Sunday, 27 May 2012

Loads of gardening, but no cycling

My dad used to love gardening. When I lived at home, he tried to encourage me to like it too. In fact, throughout his life he tried to get me into gardening, but he never really succeeded. I used to tease him about it and say things like 'gardening is futile'. Why? he would ask and I'd say something like, well, you weed the beds and you mow the grass, but those weeds just keep coming back. There's an element of King Canute about it, I would say and he would, of course, dismiss my thoughts.

I always talk about keeping fit. Don't get me wrong. I'm not some kind of fitness nut. I don't visit the gym or anything inane like that, but I do like cycling. And walking. But dad would always look out onto this garden or mine, depending on where we were whenever we had the conversation, and he would say: "There's your gym. Out there." He would point at the garden and I would get his drift, but still not really believe him. Gardening, I figured, was just too boring. But then so, of course, is 'keeping fit'. Unless you're riding a bike. And by that I mean a proper bike, not an 'exercise bike' or a 'stationary bike'.

Me on a rug about to enjoy some tea.
This weekend, however, I'm beginning to see what he meant about the garden being a kind of green gym. I was out there all weekend, mowing the lawns front and back and cutting back a helluva lot of brambles at the back of the rear garden; and then I started bagging it all up, cutting it first, then shoving it into bags. I filled six of them and there's still another two out there waiting to be packed away. Then, after that, I started turning over a bed near to the house, digging out a few weeds and pulling some roots.

Last night I slept like a log. It was that strange but amazingly enjoyable tiredness that comes from being out in the air all day. A bit like after a long ride. And then, today, some more gardening.

Right now I'm sitting in front of the television, writing this and watching The Road. I've read the book and it's one of those movies where, if you've read the book, there's no point in seeing the movie other than to work out whether it's captured the mood of the book or not. I think the answer is yes, it has captured the mood, because the mood of the book was bleak and the film is bleak too. Although not as bleak as the BAFTAs, which were on BBC 1. What a load of old rubbish. Television comedy that's just not funny, actors wheeled out to say something funny that's on the autocue, but hardly raising a laugh and awards recipients I've never, ever heard of – apart from Rolf Harris. And then, after Rolf, they did a brief run-down of other awards presented, they rushed through them, but they turned out to be the interesting ones. So I switched over and watched The Road – far more light-hearted.

The Road is depressing and I should really go to bed, but I've got to stay up, even though I know how it all ends. Don't worry, it ends on a hopeful note, but I won't spoil it for anybody.

I was going to go for a ride today (Sunday) but I hadn't gotten round to fixing that puncture. The bike's still out there with a flat rear tyre, but I feel as if I've had all the exercise I need.

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