Standing Tall

A new poem to share with you all today. It is one I wrote a few weeks ago on a sunny afternoon, whilst sitting outside. I was imagining the blades of grass as people and thought about the whole idea that we think of grass as natural and beautiful, yet refer to them as ‘blades’. I was inspired by Vernon Scannel’s Nettles with the same ideas of Man vs Nature. There is a link at the bottom to a previous post about some of these ideas and the original poem Nettles.

Standing Tall

A blade of grass,

fierce like a sword

standing its ground

in the millions.

A roaring sound,

blows the green soldiers,

not a natural breeze

but their own strong blades

to kill.

Nature cannot win.

Man’s power victors.

Slicing and chopping,

dead men falling.

All around.

But

Mother Nature cries her tears,

smiles her golden rays,

the army gain its strength

again blades standing proud.

Standing Tall.

I like the simplicity it can have: that is it really annoying how grass grows and we have to keep cutting it! I thought of this because my boyfriend has to keep doing ours! But, there can also be deeper meanings of Man destroying nature or Mother Nature winning overall. Hope you like it! Think of these green men as you mow your lawns ūüėČ

https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/that-stinging-feeling/

XSXS

A Hole lot of Digging!

Afternoon folks, To link to my post from last Saturday, Adding Fuel to the Feminist Fire…which seems to have provoked quite a debate so check it out… I have been doing what some would call ‘manly’ chores/jobs/roles or whatever you want to call it. If you see the comments on that previous post, I think the conclusion seemed to be that there are no rules for what jobs people do in a household… but it comes down to the individual and what their skills are. Well I am not brilliantly able at gardening, physical lifting or anything manual to be honest but I had a go! Today, I was sawing branches off trees (I got a bit saw happy actually!), digging roots up and lifting huge slabs and any other junk that seem to be left by the previous owners…

I turned into a teenage boy for an hour actually… No my voice didn’t get hoarse and deep and I didn’t suddenly develop certain male parts or the urge to look at women in bikinis (I could have just put Club land on if that was the case!)‚Ķ I just quite enjoyed digging holes! I told myself I needed to get the roots up from the plant we have taken up and that I needed the turn the earth over and also check what was under there (still no dead bodies!) BUT really I was just enjoying seeing how far I could dig down. The memories of making mud pies as a small child returned to me. I have never understood why I ever chose to make mud pies. In most ways I am such an indoor girl and always have been. I loved Barbies, reading, dressing-up and all of that but it seems there is this grubby, outdoorsy type in me that resurfaces every so often!

I think, today, I was also influenced by my current read. Remember how I said on Wednesday (in my post That Stinging Feeling) that everyday things can remind of¬†us of ¬†literature?¬† Well, currently I am reading Holes by Louis Sachar. The pupils in year 8 at school study it and I haven’t read it yet so thought I would over summer. Yes, I’m lucky that as a teaching assistant that is as far as my summer work and preparation goes really! In the book, which I am very much enjoying, a group of teenage boys are at a juvenile detention camp and have to dig holes everyday, five foot deep and five foot wide. So I am not sure if me digging today was influenced by me reading the book or by doing that it made me think of the book! Such a circle of life and literature isn’t it??

The kids in the book have to get up at 4.30 am everyday and once they start digging their hole, they don’t stop – only for a quick lunch break and for drinks – it is¬†in a desert setting and the sooner they finish their hole, the sooner they can get out of the blazing orange rays.¬† The book has a lot more to it than that with themes of teenage rebellion, families, racism, religion so do take a look! I haven’t finished it yet… I was hoping to today but the garden has made a bigger hole in my day than planned ūüėČ

Anyway, as I was doing the garden, I pictured these fictional teenage boys and how they had to keep going in sandy, dry, boiling, strict and thirst desperation conditions and it helped me to keep going! My small garden of a semi-detached property had no comparison to the setting of the book but still… I thought if they can manage that for a full day everyday then I can clear this corner of the garden! And I did it! Yay! It’s looking more like an actual garden¬†each day!

