This post was going to be a DIY success story. Enough of these disasters, I was ready to tell the world (or at least 20 or so people) how I’d changed, how I’d become the master of my own domain. I had tamed the land, using just my bare hands and a moderately sharp blade. I even had the opening couple of boastful paragraphs drafted in my head.
But, alas, as ever, it didn’t quite work out that way. So near, but yet so far. I think I’ll still call it a success though, albeit one tinged with just a hint of failure.
As all you dedicated readers (thanks mum and dad…) know, I had a big, manly, petrol-powered strimmer that I managed to break within 30 minutes. While it’s been in strimmer surgery, the grass, as grass so often does, has been getting longer and longer and longer. In fact, it has got completely out of control. In some places it’s now even taller than my wife. I say even taller, she’s no giant, far from it, but for any grass to be taller than an averagely short human is quite an achievement!
Then, out of nowhere, a blogger came to my rescue – Vera, who writes the wonderful ilghepardo. She suggested I go all retro and get a scythe. Less noise, no vibrations, fewer fumes and a good work out. I was sold. I was going to cut the grass Grim Reaper style! Vera even sent me some YouTube links of people scything. I spent hours getting deeper and deeper into it, watching instructional videos and honing my imaginary technique. I was getting pretty good. They even have speed scything competitions, in America, obviously, and I quite fancied my chances.
Naturally, I was immediately banned from getting a scythe. Imagine the damage I could do… Although one of the videos did point out that it’s actually very hard to cut your own foot off. You’re apparently far more likely to leave someone else with twice as many shoes as they need. So, no problem.
Despite the ban, I sneaked out
in the dead of night while my wife was at the hairdresser’s and bought the only scythe the local DIY shop had. It was cheap, not particularly sharp and didn’t look a whole lot like the ones I saw on YouTube, but this was an emergency; it would have to do.
On Sunday morning, with my wife back in the UK, from where she couldn’t tell me off (well, she could, but she’s far easier to ignore over skype) my scything time had come. And I did pretty well, if I do say so myself, making steady, if unspectacular, progress. It’s not as easy as it looks in the videos, but my technique gradually improved and before long I was scything like a barefooted redneck child from the internet. And because I didn’t have to wear a helmet and face guard, I got a bit of a tan too.
DIY success story number one had finally come to pass.
And then it happened. Disaster struck once again. I scythed the ground. And not just a nick either, this was a minor excavation. Had it been at the front of the house rather than the back, it could have been the start of the swimming pool. The blade twisted almost 90 degrees and snapped. And that was that. Scything over.
It was more successful than the strimmer though, and definitely more enjoyable (even if I could barely move the following morning). Plus, I only got a cheap one. I reckon had I splashed out and bought something proper it may still be with us today… I’m getting another one, even if it means another trip to the hairdresser for my wife. She’ll have to be there a bit longer this time though, as the ever-reliable internet tells me all the best scythes come from Austria.