Yesterday I decided that spring has arrived.
For a day or two, anyway.
I decided to cut the grass.
For most people, cutting the grass is a straightforward business – you get out the mower, you cut the grass, you go for a pint.
Here it is somewhat different, for the first cut of the year, anyway. First I have to walk the whole area removing fallen trees [not too many of them], fallen branches [loads of them] and rocks [where the fuck do the rocks come from?]
The next job is to check the tractor. I have to check the oil [fine], the fuel [topped that up] and the tyres. I kicked the first tyre. Fine. Kicked the second. That nearly left me with a limp. Kicked the third. No problems at all. Kicked the fourth. Fuck! Flat!
For those of you not familiar with the concept of the tubeless tyre, let me explain. An uninflated tyre will just sit happily and loosely on the wheel, with a large gap between itself and the rim. An inflated tyre is pressed hard against the rim by the pressure inside, forming an airtight seal. Have you spotted the problem yet? Yup. How do you get from one state to the other? There is no point in just applying an air hose as the air will happily gush out the huge gap. So how the fuck is it done?
I removed the wheel, bunged it in the trailer and drove down to Spanner’s. The trick then is to apply a tourniquet to the tyre, wrapping a length of rope around the wheel and tightening to the point of stupidity. With a bit of luck, this will distort the tyre and force the edge against the rim. All that is required then is a lot of patience, a lot of compressed air, a healthy dose of foul language and usually a pint or two of blood. We got the job done so I bought it home and slapped it on the tractor.
I finally got to firing up the yoke and driving it out, to discover the next problem – the garden has changed a lot since last year and I have to work out a new route around the grass to fit the new shape. It’s a lot smaller as all the trees, bushes and shrubs have encroached a good bit. I also discovered to my cost that branches I used to gently push to one side as I mowed past are now fully fledged boughs that are quite sufficient to knock me off the fucking seat.
Anyhows, the job was done and I deserved that pint.
At least the Snake’s Head Fritillaries survived the winter.