Since the boyfriend's illness, the household chores that used to be his are now down to me. He has 350ft of garden. That means 700ft of hedge. That is an awful lot to prune.
I started off tackling 15ft a day with the shears. I soon realised that by the time I was halfway down one side (that is, if I hadn't fallen in the pond or frazzled myself on next door's electric fence in the process), the first bits I had chopped would have started growing again. I was never going to be able to start on the other side at all.
And so the boyfriend introduced me to the electric hedge trimmer. Now, the EHT somewhat resembles a bright orange tailless shark with its serrated blade and fin-like handles. To work it, you have to squeeze in two places simultaneously. Not only are these positioned for large male hands and need a strong male grip, but the beast also weights half a stone and I am only 5ft 4ins. I have also never used a piece of electric garden equipment in my life, especially one capable of severing limbs and decapitating small animals. Maybe large ones, too. Maybe even me.
Now, I have a phobia about anything with a motor that might run amok and get beyond my control. Sewing machines and cars are out of the question. Electric carving knives? Forget it. My psyche is rooted in the stone age, though I'd probably have had a phobia about the first ever Flintstones-style stone wheel.
Nevertheless, I picked the EHT up and did a sweep of the hedge. "No, no, you're doing it all wrong, the blade must be flat to the hedge. Look, you've gouged a hole in the privet," complained the backseat gardener. I growled at him, climbed the ladder, heaving the EHT after me, then did a sweep of the top. That's when I discovered that puny 5ft 4ins females with undeveloped biceps, arthritic elbows and short arms aren't cut out for cutting hedges. Especially 700ft hedges. What I need is a giraffe which can operate a hedge trimmer with its jaws, or perhaps a carefully trained elephant. Please apply here.
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