We have been married thirty years and we are no longer petrol heads.
Now, we’re more lithium ion heads and cordless co-drivers.
We share the mowing which means we take it in turns behind the grab handle and we cut our lawn in stages. Rather like rally drivers do in races.
When not driving, I’m my husband’s navigator, using my eyes rather than pace notes and shouting out instructions and directions.
“Five yards flat. Straight. One yard. Gentle 1 sloping right-hander. Right turn. Watch my hydrangeas! Tight right hander past veg patch. Watch mole hill. One yard jump. Two yards ahead hairpin round old cherry tree stump! Left hand down. One yard flat past cesspit. Don’t cut corner. Dahlias are planted there. Flat out to finish line and compost heap.”
It’s team effort cutting the grass.
Its an important job being a co- lawn mower. You can so easily get caught up on overhanging underwear on the washing line and a co-mower must always seek to avoid that happening. As well as calling the lead mower to hazards like garden benches, gnomes, stones and dog’s muck.
After we have emptied, I take over and my husband become the garden seat driver. “ Mind my floribundas! Be careful of my tea roses. You’ve missed a bit. Reverse.”
We are competitive mowers. We try and beat our best garden lap time which is at present 36.54 mins. But that was with a coffee break. We were on course to get well within that time but , at the infamous Begonia Corner, the engine started making noises and we suffered a clogged grass bucket which cost us dearly.
Personally, I don’t believe that a lawn mower is a penis extension. Or that a lawnmower tells you a lot about a person. Like a Flymo means they have a titchy one. Garden, I mean.
Although, there was a time that found a man behind a Mountfield attractive, the wind raking back his hair. Rake back his sideburns is all the wind does now.
It can be safely said that my husband doesn’t suffer from Leaf Blower Envy. And we are not that infirm or lazy to invest in a “Landroid” robot mower or pose on top of a look-at-me ride-on. We are not that insecure that we need to give the impressions that our garden is huge and that’s why need a tractor to cut it.
Over the years, we have had a few mowers – a Webb, a nippy rubber-wheeled Cobra lawnster, a Yamaha, a Greenworks and other constructor’s champions. But we’ve been Honda supporters and advocates of selective mulching for a while now.
When we lived in London, we used to compete with our neighbours in what we called the Gia di Surburbia. Every other Sunday morning, lined up in a row in our parallel and equally-sized square gardens, we’d power up at the same time and race each other to see who could finish their back garden first.
Karcher dominated. We always came second. Or last. Then we discovered the winner had an extra , illegal 3cms blade width. We also found out he was Finnish. So probably related to rallying greats Tommi Makinen or Juho Hannine.
We don’t go around garden centres drooling over telescopic handle systems and back rollers. We couldn’t tell a MX460SGV 40v from a 48V G4OLM41 but we do appreciate a snazzy Karcher, a speedy Work and a powerful Stihl. And the marvellous techno advances in lawnmowers.
Gardening is still fun. And mowing never a chore. But since we have gone battery and electric start, we have lost that feeling of living on the edge. Pulling that cord to get it started and not knowing whether you’d suffer a harrowing hernia and spend the rest of the summer cutting the lawn in a truss.
There is much to be nostalgic about cutting the lawn. We miss the days of pushers and the smell of high octane gasoline. But we don’t miss the swearing.
We don’t know what to get. Another Honda. Or a super-lightweight , highly manoeuvrable yellow Karcher LMO 18-33 with its much vaunted grass holding capability.
With its 8ks battery brushless motor, Select Drive variable speed , bespoke Quiet Mode, the brad new Honda HRX476 is an elite performance, all-terrain vehicle which handles jut as well om long and damp grass. With a blade speed of 2600rpm and travel speed of 0-1.3m/sec it’s a beauty and a beast!
Most families are two-car families. So why not two mower families? Maybe we’ll get both. We’ll beat our record easily and cut the grass in the half the time.