Let’s talk about the garden. Or rather, gardens, plural. My village is full of them. Some small, some middling, some large. Some wild and wonderful, some neat and tidy, with rows of pots, edged lawns and perfectly trimmed hedges. Some a complete mess, some rich in produce, and some just sorry, sad, monoblock.
Most of them house a shed, or some sort of outhouse, containing all the tools you ever need, and then some, to maintain these little plots of land.
When we moved here in the height of summer, we instantly noticed the quiet – that would happen moving to a village from the city, right enough. No sirens, not that much traffic, fewer people – less noise.
But then we started listening to our new surroundings, and realised it was just a very different kind of noise. In amongst the birdsong, there was a low hum. A drone, if you will, of gardening instruments – strimming, trimming, pruning, and mowing in harmony.
The village has its own orchestra – and the preferred symphony includes lawnmowers, strimmers, hedge-trimmers, and who knows what sort of garden tools!
Sometimes, it would build to a crescendo in the early evenings when, home from work, the residents would come out all at once to give the lawn that badly needed mowing, or the hedge that overdue trim.
Ah, how lovely, we thought. People busying themselves with their gardens, isn’t this what village life is all about? We even joined in, mowed our lawn a few times, trimmed our hedge.
But, you know, sometimes, even the low drone of lawnmowers starts to get into your head. And when some soloist decides to enjoy the last of the summer sun on a Saturday evening and cut the grass with the loudest petrol mower in the street, enough is enough!
The piece de resistance, however, was our hedge-cutting wake-up call one morning at 745am by our over-eager, uber-gardener neighbour across the road.
As I woke from my slumber, thanks t this alien sound, and peered through the curtains to see him going at his hedge, full-tilt, with a f***-off chainsaw style thing, cutting hedges with it was not how I envisaged using said tool!
Now, as the leaves change colour and start to all, the gardening choirs have disbanded for another season, and there’s just the odd solo here and there, as people give the grass that one last cut, the hedges one more trim.
And we’ve already booked tickets for next year’s spring performance. Just not too early a showing please!