When I got the lawnmower out for the first time this year I had to spend half an hour cleaning the grass that was firmly glued to every surface. Last year was a horrible washout and we eventually had to mow the lawn when it was wet, because it never dried out at all and it would have been knee-high if we hadn't mowed it sometime. The wheels of the mower ground up the spongy, waterlogged soil, damaging the lawn. The wet grass didn't cut very well, especially the tough stalks which had developed in the long period between mowing. The soggy grass cuttings stuck to all parts of the lawnmower and were difficult to clean off; eventually we gave up trying. Mowing the lawn in 2007 was a miserable experience.
But last Saturday, ah, that's a different story. I had forgotten the simple pleasure of cutting the lawn with a properly functioning mower on a warm dry day. The hum of the mower, the delicious sharp smell of the cut grass, the birdsong in the distance, the heat of the sun on my back. I felt as though I could have mowed forever. Then sitting down with a cold glass of beer afterwards and surveying a job well done. Heaven must be just like this.
It was during this "surveying" period that I noticed various nasty holes and patches in the lawn. Sam helped me fork out the weeds and moss, prepare the soil surface, and sow some new grass seed to fill the gaps. On Monday he brought home a small scarecrow he had made at school. There was really only one place to put it. Sam's scarecrow stands in the middle of the front lawn, deterring any birds who might want to eat our grass seed before it grows.