Down at the coast for the next ten days to sail, I spent most of yesterday on the Mountfield sit-upon motor-mower, playing catch-up on the ‘painting the Forth Bridge’ chore of clipping the various lawns. The Mountfield does the business okay but, from a layman’s perspective, comes with an in-built disposal issue in the form of the limited capacity of the bucket-like grass-collector on the back.
This, combined with the inevitable fact that – yes, even in Britain – grass grows pretty fast during the summer months, means that you can only complete about one and a half lengths of the main lawn before the machine bleeps to signal that the grass-collector is full and needs emptying. This act demands a trip to the far end of the property and the kitchen-garden area where, for the past thirty-seven years, we have habitually dumped the cuttings.
As a result – I’m doing the arithmetic in my head here – mowing every length and a half of the 100-yard lawn involves a total round-trip of approximately twice that distance. And takes time.
Nearly forty years ago, a pal and I dreamed up a series of articles entitled Great Fights I Have Slept Through, with which we had a lot of fun, that got published in a sports magazine.
After yesterday’s exploits in the brilliant sunshine, I retired for a much-needed shower and then – refreshed, pleased with my efforts and weary in a nice way – joined my fellow guests on the terrace where I consumed two pints of Pimm’s before dinner. Well, it wasn’t quite two whole pints of Pimm’s. You’d probably have to discount the volume by a third (minimum) in order to take account of all the ice, fruit, cucumber and mint that was floating about in the pint glass I was nursing.
Nevertheless, this concoction – mixed with the subsequent excellent food and wine – meant that, when we moved through to the TV room to pick up on the Spain v Netherlands match in the soccer World Cup which had begun twenty minutes before, I remained awake thereafter only as far as the half-time whistle, which period happily included Van Persie’s outstanding headed goal.
You can probably see where I am coming from.
Given that I also managed to fend off slumber only for the first half of the opening game of the tournament (Brazil v Croatia), I shall now be submitting a proposal for a new series of articles taking the initial concept further, as hinted at in my working title for this new project, Great Sports Events I Have Slept Through.
Next among them will be tonight’s England opening match against Italy in the World Cup. Since it is scheduled to begin at 11.00pm, I can categorically assure my readers that I shall have gone to bed long before then.
Actually, borne of recent experience, I’ve also had an idea for another series of articles – Great Concerts I Have Failed to Attend.
A week ago, I woke up and looked in my diary to see that, about four months ago, I had bought four tickets to see Graham Parker and The Rumour at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire for the Saturday night.
Eons ago I has been a big fan of Parker – I once saw him in a memorable gig at London’s Rainbow Theatre in 1978 – and, when the event was announced, figured I might like to see how kind Time has been to him.
The realisation that I’d ostensibly bought tickets to this Parker outing was a shock on several counts – not least that firstly, there was definitely no way I could get to the gig and secondly, I had no idea where the tickets were or how to find them. I certainly couldn’t recall them having been sent to me. It later transpired that it was never the case that they were going to be sent to me – a brother explained that they were probably ‘e-tickets’, which meant that it was my responsibility to print off the tickets allegedly included in the email sent to confirm my online purchase. I checked and what he said was true. I printed the tickets off and – for want of anything better to do, and in order to get them used rather than go completely by the wayside – I sent them to my brother in case he could use them.
As it happens, in the event, he couldn’t.
That problem parked to one side, my next issue is the Beach Boys’ concert at Hampton Court on Tuesday 24th June. I’ve bought four tickets to that as well but, again, have no idea where they are.
I can see I shall have some work to do this week …