means the grass will be too wet to cut and I can take a day off. However it encourages the grass to grow even more. Prolonged dry weather means the grass slows down and the mower collects more dust than grass.
Such has been the case for more years than I can remember. I am not sure when it started, when my dad first put me at the controls of a mower. It was definitely when I was at school, but I can’t remember which year it would have been.
I remember in my GCSE French lesson being asked what I did at the weekend, couper l’herbe was the answer I was looking for or so my French teacher told me. That is one of the few bits of my French lessons that I do remember. That would have been some when in the late 1980s.
During my school days I would earn my pocket money mowing other people’s lawns as well as that at home. When school finished and full-time employment began lawn mowing was reduced to just that at home.
Then I moved into my own home and had my own patch of grass to take care of, it is only a small patch, but it is mine (or ours if I am being truly accurate). I was then released from lawn mowing duties at home. As my father’s health deteriorated I was once again called upon to mow my parent’s lawn and today for the first time this year I was there mowing my mum’s lawn.
There is something extremely satisfying about a well mown lawn, with perfectly straight stripes of alternating dark and light green. And of course there is the smell of freshly cut grass as well. Not to mention it is great exercise throwing a mower around and following it up and down the lawn, I know my muscles will ache for a while until I get back into the swing of things again.
It is also great for the mind. The noise of the mower drowns out just about any other noise and I find myself slipping into auto-pilot, and just following the mower for stripe after stripe, letting my brain take whichever course it wants, usually up some branch of my family tree.