How many hats can a person wear without going completely schizophrenic?
I suppose it varies according to your innate level of mental stability, but having started off a bit batty in the first place, I feel I might be nearing my natural limit: stay-at-home mum, copywriter, empty nester, tree farmer, trusty sidekick, and now student as I just started an online horticulture certificate course.
This morning’s hat was landscape labourer, which is technically a sub-hat of the trusty sidekick hat.
And so, I found myself grovelling on the cold, damp ground laying about 400 acres of grass – or sod as they like to call it here, despite the fact that I’ve tried to explain that that’s a bit rude.
For hours I kept my nose to the ground, while I unrolled, lined up and pounded down piece after piece, sure that I must be achieving something – until the occasional glance up at this deceptively large suburban yard disillusioned me and showed that in fact I seemed to be making negative progress.
To amuse myself I muttered sod jokes to myself – like calling each piece of turf a stupid sod, or telling bugs to sod off. Now that’s sophisticated humour.
By about 2.30 my arms informed me that they were finished for the day and had no intention of lifting another piece of sod – each of which, incidentally, weighs about the same as a greyhound bus. Sadly that was about an hour and a half before the rest of my body was planning to leave. Now, as the boss’s wife, I could have feigned a frightfully important errand and left, but I found I couldn’t, in any good conscience, abandon my post or my fellow landscapers, so I soldiered on. Damn that protestant work ethic!
By 3.30 the rest of my body joined in the dissention and the work ethic buggered off early for the evening. We had laid all except the fiddly bits, which the others seemed to managing quite splendidly without me, so I made my excuses and sidled off. Only half an hour early.
Perhaps, when I volunteered to help hubby with whatever he needed, whenever, I should have specified the weather conditions in which I was prepared to go outside, and the fact that I don’t expect to have to do any one task for more than half an hour at a time.