Digging ‘holes’ also got me thinking about when we say it to people or we say it ourselves. The metaphor we use for basically saying things we shouldn’t!! Haha. We end up digging further than planned or we have to talk the talk and butter people up by digging ourselves out of the hole! I had to do that last night. I told you, I went to see the friend who got engaged. She loved my post about it (Two hearts, Two rings) but we were afraid that her fianc√© wouldn’t approve of me writing about it. Last night, I decided to apologise to him for the post and explain. Turns out he didn’t know about it anyway.. as my friend so subtlety told me as I started talking…. TOO late. I was in a hole. I then had to explain about my blog and the fact I had written the post. Then I said how I agreed with her choice on it –¬†then I thought; ‘Dammit, he will think I was insulting him if I was on her side!’ So I ended up digging a little further!¬† To dig¬†myself¬† out of that one. I had to say that I also used lots of examples and I looked at the male opinion and everything. Argh. To climb out of the hole completely… I even offered to delete the post… and stop writing my blog and keep my pen and typing fingers prisoner forever more (Ok that last bit was an exaggeration!) he said he was ¬†fine about it.. But I don’t think he has read it yet! Eek… and now I’ve told you all this, I may have more holes to dig out of tomorrow haha!

So people, be careful what you say and if you need to take out your frustration… then dig a real hole (it also comes in handy for hiding in!)

If I have offended anyone then please comment at the end and I’ll happily ‘dig’ myself out of it!

See you tomorrow (I hope!)

P.S – you’ll be glad to know that I have stood up to the cats. I have taking back my butt (of the water kind ūüėČ ) and I scared away the horrible hisser cat.. with some of the advice from yesterday, so thank you!

XSXS

Two legs in charge; Four legs not!

Hello people…

I seem to be involved with animals a lot over my holiday and I’m trying to make a stand against them! Firstly, I’ve told you about the walks I’ve been on with my boyfriend’s Mum and her dogs. Well that first walk, the little, ever so cute puppy took me for a run remember?! And it got me thinking that animals can take over if they so choose. My boyfriend’s Mum keeps telling me, ‘you are in charge, not them!’ This was repeated again when that oh so darling little border collie took me through the deepest part of the mud puddle! I have never had cats or dogs as pets so didn’t really think about the fact that we need to teach them who is boss… I only ever had a rabbit, mice and a budgie when I was younger and them being locked firmly behind bars spoke volumes of who was in charge! Obviously, with my title, you literature fans will notice my play on¬†Orwell’s¬†Animal Farm’s famous quote of ‘Four legs good, two legs bad,’ where a group of pigs take over the humans in order to run a farm. That novel has the whole allgoric idea of¬†the Stalin era leading up the second World War. But I’m not getting into all that… I want to think of this literally and what if animals did take over? Could they if we didn’t train them or put them in their place? Crazy thought I know… well it is Friday!

The cute little puppy who tried to take ME for a run!

I thought about this the other day when I was at my boyfriend’s brother’s house having lunch with him and his girlfriend (this was after the Club Land Dvd that I discuss on the Exercise is Dangerous part 2 post!) Their cat tried to jump onto his lap whilst he was eating his salad and they discussed how the cat is getting more like that lately and thinking she is the boss of the house! She (the cat) had to be told numerous amounts of time to not lick the plates after we had finished in order to know she couldn’t just do what she wanted! I then had this image of what may happen if they never disciplined her like this?… would she start getting food from the cupboards and learn to walk upright like they do in Animal Farm? Haha….best keep an eye out on your cat this weekend ūüėČ

The cat… with partner in crime… ready to take over the household!

For saying I do not have any of my own animals.. so I don’t get the cuddles and stroking and all the good bits (but not the vet’s bills either come to think) I still get plenty of visits from cats. Remember how we got rid of our shed? (See Shed Light on the Garden post if you didn’t). Well,¬†I think the cats in the surrounding houses think it is their new playground! It has plenty of rubble and long grass to play in.. much fun! I don’t shoo them yet.. which has got me thinking that I should. Because when the garden is done and we actually have living things in it, I won’t want them ¬†around and maybe by letting them now, I am giving them chance to mark their territory, make a home, invade… or whatever it is that cats do!

I went into the garden yesterday to hang out some washing and noticed a black cat curled around the top of our water butt. They often do this as it seems the perfect shape and size. (except for the big, fat ginger ball one that normally sits there. I swear one day it will buckle inder his weight and the garden will be flooded!) I’d never seen this black one before and as I walked towards him/her/it (you can tell I don’t have a cat!) it hissed at me!! I should have hissed back to ne honest or scared it off in some way but instead I told it off like I would a kid at school! It seemed I’d missed using my ‘teacher voice!’ I shouted at it, ‘How dare you hiss at me in my own garden! Now sit there quietly or you can leave!’ Haha! I really hope the neighbours didn’t hear or there will be crazy rumours going around…. on the bright side they may keep their cats away!

