The good life part 1

 

The Good Old Days

Back in the day when Elaine was a young tween wide eyed and a teachers’ pet. She recalls there was a programme on the TV called The Good Life. It caused quite a stir with the men of the UK as the star of the show felicity Kendall was indeed a natural beauty with her peaches and cream complexion, oversized shirts and jumpers that just added to her charm as the girl next door.

Elaine can remember the show as it started at 9.00 pm and ran for 25 minutes so that meant if she was allowed to stay up and watch it she would get to see her Dad as he came in from his shift at work.
So she would watch avidly. She didn’t get all the jokes and she never understood as to why people would want chickens in their garden, to grow vegetables and to make all their clothes and food.

Fast forward a few decades and being self-sustainable is on many a bucket list, having an allotment or a veg patch is the new grown up and responsible thing to do.

The Yorkshire Hollywood would be more than happy in an episode of The Good Life. He cooks, bakes and is more than capable of making and building manly things. Feels at home in the wilderness and could probably give Bear Grills a run for his money.

She is happy to admit that she prefers her home comforts especially after the Great Tent Fire of 2008, (a whole story in itself). She can build a wall, mix cement and is quite handy with a paintbrush and wallpaper. She can dig and mow with the best of them and enjoys getting her hands dirty but doesn’t know what she is doing truth be told. She definitely knows her place and it is not in the kitchen or on a campsite.

The Good Life?

Elaine and Yorkshire Hollywood took on an allotment at the beginning of the year. Man-boy had the idea as a tribute to his Grandad. Grandad loved his garden and would grow vegetables of all descriptions and of course greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and the rest.
After he passed away the void was felt and the family at man-boys suggestion obtained a very overgrown allotment. But don’t worry man-boy was offering his manly-boyish strength and work just as hard on the allotment. Trouble was man-boy didn’t appreciate that it would be an on-going process and that would interfere with social life, football and sleep. Now in lockdown, it also appears to interfere with sleep, FIFA and Showers.

Yorkshire Hollywood and Elaine have been working hard on the allotment, clearing, aching, digging, aching, fixing, aching and did she mention aching. It is true that when middle age is met every bend and stretch is accompanied by a groan quickly followed by an “oh dear”
Praise the Lord for the internet. A source of information, diagnosis, pointless purchases and reliever of boredom. During lockdown it has provided a steady job for Dan the delivery man.

Elaine rarely pays attention to Yorkshire Hollywood when he is surfing the net but the words, tool, heavy-duty, two hands and girth somehow grabbed her attention. It was clear this was not just another kitchen gadget. She was excited about the impending delivery date.

The company said order now and dispatch is immediate. That is too good to be true Yorkshire Hollywood mused.
Apparently not, as the very next morning a mere 16 hours after the button was clicked to purchase, Dan the delivery man once again knocked on the front door. His job had never been so rewarding all those people opening doors excited to see him Dan liked to think of his customers as friends. Yet he knew deep down as soon as the lockdown is over life would return to previous ways. No one would answer the door, neighbours would refuse to assist, his return visits would be fruitless, leaving him no alternative but to return to depot. People are fickle Dan mused.

Dan socially distanced, Yorkshire Hollywood opened the door. Admittedly Yorkshire Hollywood did not open the door with the excitement that Dan had expected having witnessed the euphoria from a few short days ago with the flour delivery, but he knew this delivery was also of some significance as Elaine was also at the door her eyes wide in anticipation as she looked towards Yorkshire Hollywood and the two boxes he was taking delivery of. “It is huge just like you said Elaine looked towards Yorkshire Hollywood as he grappled with the two huge boxes one regular box shape the other long, so very long she was impressed.

The pair virtually ran to the kitchen down the corridor to view their new exciting purchase. It wasn’t clear if they were running with excitement to open the new packages or if Yorkshire Hollywood had to get a move on due to the weight in the packages. It really is a two-hand job he thought to himself.
Elaine could hardly contain her excitement, she hadn’t been this excited about a man using his tool so effectively since that time when Yorkshire Hollywood erected a pergola in the garden pre-kids.

It is big, it does need two hands and a belt to keep it secure.

This would make the days on the allotment fly by and the aches and pains maybe not so achy and painy.

The next day the couple headed to the allotment armed with their new toy. Now Elaine is well versed in DIY and can build a wall with the best of them she knows how to mix cement and change a tyre so is not adverse to some heavy lifting and grafting. But she feared this would be a step too far.

They say every day is a school day and yesterday was no different as when reading the literature for the new toy Elaine questioned as to why it was called a brush cutter. She had been expecting a bush cutter. Admittedly she thought it was a typo on the packaging.
Who knew, brush is the term used for small bushes that grow at ground level and they can easily be cut through like a knife through butter with the new toy. She now felt silly for ridiculing the guy in the advert talking about clearing the brush when she was shouting at the screen it’s a bush you need to clear the bush. Praise the lord she didn’t do a ranty post on Facebook about that.

The Diet Coke Moment

Elaine was digging in the vegetable patch trying to remove years of long spindly entwined grassroots, discerning what was worth trying to revive and what was heading for the compost.
Then he emerged from the shed triumphant. Yorkshire Hollywood proudly showing off his new toy. It was huge it was long very long and it did indeed need two hands and a belt for safety and security. For a moment without her glasses, with hot sticky eyes from the labour of the morning, the sun in her eyes she squinted and did a sharp intake of breath. The image captured in her mind’s eye was akin to one of those Australian Firefighter calendars that you can purchase for charity.

She amused herself imagining a new business venture. If her fellow allotment holders were to do a calendar holding their tools with pride maybe the sales would fund a new greenhouse, shed and fence that they so desperately needed.
Wiping her eyes and adjusting her glare she noticed that it was indeed Yorkshire Hollywood holding his machinery and yes he was just about to pull the starter cord. Three sharp pulls and that familiar smell of petrol and oil mix filled the air taking her back to days of mowing her Dads lawn.
Yes, another job that was man-boys yet he somehow managed to avoid that one too and yet again it was left to Yorkshire Hollywood or Elaine to complete the task.

Elaine went back to clearing her patch and Yorkshire Hollywood held the brush cutter with pride and determination.
They were both determined to get the job done so a beer could be enjoyed whilst it was still daylight and before the aches began to set in.

www.elainemitchell.co.uk

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