After I’d put the kids to bed the other evening, I was out in the garden raking leaves. Yeah, I far prefer draping myself across the sofa stuffing crackers in my face and watching X-Factor worst auditions on Youtube, but those leaves aren’t going to rake themselves you know.
As for why I hadn’t raked leaves earlier in the day, well, I have two kids. Anyone who doesn’t graciously accept that as the ultimate, tiger-blood, champion all-stars, boss excuse that it is either has no children, and/or is a cock. But ok: Thursday was a chaotic scramble of keeping the children alive long enough to get them to care; editing a 6 page funding application which is one of two part-time jobs I work; massaging my sick dog; exploding hair; collecting the kids and not forgetting one or both; packing Finn’s rugby bag; finalising the application and distracting Saoirse from eating it while I delivered it while Andrew took Finn to rugby; and then the carnage surrounding dinner.
So your general, standard-issue day.
All over the lawn.
Shitloads of the fuckers.
There’s a dude at the bottom of our hill who occasionally leaves his floodlight on, and I turned on the outside light, and it was a lovely, still, clear night with loads of stars . . . perfectly suited to lying on the sofa with a plate of crackers, but there I was raking leaves.
I’m thinking: “Jesus H C this literally motherfucking rake is fucking USELESS,” because it didn’t seem to be picking up anything. I’d done about half the garden when I realised the rake was upside-down.
Things progressed much faster once I turned it around.
After about an hour and a half, the garden looked much better (what I could actually see of it).
At nine o’clock, when I went inside to make Husband his dinner, he said, “Nice wellies. So do you know why you’re raking leaves?”
“Because . . . it’s . . . on the task list on the blackboard?”
“Well, I suppose there’s that, yes. But also, if you leave them on the lawn it can cause grass disease. You know, I raked the lawn the other day and it only took me half an hour-”
“Well, you should probably just take care of it in future,” I said, clanging a frying-pan forcefully against the stove-top, “because you’re obviously more mentally and emotionally prepared for raking leaves-”
“No, I meant: you don’t have to rake up every single last leaf.”
“Well, what’s the fucking point, then?”
I mean: OF COURSE you’ve got to get every last single leaf, because otherwise where do you draw the line? Two leaves? Three? Four hundred? Exactly; you never know which leaf has Ebola, so you better get the lot of them