Sunday, 17 February 2008

Valentine's Week Massacre

It's Sunday morning, I'm doing a bit of blogging in my dressing gown and listening to the sounds of:

a) Birdsong?

b) Radio 4?

c) The hiss and bubble of the coffee machine?

d) The sound of a chain-saw, crackling branches and a bloke up a tree shouting "get out of the way, you fucking pillock" to his mate below as our neighbours' beautiful trees crash to the ground?

Top marks if you guessed that the answer is d).

What is it with blokes and chain-saws? Give them a piece of throbbing equipment (oo-er missus), a ladder and some lovely, mature trees that rustle and wave their whispering branches so gracefully in the summer, and what do they do?

They chop the bloody lot down, that's what. And that's not all.

Stimulated by the smell of petrol driven mayhem and the excitement of seeing next door's trees come tumbling down, thus rendering our lovely private garden open to all who (wisely) don't really want to see me sunbathing topless this summer, presuming we get one, and not to be outdone by blokes with bigger equipment than his, my husband took leave of his senses and massacred the ancient ivy which has been growing over the walled garden opposite my kitchen window for the past twenty-five years. Needless to say, I wasn't paying attention at the time or I would have sensed the potential act of vandalism which was looming and nipped it in the bud, so to speak. After all, it's an obvious equation that blokes plus power-tools, plus foliage, equals total deforestation and I should have been more aware of the potential scene of devastation that would greet me. Only Napalm could have done the job better.

I planted that ivy. I loved that ivy. That was my ivy.

Apparently, he did ask me, so he says. Or rather, he'd said "shall I give the ivy a bit of a trim?" to which I'd allegedly replied "mmmm, you could do, but nothing too radical." So he took great chunks out of it, obviously, with hedge-trimmers. And guess what? Now he can also play with his power shredder in order to get rid of the mounds of lush greenery he's hacked down. Oh goody.

As for the ivy, it looks like the victim of a very bad hair cut by a blind barber, high on crack. I am supposed to be reassured by the fact that it will grow back, eventually, but this isn't helping me at the moment. You don't quite see the logic in cutting it down in the first place, only to wait for it to grow back? Really? My thoughts entirely. But then I am only a woman, and I don't understand these things. Obviously.

In the meantime the power tools are once again stowed safely in the shed. I have the key. Fortunately for him, husband's off on a business trip to Italy, or he'd be sleeping in the shed too. Sounds a bit harsh, but frankly I am so angry he's lucky that this massacre didn't land him sleeping with the fishes instead the hedge trimmer. In the same way he's in charge of lawns and there would be outright war if I tried to muscle in on his turf, my message to him is if you mess with my ivy, you mess with me.

Capisce?

39 comments:

Tom Foolery said...

Oh God, you poor thing
.
Let nature grow that's my motto TFX

CrazyCath said...

Oh SM I'd kill him! Lucky him he has business trips. I think you were very lenient.

Trimming should only occur when overseen by the owner and tender nurturer. If he does not see her supervising over his shoulder, he should STOP and do something he's allowed, like mow the lawn.

Well done for self control! And if it's any consolation, it will grow back while you nurture it. I am the same about things I have planted... Mine. All mine! *Manic laughter*

belle said...

I think I visited that crack addicted blind barber once ...

MZUNGU CHICK said...

Honey, the problem is in your answer to husband questioning trimming of said ivy, you started with "mmmm, you could do" and when you got to the important bit of the sentence; "but nothing too radical.", he'd done that bloke thing and switched off to rest of sentence, and in his head, you'd given him the green light to chop it all down!

Swearing Mother said...

Tom Foolery, you are quite correct. Let it be, that's my motto.

Cath, he got off really light only because of a previous fabulous bunch of roses on Valentine's day. I think we have a communication problem, I say one thing and he does another. Bless.

Belle, I think that barber trained my current hairdresser, you should see my multi-coloured "low-lights". Scary.

Swearing Mother said...

Mzungu Chick, that's it! That's what happens all the time, I just thought he wasn't listening. But he was, but only to half of it.

Typical.

GoneBackSouth said...

Oh dear, you really are seething aren't you? I once had a flatmate who decided to "trim" the deliciously lush and overgrown walled garden at the back of our terraced house in London. It was all higgledy piggledy with ancient trees, gargoyles, hundreds of shrubs, hidden paths and ivy. I loved it. When he'd finished, there was a layer of branches a foot deep covering the whole place. Then he thought his job was done, and nearly went down the pub!!! Without considering who was going to remove all the debris!!! I put him straight on that, immediately after a ferocious venom-filled tirade about killing the beautiful garden that we'd been so lucky to have.

the mother of this lot said...

