With a promise to myself to make progress on my restoration project, I assumed jobs in the garage would get me out of gardening duty.
It turns out my assumption was wide of the mark.
Our garden, if you can call it such, has a lawn. When I say lawn, I mean a patch of grass just about big enough to put a postage stamp on it.
It turns out mowing said grass with be my domain for the summer months. As such, the boss assigned me with the task of procuring a lawn mower, and my eyes widening with excitement seemed to confuse her. While I think she was expecting me to nip to Argos and battle with the self-serve thingy before leaving with a Flymo, I was looking-up the number for some old friends.
I was planning a chat with the owners of the British Lawnmower Museum (there is such a place, and if you ever need to get rid of me for an afternoon, just drop me off in Southport).
They are on the Christmas card list, but I saw this as an opportunity to get in touch out of season and be recommended a 1921 12’ ATCO Standard 9 Blade or a British Anzani Lawnride. I know. Talk about Christmas!
I was quickly convinced neither the size of our lawn or space in the garage warranted a ride on mower, but I was at least hoping for something like the delightfully-named Suffolk Super Punch 14. There’s always room in anyone’s life for a four-stroke stroke petrol engine.
“But you already have an impractical car, and another that doesn’t work,” came the voice of reason.
“What this got to do with cars?”
The answer I got touched on cost, maintenance, time... the fact I would take it apart and not know what I should do to get the mower working again while the grass grew. The neighbours might talk.
A solution was suggested, and it was one which left me cold. The image of a huge regal lawn, perfectly striped with rollers adjusted just so were wiped. This from a fellow vinyl enthusiast and vintage sewing machine collector. Betrayal.
Spark plugs, petrol and sharpening blades would be left to my friends in Southport.
“Spend little on an electric mower and spend more time on your car.”
The sentiment is hard to argue with. So defeated, I punched in my pin number at B&Q with a cheapy, nameless machine under one arm.
This is what it feels like to have no attachment to a machine. I does a job, no more. The grass is shorter, and that’s it.
I’ve not decided how I feel about Jenson Button racing at Monaco on May 28.
The McLaren brand ambassador and reserve driver, or 2009 Formula One World Champion to give him his proper title, will race again at this year’s race in the principality.
Fans were calling for Jenson to race again following the announcement Fernando Alonso will race a McLaren-entered, Honda-powered car in the Indy 500, following in the footsteps of Nigel Mansell who also crossed the divide.
It’s not a shock Alonso would jump at this opportunity.
Indy is one of the biggest races in the world along with Le Mans. So is Monaco, of course, but he’s been there, done that.
And McLaren are terrible this year. Why sit at the back in the traffic at Monaco when he could be at least trying something new?
And that’s why I’m not sure I wanted to see Jenson back.
He is, to my mind, one of the greatest, most assured drivers to have driven in F1.
It would be horrible to see him pushing around an awful car at the back – though I will watch and hope for a miracle.