A restful weekend…

“Don’t give me your excuses…. you’re a superhobbit and superhobbits don’t seize up!”

My son had phoned me to discuss his garden, even though I had just spent yet another nine hours in it, moving tons of earth and stone… and that is not dramatic exaggeration but simple fact. I’d done the same the for two days before too. At my age and with my bones, I am entitled to seize up.

The first day, labour and time being in short supply, I had hand-oiled and moved three hundred yards of timber to help out… and that was bad enough. Truth be told, it was only adrenalin that carried me through the next day. I had waited at home for my own delivery, dragged fence panels and posts into my garden and carried in three hundred pounds of cement mix. My back protested, but needs must when deliveries are ‘kerbside’.

Then I went to Nick’s, not the happiest of hobbits.

The garden, which should have taken just a few weeks, is now nearing its third month. It is looking stunning and the gardeners are doing an amazing job, but work has stopped for holidays… and it sort of stopped dead, leaving the garden a mess, with restricted access and no way Nick could just sit in the almost finished garden and enjoy it while everyone is away.

The nature of the work that has been done has left Nick unable to get out of his garden on his own all summer. He has only been able to get out if I take him in the manual wheelchair. I thought perhaps I couldΒ  tidy round a bit and sort things so he could get out. I should have known better… it was one of those ‘domino’ moments, where every job required half a dozen more.

I managed to clear and rearrange the shed so he could get his bike and electric wheelchair out… but there was the small matter of two tons of earth, destined for the flower beds, parked right outside the gate. There was also a wheelbarrow and a shovel.. so the next day, I moved all the wood yet again and tackled the soil, while Nick wielded a bucket.

“You’ve caught the sun a bit…” said my son, snapping a picture that will not see the light of day if I have anything to do with it. I may have caught the sun… we are having a heatwave, after all… but the truth is, I was lugging a wheelbarrow full of muck that I had just shovelled and looked like an overboiled beetroot. A dripping overboiled beetroot at that.

I was refilling the pond I’d just cleaned, so I stood under the hosepipe to cool off. Which might explain the bouffant scarecrow hair.

Half the flower beds needed the damp proofing membrane fitting before they could be filled… and half of them were already half full of old soil that needed to be dug out before I could do so… oiling more wood, painting, planting wall baskets and collapsing occasionally on the bistro set I had assembled, just by way of a break.

The next job was a couple of tons of decorative stone that needed bringing in and spreading on the flower beds…

But we did manage a couple of excursions to garden centres too. Though that was a mixed blessing, as it meant lifting the wheelchair in and out of the car half a dozen times. Let alone planting two carloads of purchases… including the huge bag of bark that must have knocked an inch off my height.

‘All’ that remained was to clean the windows, move the solid stone lions and tackle the ten-foot-tall rosebush that bites.

However… by the end of today, the garden will at least look nearly finished. There are still a lot of jobs that need to be completed… building the waterfall, edging the pond and finishing the fencing, for a start… but not, I hope, by me. And not only can Nick get out if he wishes, he can also sit in comfort and peace in a tranquil oasis and he is very happy about that.

I would not have believed I could have done one day’s heavy, manual labour and still been able to move next morning, albeit awkwardly… let alone several days. Granted, I’m waking up groaning in the middle of the night when I try to turn in bed, definitely look like a beetroot again… and ache in places I had forgotten I had. But I have enjoyed being able to really work and still move next day, even though I know I will pay for it later.

And the moral of this story? Never volunteer? Think things through before rolling up your sleeves? No, the moral is never underestimate yourself…or, according to my son, an ageing superhobbit.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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84 Responses to A restful weekend…

  1. Sadje says:

    You’re amazing. I cannot tackle one flower bed, let alone a whole garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, Sue, I hope you will be okay. My mum decided to dig up and split all her plants. She ended up in physio for a month. I do try to discourage her. She does have a gardener at her disposal three times a week and is over 80. SIGH!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I can understand her trying, Robbie. I know for a fact I shouldn’t be doing any of this… but the alternative is to give in and accept defeat; not someting your Mum’s generation take to kindly πŸ˜‰


  3. buffalopound says:

    Very well done, Sue. As a ‘used to be’ gardener I fully appreciate what you’re writing about – especially the domino effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jwebster2 says:

    Good on you πŸ™‚

    You can do it because you do do it
    The minute you decide you cannot do it, you won’t be able to.
    But enjoy a quiet day with a good book πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stevetanham says:

    Reblogged this on Sun in Gemini and commented:
    From Sue…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jenanita01 says:

    I am in total awe of you, Sue. (and Nick shouldn’t call you a hobbit, not after all you have done in the last few days!)


  7. joylennick says:

    Oh, Sue…you made me feel tired just reading what you did. What a diamond! Naturally, you want to help, but watch your back…Sadly,I’ve had to get used to being too ancient (not mentally!) to do much physical gardening, I used to love it but now just potter… Oh, the uncaring march of time! x.


  8. Wow! What an achievement. You are amazing, Sue x


  9. I’m exhausted and aching just reading this. Still, I’m sure your son’s happiness made it worth it.


  10. fransiweinstein says:

    I am exhausted and every joint in my body hurts just reading this. I don’t know how you can even lift a finger to type, let alone do anything else. You’re not a hobbit, you’re superwoman. And one hell of a mom! I think the gardeners owe you a fair bit of their fee.


  11. KDKH says:

    I’m impressed by your vision, determination, and stamina! You are super-motivated and capable! Wow. Good job.


  12. Looks like the result is quite beautiful ❀


  13. Gorgeous photos of this amazing garden… But, Sue… You’re poor back and little body. I hope you are able to rest up today, because you’re certainly going to require it.


  14. noelleg44 says:

    You are a sucker for punishment, Sue! I can’t believe you did all that – I’m lucky to make time to cut our decorative bushes down to size once a year and pull a few weeds.


  15. Mary Smith says:

    It looks amazing – well done Super-hobbit.


  16. Prajakta says:

    That looks rewarding however tough the job! Really well done πŸ™‚


  17. I cannot thank you enough for this timely post, Sue. The photos of the garden are absolutely exquisite and the message could not have been more appropriate for me now as I was overwhelmed with trying to get my rights from a truly criminal type mobile home park. Seeing flowers so beautiful always makes me feel good in my heart, and your post helped that as well, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It makes things not seem so bad when I can see and read things like this. I know you have been through your own struggles and challenges too, so it means even more.

    Oh, I tried to do a reblog, but it was not functioning. Thank you kindly for all of this. Anne


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Anne. I know you are dealing with an awful lot at the moment…much more than a pile of earth and a shovel can fix ( though I’ve no doubt you have moments when you feel like burying a few people….) πŸ˜‰

      As to the reblog button, I keep having the same problems…a glitch with WordPress, I think… but find that just refreshing the page allows me to reblog.


  18. dgkaye says:

    The garden is stunning – Warrior Woman! ❀


  19. Eliza Waters says:

    Good golly, Sue, how do you do it? I think I need a nap now. πŸ˜‰
    btw, the garden looks great – love the fountain!


  20. Widdershins says:

    Sue, the Gardening Warrior Hobbit! πŸ˜€


  21. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Sue’s work in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jennie says:

    Did you wear that big W on your shirt? Wonder Woman always does. πŸ™‚ Looks great, Sue.


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