I swear to God, I have waited all my life to write a sentence with the word Napalm in it, and you've beaten me to it.

Tina said...

SM, it's me again, clogging up your comments page. I've had a whale of a time going through your archives ( I swear to goodness, some of them should be sponsored by Tenalady). I'd try either That Bloke Just Snifffed My Doughnut, Women & Cake (which is my all time favourite blog of anyone's, anywhere), You Just Can't Get The Staff or Good Housekeeping. Fellow commenters, if you're new here, check out these in SM's archives, you won't regret it.

Good luck,
ta ra chick

Norman said...

Do you ever listen to "Gardner's Question Time" on BBC R4? Bob Flowerdew had a thing to say about ivy. If all he's done is give it a number one cut the it will have its revenge. In six months time it'll grow back like bloody fury. You have to cut the stem through and apply root killer. Don't tell hubby that though.
Switch scene to dead of night, a mutilated ivy lies seemingly lifeless... cue music from "Jaws",
Darr-um, dar-umm... LOL

CrazyCath said...

I just looked at the posts tina recommended. OMG SM you are good! Don't ever think you are boring!

If I could send you an award for making me piss my knickers more than my current cough does, I would, but I don't know how (being a newbie and all that).

You just have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself! Love it. x

Swearing Mother said...

Gonebacksouth, what IS the matter with them? Hack a Victorian garden to bits, and then GO TO THE PUB?? Have they no soul? Don't answer that.

Hi TMOTL, if there's a word you really fancy using, just build a whole post around it and eventually the space for it will just open up before you. Although I am having a bit of trouble finding a place for "excrescence", an all time favourite word of mine, but given time I'll manage it.

Tina, that is so kind of you, many thanks. You're a real mate to wade through all that lot. I'll let you know what happens next.

x

Norman! Don't even mention cutting stems through and root killer, I won't dare leave the house ever again.

Cath, that's a great idea for a new award - "you made me piss my knickers" - I'm going to see if I can find a suitable picture for it. Definitely think we could get sponsorship from Tenalady on that one as Tina suggested.

Suzy said...

Yow.

I bet he will never touch that ivy again, if he knows what's good for him...

Love,
Suzy

Miriam said...

Brilliant post! In our garden, I'm the one who goes mad, tho i don't have electric clippers- must put it on list for mothers day. Have to admit, it's easy to get carried away at such jobs, and only when you step back do you realise the extent of your barbarism. Please don't hate me for my defence, SM. And I too think the Women and cake post is the work of a genius, mimi

Sweet Irene said...

Men and gardening power tools are not to be trusted. They have a natural desire to cut everything down that stands in their way, how ever innocent and non conspicuous it is. I'll never forget the beautiful olive tree that my ex demolished and that was nearly grounds for divorce right there. Men are heathens when I comes to luxuriantly growing greenery, they have an inborn desire to destroy it. I wonder why the great gardeners of the world were men? Were they tamers of all things growing wild and exuberant?

Winchester whisperer said...

I hope he brings you back a Gucci handbag as some small compensation

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Boys and their toys hey. Console yourself lovely lady, I am bloody surrounded by them. Cricket season is approaching and they are all discussing the merits of this bat compared to that and which pads to get. Roll on the summer when at least I can sit and watch, pimms in hand.........

Love ya MMoF xx

travelling, but not in love said...

Forget chainsaws. I prefer a man with a decent chopper...

Swearing Mother said...

Suzy, there's an exclusion zone around what remains of the ivy, no mistake!

Mimi, I know what you mean, I'm not safe to let loose with a pair of secateurs if I'm in the tidying mood.

Hi Sweet Irene, they're just on another planet entirely sometimes. Something to do with exerting their will over nature. I dunno, but it's really annoying.

MMOF: sounds like you've got the balance just right. Shin pads and Pimms, wonderful. Can't wait for the summer myself.

Travelling, might have known you would be an authority on men and tools.

elizabethm said...

Yep, it is deep in the male psyche. My husband has a chainsaw and needs to be supervised at all times otherwise he lays waste all before him. We have just been down at my daughter's with said chainsaw and husband and son in law, having agreed to remove about a third of a huge laurel, had to be forcilby restrained from just keeping on cutting. Nice gentle nurturing chaps, both, when not armed with power tools.

Maggie May said...

