The gardeners came today. It’s amazing how much better the garden looks afterwards. They only stay till midday but it makes a world of difference.
Gardener Dave and Mike know the garden so well now (they treat it like their own…probably better) that they can almost work without orders. Not that I’d ever let them do that. I always have strict instructions from Mirinda detailing what they are to do when she’s not here. And she wasn’t here today.
They worked solidly, stopping only for iced water when the danger of dehydration approached. It was during one such watering that Dave told me about a guy they used have working for them. He didn’t mention his name so I’ll just call him Frank.
Frank was always keen to get out of work. He’d ‘steal’ other senior gardener’s helpers in order to make his days easier. This meant that Frank would sit in the van while his two workers did all the gardening. Dave said that the worst thing about this was when Frank ‘stole’ his helper, leaving him alone to work ridiculously long days. One day, however, Frank came a-cropper.
A new client was on the books and Frank was given the job. He grabbed a couple of helpers and set off for the address. He reached the street and, rather than knock on the door, he sent the helpers round the back to start work. He then settled himself in the van with the paper and a thermos of tea. A few hours later there was a knock at his window. It was the house owner just returning from the shops. She wanted to know what he was doing in her drive.
He climbed out of the van and, very pleasantly, explained that he was there doing her gardening, walking out the back with her to show the excellent work he’d done. He was a bit surprised when she said she hadn’t ordered any gardening and wouldn’t be paying for what they’d already done. Frank looked at her then looked down at his work order. He showed her the bit that said where, what and how the work had been placed.
The woman looked at Frank like he was an idiot.
“This is number 14. Number ten is a couple of doors down,” She explained as if to a child.
The rest of the day was spent doing a few gardening jobs that they’d not had time to do, doing kitchen things and booking some exciting things to do in Spain. These included a flamenco night in Cadiz and some dancing horses in Jerez.
One of the kitchen jobs was to decant my latest batch of sauerkraut which turned out very well. I didn’t go with the juniper berries this time, settling on just peppercorns instead. Still tastes good. And, I think, photographed quite well.
By the end of the day I felt like I’d achieved quite a lot without getting too hot and sweaty. The puppies, naturally, were not so fortunate. Emma, in particular, exhausted herself running around the park after her tennis ball. It’s a good job I took a bottle of water for her because she drank most of it on her own. Freya, of course, doesn’t do quite so much running around being an incredibly lazy dog.
Dinner was leftover lo-carb cauliflower cheese from yesterday’s roast. It was delicious and went oddly well with a glass of Italian red wine.