On The Unreliable Nature Of Men And Their Equipment....
That is to say, he met me at the plot, and assured me he had the wherewithal to rotavate it within an inch of it’s life. His machine was apparently legendary at his own allotment. He was a landscaper by trade he said, and encouraged by his cheerful patter and firm handshake I found myself telling him my plans….This is where the fruit cage will go, over there the shed, and here be dragons.
Come Saturday morning though, as it emerged from his truck, I have to say his equipment did not look quite so big or impressive in the flesh as it had sounded in the boasting. Nonetheless I made flattering comments as we discussed the horsepower and strange foreign transmission system, and he set to with a will.
He huffed and puffed, and the machine roared, and whirred it’s tines with fury, but maddeningly just skittered and skated over the surface. We moved to another position and fell to again, but sadly the task was proving beyond him. The ground continued to just lay there, stubborn and unyielding. Like a woman’s heart.
The poor chap was clearly a bit embarrassed at this point, and swore he never usually had this problem. I felt sorry for him, and said “It’s not you, it’s me.” Me and my ridiculously hard soil. Clearly no rotavator could be expected to operate in those conditions. We must have been fools to suppose otherwise…..Though perhaps if he rested for bit and tried again?
But in truth our enthusiasm had evaporated by this point, and the moment was gone. So he put his machine back in his truck and left.
So any gardener's dreams I may theoretically have had, of sneaking back later and rolling naked in the moonlight in a bed of beautiful fine tilth, now looked withered and small. ……Much like the four bags of seed potatoes I had prematurely bought on the way there.
As for the plot, well I’ll just have to go back to doing it manually.......