Only a man could have done a thing like that! (Except for my mad neighbour who cut down my passion flower shrub!) Luckily that did re-grow very fast.I sincerely hope that the ivy takes off! Can you give it a tonic to start it off?
Glad the old man is out of the way for now, as he did risk serious injury!

ElizaF said...

I think there is a clear market for a hoover shaped like a chainsaw. Then manly blokes could peel up their sleeves, open the windows (so they could be heard of course) and curse loudly as they suck up the dirt as opposed to chopping down the garden.

Mopsa said...

oh my. Trouble at mill. The girls like the relaxed abundant look, the chaps the clean edged geometry thing. The blokes are wrong.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

I'm doing a bit of blogging in my dressing gown and listening to the sounds ...

Wish I were there.

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Elizabeth M, I should really have seen it coming, shouldn't I? That's what happens to most chaps when let loose with the opportunity to hack. They hack.

Hello Maggie May, you mentioning your neighbour cutting down your passion flower reminds me to tell you about our next door neighbour who cut down a beautiful climbing hydrangea. Let's just say he put the "swearing" into Swearing Mother.

Hello Elizaf, lovely to meet you. Frankly I think you're a genious and you ought to get in touch with that Dyson bloke immediately with your fantastic idea. Imagine, we'd have a fight on our hands to get hold of the vacuum cleaner. I like the idea of that!

Mopsa, spot on. I don't like over-neat gardens, they look too contrived don't they?

James, my darling, you were there in (virtual) spirit for it was probably your blog I was reading when I was so rudely disturbed by the tree-murdering posse next door.

1st Lady said...

You could always be creative with that Ivy, now its ready to sprout, grow, take over the garden, prop open the windows and take over the house too. Topiary! Perhaps in the shape of a man... shearing would be fun.

Great blog!

knifepainter said...

ARGH, tool, power, destroy, mmmmmm
(Sound of bloke going feral).

Swearing Mother said...

Hi 1st Lady, lovely to meet you. Have been over to yours, what a great blog! Thanks for visiting mine.

Knifepainter: I just knew you'd be the blood, death, kill kinda guy. Guess that's why I lerves ya.

Casdok said...

My neighbour asked me once if he could trim a plant of mine, and hacked it. So i know the feeling.
:(

Expatmum said...

Or there's my then 3 year old out in the garden. I could hear my neighbour saying "You're mother's gonna kill you" and went out to find him holding his little 7 iron - and all my daffodil heads strewn around the lawn. I almost killed him but his father intervened - and then tried to explain how it was inevitable that a 3 year old would do that! Grrr! Hopefully your ivy will grow back quickly but I do sympathize.

Swearing Mother said...

Hiya Casdok, you just can't trust them can you? Our neighbour chopped down a really well established climbing hydrangea that used to tumble over the wall and give us a lovely scent on summer nights. What a philistine.

Hello Expatmum, yet I think chopping the heads off innocent vegetation is definitely a man thing, no matter how old!

Maggie May said...

Maybe we could start a communal blog on what our neighbours have chopped down!

merry weather said...

I felt just the same in the autumn when my husband came into the house patting his own back and told me he'd "done the garden" - looking out all I could see was over-raked soil and not a leaf or twig in sight. Was torn between sobbing and attacking him with the rake...all that's grown back now is weeds!!

dgibbs said...

"As for the ivy, it looks like the victim of a very bad hair cut by a blind barber, high on crack."

Too damn funny I needed that this morning.

Omega Mum said...

Threaten to exfoliate his back - or just do it. Say the hair was growing out of control. He'll thank you for it one day. Possibly.

Swearing Mother said...

Maggie May, that's a great idea, bet we'd have a few horror stories to tell!

Hi Merry! I think the basic trouble is that women think of a good garden as one where everything is growing nicely, within the bounds of cultivation. Men like the short back and sides approach - maybe they think it'll last longer and they won't have to do it so often if they scalp the lot. There's got to be logic in their somewhere.

Dgibbs, glad it raised a smile. Will be over to check on you later, haven't been around for a while.

Omega Mum, or even a leg wax?? Revenge indeed!

knifepainter said...

At last, a place I can be accepted for me.....

the mother of this lot said...

Called back to say - award at my place.

Oh, and I thought of another phrase I want to use before I die - 'paradigm shift'. Please keep this in mind so you don't beat me to it again.

Swearing Mother said...

KP, we love you just the way you are!

Mother of all This Lot:

Sorry about the using the "napalm" word when you'd got your eye on it, so to speak. And even sorrier about paradigm shift. I just had to. :o)

But thanks so much for the award, can I still keep it?