Fine weather finally arrived at the start of the week.
Fine weather means I have to cut the grass as I usually use the excuse that it's too cold or too wet. As it was neither of these I had to rely on my emergency fallback excuse – too busy.
Now excuses are all very well. They get me out of cutting the grass but the grass has a nasty habit of not playing ball and the fucking stuff just gets longer. And longer. And longer.
I finally ran out of excuses and went to do some mowing on Monday.
The rear nearside tyre was flat.
This happens every year. I remove the mower from under heaps of Winter rubbish and expose the fact that it's sitting at a drunken angle on a flat tyre. It's always the same one. The other tyres behave themselves and will go for years but not that rear nearside bugger.
There is a ritual involved here. I start off by practicing my entire blue vocabulary, which takes about half an hour. I then have to jack up the mower and remove the wheel. I then bring said wheel down to Spanner's gaff where phase two starts.
It's a tubeless wheel which means that the pressure in the tyre forces the tyre out to make an airtight seal. But if there's no air, then there is no seal and therefore I can't put air in as it escapes out the gap. Fuck!
Normally this next phase involves a whole lot of blood, sweat and language as I juggle the fucking thing while squirting air at it. I try a tourniquet of rope to distort the tyre against the rim and this involves even more cursing and swearing. It's not a pretty sight.
On Monday, I connected the air hose and miracles of miracles the fucking thing inflated first time. I couldn't believe it, but there was the guage telling me the tyre was fully inflated. Joy!
I went home, jacked the wheel back on and decided I had shed enough sweat for one day and made a mug of tea.
Tuesday dawned and I went to mow the lawn.
The fucking wheel was flat again.
There is this thing they have in films where a bloke goes around smashing everything in sight in a fit of rage. Normally this seems kind of daft because he'd only have to tidy after and replace all the smashed up stuff, but on Tuesday I understood. I am a patient bloke but I had passed my limit of patience so far back that it had vanished over the horizon.
I decided on a different tack and phoned around to see if I could buy an inner tube. I found a place who said they would have one the following day.
Wednesday dawned. I drove over and collected the tube. At last – a permanent solution to an annual problem. I was delighted with myself.
Have you ever tried fitting an inner tube in a tractor wheel? The last time I fitted a tube was about fifty five years ago and that was on a pushbike. Tractor wheels, I discovered are a little different. It is a job that requires strength [of which I still have a little], ingenuity, patience [which I had long run out of] and time. I fought with the fucking thing for about two hours but eventually I won. I stood back in wonderment and admired my mower now sitting squarely on four inflated wheels. I decided to cut the grass.
The battery was flat.
I eventually got it started and attacked the lawn.
I didn't realise the grass was so long. For the first time in living memory the mower nearly wasn't up to the job. It kept jamming by stuffing its innards with mulch and I had to keep reversing and raising the blades to clear it out. I finally finished at around eight last night.
It looks lovely and smells even better.
Anyone know where I can get a donkey?