My neighbour actually mentioned how his cat sits on my water butt… I don’t know if he means the ginger giant or the horrible hisser (see an animal lover would ask!) but he said it was nice that they¬†have somewhere to sit. ‘yeh, I thought, ‘great… I’m really glad your cat can visit my holiday retreat to relax!’ He then said he had a problem getting him to come home thought yesterday to go to the vets. I offered to put something on it to stop them sitting on it… I was thinking of tar.. or glue… or poison.. (No don’t call the RSPCA.. I’m joking! I’ve said I don’t mind them being there as long as they don’t hiss at me!) He said that wasn’t necessary but could I move the water butt a foot closer next time so he could reach it??! I hope he was joking.. as I might as well just set the sunbed up next time just inbetween the two gardens so he has the best sunny position and can still get home for his appointment!

Before you write me off as a complete animal hater… I am a little bit in love with the tiny, grey kitten next door (the other side). He could definitly take over the world and get to the top purely on looks and charm! He is adorable… and I’ve actually been scared that the neighbours think I’m trying to take him. He keeps comin to our gardern everyday… probably plotting for a destruction! But Kitty, the garden already looks like a bomb has hit it! When we were cutting down trees the other night (sorry did I say WE? oops) and the cat kept scampering about and getting in our way… another way that these four legged lovelies take over. We had to keep stopping work (doh said ‘we’ again!) in order to make sure the cat wasn’t where the tree was about to fall or in the big pile of leaves that we were going to set fire to! Really held us up… he owes us at least an hour of labour!

So watch out for your four legged friends… they may seem to be ‘cute’ but they are actually just distracting you.. they may seem to be sunbathing.. but they may be trying to drive you out or your own garden. Or they be trying to squash your water butt! Or take you on a run at a ridiculous time of day!

Take charge… two legs good, four legs bad!

Woof and Meow for now,

See you tomorrow.. unless the cats hijack my laptop!

XSXS

Shed some light on the garden……

It’s gone! It’s gone! Not my sanity…. well not just yet anyway (give me a few more weeks without work and it may go). The shed!! The shed has gone!! Oh let me fill you in. Since we moved in our house 2 and 1/2 years ago there has been this big, awful shed right in the middle of the garden, blocking a good foot of land on one side and totally pushing sunlight away from the rest of the garden. And to top it off, it was bright turquoise! (or blue as the blokes were calling it today; men just can’t see in different colours like women can I swear!) I have been yearning and anticipating this moment ever since then.

The problem and also the solution was my boyfriend’s twin brother wanted¬†the shed¬†(yes he has an identical twin brother, which I’m sure will supply us with some funny blogs in the future and no I don’t get them mixed up and no I don’t fancy his brother) . So this was why it had a) not gone to the tip. b) been used as good bonfire material or c) been thrashed by me in a ‘oh I hate my garden’ mood frenzy.¬†He had been looking for a shed that¬†size for his upcoming ready-for-use garden and wanted to do it up. This set of a chain of events because he couldn’t take the shed off our garden giving hands though until his garden was sorted and ready for it. Also, we have a nice, little, brown wooden shed to put up, which is being kept at my Mum and Dad’s, which we couldn’t get until this one was gone. Confused? God me too…..basically a lot of gardening being prevented, which I suppose with all the floods has been no bad thing.

But yes it has now gone and after my 5 min of elation as I hopped around the ma..hu….ssive spiders… I realised that the garden now looks even worse than before. We are left with A. Lot. Of. Crap. I now have no excuse either…. for two years, I’ve been saying ‘We can’t do anything to our garden til that blasted shed has gone!’ Well the time has come. Gloves, weedkiller¬†by the bucketful, spades, wellies¬†and a bottle of vodka at the ready.

Last time we had a weed killing session (around the then standing shed) I found a pair of trousers, two shirts and some shorts buried in the undergrowth. I prepared myself for a dead body (which funnily enough¬† I also thought may have been under the base of the shed today) but no. Nothing. We clearly had a naked gardener as a previous occupant…. you hear of naked chefs so why not gardeners?

Oh the spiders. I know I just mentioned them but I’ve gone all itchy and twitchy about them…….one thing you should know about me is that I hate them. I detest¬†them.¬† There is no other creature on earth that I would wish that horrible shed as a home on…. yuk. When my boyfriend and his brother (plus three other lifting companions) were.. well lifting, I very quickly made sure the back door was shut. And all the windows. Eeeek.

Anyway I hope the shed has a very happy life at its new home….. apparently its going to be painted up as a summer house in a coat of blue and white. Very nice. But for now……until we actually do the gardening….. I am happy to have some light in the garden!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS