Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The mower as a time machine

The sixth age shifts into a lean and slippered pantaloon…
… a world too wide for his shrunk shank.


Ageing isn’t just a withering of the body but a contraction of hope. Mundane detail also tells the story.

The first pusher is second-hand: the blades are blunt and one wheel jams randomly, tearing the grass.
The cheap, new pusher sheds its grass-box.
The hoverer runs over its own cable.
Engines are harder and harder to start. Recite: Lord protect me from small capacity IC power units.
And thus the ride-on.
BUT
You pay next-door’s kid to do the riding.

Does anyone know anyone who has chosen and paid for their own burial plot? Surely the act of a Virgoan (I am a Virgoan) keen to tie off all the loose ends.

MORE, ALAS, ON CHARITY I can be tickled into spreading my bread on the waters. Years ago I handed over my credit card to my younger daughter as she watched the first Band Aid do, a gesture that cost me twice over as the pro-gay Terence Higgins Trust sought to get in touch with me later and rang off every time Mrs BB picked up the phone.

Today The Guardian had a much subtler temptation. Donate to their chosen appeal (to help disadvantaged youth) and the call would be answered by a member of their editorial staff. I got Katherine Viner, the deputy editor, and we had a brief but nostalgic chat (for me) as she helped pare down my Visa. These days I live more in the past than the present even though my pantaloons are merely corduroy.

5 comments:

Lucy said...

A scythe. Covers both the elements of grass cutting and burial plots; the Grim Reaper doesn't use a Flymo. Which makes me think it's that time of year when The 7th Seal would go down well again...

Rouchswalwe said...

Yep. Sure do. Tonight I'm watching the 1932 film by Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, Vampyr.

Avus said...

No burial plot, BB, but I know exactly where my ashes will be chucked.
Like you, I have been through various types of lawn cutter. Push type to arduous these days, motor cylinder OK if grass has not been allowed to grow too high. Electric - yes the cable is a bother. Now using a motor rotary which drives the cutter and itself whilst I walk along behind it. (and starts first pull, which is nice) A "ride-on" would be fun, but the size of my grass plot does not justify. (Although that excellent film "The Straight Story" might tempt me to other uses.)

Plutarch said...

How can someone with so low opinion of gardening think of mowing when the snow lies thick on the grass? Scythes though are lovely things.Not, of course, in the hands of the grim reaper, but I love watching the slow rhythmic sweep of this iconic tool, when used for the purposes of a more benign harvest.

Barrett Bonden said...

All: A perfect post. It sets a non-didactic ball rolling and others chuck it gently in their own preferred direction. This is surely why we blog: to extract the unexpected from people we like.

Lucy: Watching The Seventh Seal six days before Christmas would be akin to making confession and emerging purified for the indulgence that lies ahead. Me, I'd prefer the one where Gunnar Bjornstrand and (I'm not sure) Ingrid Thulin get stuck in the lift. Can't remember the title.

RW (zS): It makes all the difference seeing Vampyr spelt the German way.

Avus: Yes, I enjoyed The Straight Story; the eccentricity was almost un-American but it's a big country and there's room for some of that. You may not have enough grass for a ride-on but just imagine what pleasure it would provide - something else to fiddle with.

Plutarch: The mower was symbolic, tickled into life by slightly heightened imagination. I've just written the first ten paragraphs of the new novel and I'm a different, non-wintry person.