The revenge of the Scottish Lawnmower Man


Where we live gardens are of the most importance. Even the name of ‘Southern-Highlands’ seems to evoke gardens. Possibly gardens from Scotland. Indeed, there is a yearly event here whereby the ruddy Scots and their descendents celebrate a festival. Many then wear kilts and play bagpipes. There are also shops that sell stuff related to far away Highlands.

There are items reminiscing of all things England as well. Lots of those interior shops with knots of lavender flowers, lavender sachets, lavender soap, lavender curtains, lavender make up, posies of Queen Anne lace with Babies Breath. All artificial of course but looking real enough for me to touch them, just to make sure. There are endless wreaths which makes me wonder if wreaths serve other celebrations apart from funerals? Some of those are made from twigs cleverly intertwined and very bleached looking. I believe people hang those at the back of bedroom doors. Perhaps a reminder that the party doesn’t go on forever! “Stop mucking around and go to sleep,” the wreath seems to be saying late at night, just when hubby might get a late twinge.

As always there are exceptions to those lush gardens. I noticed an exception on my twice daily walk around the block with Milo. There is one 1950’s free standing solid brick house with just a lawn. Just a lawn and nothing else, no trees, do shrubs, but not a blade of grass out of place, and at dusk the house in totally darkness from the outside. Not even light escaping underneath the front door nor a shimmer through the blinds and curtains. The whole aura of that house is one of ‘spick and span.’

Yet, I know it is occupied. The lawn gets mowed every few days. A solid ruddy looking man in short shorts and with a sloppy hat pushes a lawnmower. He pushes as if his very life depends on it. He greets me with a nod, so there is an ongoing form of communication and I am hoping I’ll pass him just when the mower has run out of petrol or when he is just finished to try and get a bit of his story. I have also noticed in my much earlier Revesby days, that there are gardens that are well kept but the ‘well kept of it’ is just the lawn.  There were no trees, no shrubs, no flowers, just a beaten down lawn.

It’s not just the well kept lawn but also the well kept concrete footpaths. The grass is cut to the path with some tool called an edger that cuts through the grass, roots and all and give the edges an almost crew-cut appearance, the concrete path being the ears whereby the grass has been trimmed around.

I can understand an overgrown garden with neglect clearly the culprit. What I find harder to reconcile is that some go through extremes to not have anything growing but also to beat down the growing grass so relentlessly. Is it some kind of revenge? Is it a revenge of the Scot?


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