Garden Grrl: In Winter, A Young(ish) Grrl’s Thoughts Turn To Hospital Treatment


You know, I think we’re a bit beyond a spray on de-icer here. 

Once upon a time,  a truck load of snow dumped over my house would have sent a shiver of excitement up my spine.

It wasn’t just the school closure that inevitably followed such an event that thrilled me. School was closed at other times of the year too, but only snow, lots and lots of snow, saw me actively encouraged by the responsible adults around me to engage in all manner of dangerous and anti-social behaviours that were strictly prohibited in other seasons – building effigies in the garden and festooning them with produce purloined from my mother’s vegetable basket, throwing dangerous missiles at other people and piloting my own craft (constructed entirely from binbags, wood and bits of plastic) over steeply graded terrain at extreme speeds with no brakes.

But when you’re a grown up, the sense of immortality that encourages you to engage in the kind of activities that end in thrilling injury and worrying bloodloss has passed, hasn’t it? A snow covered garden should be met with a gentle sigh or raised eyebrow of indifference, shouldn’t it?

Yes. If you’re a proper grown-up. If you’re like me, it’ll go a little more like this.


So I was just watching a bit of The Jeremy Kyle Show and I had this sudden urge to find a hand axe. 

Phone work to tell them that the car is buried. To the point that even if I had the wherewithal and a spade to locate said vehicle, the road is indistinguishable from the fields that surrounded it and any attempt to escape the confines of my icy abode will invariably end in disaster. Or at least a ditch. Act polite when my dilemma is met with hoots of derision and allusions to my general ineptitude and/or laziness. Cry. Sit on the sofa for two hours watching The Jeremy Kyle Show and comforting myself with the thought that I might be useless, but at least I have a full set of teeth.

Decide to use newly acquired sense of self-worth in a purposeful manner. Put on twenty-five layers of clothing, some of which I have never seen before, and re-enact Roald Amundsen’s 1911 trek across Antarctica in an attempt to get to the shed.

rusty-bloody-axeLocate shed. Look around dark, musty interior for kindling wood. Discover we have run out of kindling wood or it has been stolen by a gang of organised field mice. Lift head in despair. Eyes fall upon a small hand axe Dad used to cut kindling wood. Decide to cut my own own kindling wood, thus generating warmth for family and more self-worth for myself. Collect lump of wood from storage box and notice that axe head is a bit wobbly on handle. Figure it won’t matter and swing axe handle back in the manner of an empowered feminist. Drop axe handle and clutch left cheekbone in startled agony. Stare balefully at newly detached axe head which is lying on chunk of wood, where it came to rest after pinging off my face. Offer thanks to God for giving me a Dad who rarely looked after any of tools, thus ensuring axe was laughably blunt.

Wander back to house. Sit next to electric fire and extract as much sympathy from family as possible. Wait for snow to melt. Look forward to Spring.

Next time: Spring Forward, Fall Back.

Previously: The Battle Of Stalin-Garden, OK, So The Outdoors Hates Me.

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