Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mow-terway Maintenance

It was physio day today, and the sun was shining so you can guess where I would rather have been.

On the positive side friends of ours called around whilst I was being manipulated,and stayed till I returned home. Richard, my mechanical miracle man, came round to see if he could resuscitate my 6 month old mower. You have probably gathered by now that filling it up with oil and petrol is the limit of our expertise - but what can you expect - I am a beginner, but I will soon learn.

Pat had been using the little one, and it no longer was self driven! It also refused to start - even with my gentle encouragement it would not perform. I topped up the oil and checked the petrol, left it a week, no go. Geoff up the lottie had a go, and even he couldn't start it and he is good at that.

Richard took one look at it and spotted what was wrong. The lead that comes from the engine to the spark plug had been fitted wrongly during manufacture. Instead of being slotted into a purpose moulded groove in the cover, it had been crushed in it and was almost cut in half! It was a wonder that it had worked at all. Richard taped it up for safety and loosened the cover screw and slotted it into the correct place. It started up first pull and roared off like a Ferrari!

The downside to buying things from the web, is that you do not have a shop to go back to, but in this case it probably wouldn't have helped anyway,it is covered by the manufacturer's warranty - just got to find the nearest one in Norfolk, a bit of a journey no doubt. But there is always an upside isn't there. I took a couple of pain killers and this evening and was able to get Pat to load the mower in the boot and I was able to mow my three new grass paths, something I have been hankering to do for a couple of weeks now. I think that they look very good considering the grass seed has not been down long, and that we have had a total of three days rain since I sowed it. There were also three molehills in the paths, but I do not mind too much. When I first got the allotment I did not see a worm for 10 months, but since all my work and soil preparation they are starting to come back - and enough to tempt the moles so that is a very good sign. After an hour of lawn mowing - I needed to go over the paths several times, - dusk had set in, so I picked a few autumn raspberries and happily headed off home. But not before taking a closer inspection of the flower beds. I had propagated some flag irises earlier in the summer, using the edge tubers, and cutting off the foliage to a couple of inches. I planted them with just their roots snuggled in the soil, and the rabbits kept pulling them up and a couple of them have been nibbled. With almost no rain, they just stayed dormant, and I rather thought that I had lost them, but today when I took a closer look, the leaves have taken on a lovely green colour - they looked rather brown last time I saw them. It is amazing what a huge difference that a couple of showers of rain make. And next year they will look stunning. It is good to take photos, when the allotment looks good and bad, so that you have some before and after photos for comparisons. It is amazing how quickly you can forget one year to the next.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow and Friday so I have to make the most of every bright day, and being able to spend just a hour up there this evening makes my spirit soar!

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