Sunday, March 28, 2010


Well… I think ‘It’ has finally happened. Maybe… Perhaps… Oh, Please… whisper it who dares but in this small corner of the planet …spring has arrived.

Though I had my suspicions... (you all know the signs, the long since veiled yellow globe is hanging slightly higher in sky of late - meaning I can once again put off cleaning the inside of car windscreen till next winter - and green shoots have now sluggishly emerged from their beds like a teenager before Sunday lunch)…

The arrival of Spring was confirmed for me by the sound of the old faithful lawnmower hacking and cursing into life.

The lawnmower was hacking. The Better Half was doing the cursing. In times gone by it would have been me out there taking care of the large green blobs in the garden – lawns, hedges - but times roll on and so does job description. I am now Officer of Morale and Prettifying and he is in charge of everything else. All that jolly useful stuff in life that I secretly hope my kids will suck in to their brains from either him or the ether, coz they won’t be getting it from me… As prettifying also covers the actual plants in the garden I’m pouring over the RHS handbook hoping some of it goes in.

Yet again I wish I could rewind time to when my mother was trying to teach me the difference between a newly sprouted rare, expensive and delicate plant or a weed. There are many things I would tell my younger self.. a lot of which would contain the words… “it’s just not a good look”.. but on the whole I would take the opportunity to smack me round the back of the head and scream “Pay Attention ya dummy, she’s giving ya pearls!”

Ah, Spring…. full of new possibilities and eternal hope. Hope that the antiquated gardening equipment will survive another season. The lawnmower is hanging on in there. For years it has only had to cope with the edges the ride-on mower couldn't reach. But now it is facing a season of double bubble, as our ride-on is terminal. It is getting beyond repair and embarrassing the snails who can overtake it.

The Better Half was hoping to replace it with the mother of all garden tractors. So with a spring in his step he took me to the John Deere showroom. There, in the corner, hulked a green and yellow behemoth large enough to take a rear mounted swing arm with finger flail to attack the hedges with. A snip at 16 grand. The Better Half was in love. I was in shock, wondering where we would site the new barn needed to house the thing. Luckily common sense and the advice of the salesman, God bless him, prevailed. The BH was steered in the direction of a more conventional ride on that even I could manage, but not before asking if this meant he could now get a quad bike? Deary, deary me…

I’ve only myself to blame, he is a toy boy after all and being under 35 still in adolescence, as opposed to having flipped overnight into mid life crisis. The difference being I am more likely to come home to find a JCB sitting on the drive than I am a low slung sports car complete with low slung floozy – if that ever happens I hope the floozy knows how to garden, we’ll be quids in!

All of the Better Half’s horticultural enthusiasm stems from last year’s foray into ‘grow your own’. Success with beans and carrots has seen us transformed into Tom and Barbara Good. Which over the last few weeks has meant building a huge raised bed and repairing the greenhouse. (The latter coming as a bit of a shock to the cats used to diving through the broken panes to escape the Gargantuan Puppy - Seeing kitty rebound off the newly installed glass is a memory I shall guiltily treasure.) It also means all windowsills are now covered in seed trays and shouts of “It’s sprouted” can often be heard.

To make up for the lack of quad bike I have bought the BH a Japanese Gardening Trowel or Hori Hori knife. If Crocodile Dundee was to emerge from the herbaceous border this would be what he was holding when he said “Now that’s a trowel.” Armed with this new commando trowel BH has set about the bramble roots with fresh faced joy.

I’ve have been fresh faced myself of late. Spring means it’s time to update Spotlight, the actors' directory. All over the land thesps are having new photos taken in time for the deadline. I am no exception. Every few years one goes through the ritual to let casting directors know what they’d be getting. Of course, I have another reason for new photos – I have a new agent, and a new voice agent to boot.

All of the above, including new agent courtships, takes time. So forgive my absence from the blog of late but life got in the way…

It has a habit of doing that and if you go outside and inhale amidst the sea of daffodils you can smell it in the air…. Hold on tight, we’re going round again.