... as Tense's half acre, or at least 50 x 45m of... er... habitat.
The bulk of the 'garden' at Tense Towers has been left to its own devices for over a year now. Something had to be done. With the assorted vegetation (Couch grass, Docks, Thistles and Dandelions) being somewhere between ankle high and knee high, it was always going to be a tough gig.
Still, I reckoned that I'd cracked the problem of how we could lose weight, become a bit trimmer (no pun intended), lessen the furrowed brows of our neighbours and save ourselves some money into the bargain. Our Lass had recently ditched her gym membership, so my cunning plan was Mower-cise, man (or woman) and machine in perfect harmony. What could possibly go wrong?
About a third of the way around my first lap of the... let's call it 'lawn' for simplicity's sake, my trusty mower of over a decade gave up the ghost. No amount of cajoling would encourage it back to life. Ah, the best laid plans, eh?
A swift trip to the various gardening equipment emporia of these isles gave me plenty to ponder: cutting width, engine size, deck material and propulsion options, to name just a few. More research online led to the decision to go with a Honda-powered 53cm machine, with an alloy deck and self propulsion. Happily, there was a local agent for my chosen brand, so I ordered it and was flabbergasted to discover that it would be £160 cheaper than the manufacturer's price, delivered to Orkney, fully mantled and full of fuel and oil. I had to wait a week and half for it, but it was worth the wait! Unfortunately, the vegetation didn't stop growing during that time.
Having now completed the first cut of the whole 'lawn', which had to be done using Tense propulsion as the grass was so thick, I am now fit to drop. I look forward to the day when I can engage the self propulsion option and merely saunter around the garden at a brisk pace.
As I trundled the mower back across the lawn after its exertions, I noticed that a cow and calf had appeared in the neighbouring field. Two pairs of eyes were watching me with, what felt like, a mixture of bovine amusement and critical appraisal. I was just glad that they didn't whip out cards giving me marks out of ten.