For months, I’ve led a fairly blameless existence, doing as I please, then out comes the sun, as it did last week, and suddenly it’s all action. The grass is growing ten to the dozen and needs mowing twice a week, along with all the other gardening chores.
But worst of them all is dreaded ‘treating the decking’. We had this wooden structure installed in 2002, not long after we moved into the house and when such things were fashionable. The problem we had was that the garden is a few feet lower than the house and originally there were a few stones steps that made the transition from house to garden feel a little bit sudden. An area of decking seemed to be the answer.
I say decking, but it’s more like a verandah. It covers most of the rear of the house, which is quite wide, so there is room on it for the barbecue, a couple of benches and a table and four chairs, not to mention planters and other paraphernalia. And I hadn’t really thought through just how much care and attention that amount of wood demands.
In theory, it needs cleaning and treating with preservative twice a year, although it is rather weather dependent, so some years I may get round to this only once, if it’s lucky.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I spent a couple of hours on Saturday and again on Sunday cleaning it with a power washer, then today I sloshed on the first coat of decking treatment, leaving me with sore feet (they haven’t used to being in flip-flops again), aching limbs and back and hands that feel like they should be blistered from all that brushing.
Wouldn’t it be great if Nat had got it right and summer really was long run of lazy, hazy, crazy days. Perhaps then, if I am asked to treat the deck, I could take for a day at the zoo instead.