dogs, life, photography

Beware the ride-on mower…

If you’re thinking of buying acreage, here’s a little warning, give it serious thought. You may well ask why, but a purchase of this type requires garden maintenance and the easiest way to do this is with the use of a ride-on mower.
How this could be a problem? Read on.
I was once in possession of acreage and one sunny morning I noticed the grass needed attention. My teenage son was primarily in charge of this job, but he was away that weekend so I figured I would do it for him.
So sitting proudly atop my ride-on mower, I felt quite pleased with myself. I say proudly because it had taken me the best part of 30 minutes to get this motorised monster to roar into life.
Why, I hear you ask? Simply because the mechanical beast in question had aged considerably and the starter battery once the source of very quick and effective ignition, had died long ago.
Sheer brute strength and frantic pulling of a rip style cord was now required to get this reluctant machine to perform. Having achieved that part of the ritual, I had to be quick for in order to feed the beast a rusty lever had to be pushed forward to continue the flow of fuel otherwise the beast would starve and if that happened, it would splutter, spit and finally stop causing the whole
back-breaking performance to be repeated.
As luck would have it I was swift and I was soon bouncing off down the road to begin the task. After about 20 minutes of chomping, slicing and devouring a fair chunk of land, my confidence had grown. Zipping around orange, apple and lime trees, ploughing through overgrown weeds and ripping through dead roots, I was feeling quite daring. Spotting a cluster of grass that was strangling a dying tree; I set off to the rescue. However this rescue was going to be tricky as the tree in question grew on a slope and would require some deft footwork of the combined brake, reverse and accelerator pedal to keep myself and my machine from rolling uncontrollably down the hill. But of course that was not going to be a problem, as I knew exactly how to handle this machine, or so I thought.
Off I scurried down the hill and manoeuvring my machine with precision and panache, I sliced through the offending grass. Nearing the end of my mission, I reversed down the slope to get the best vantage point for a final burst that would see the killer grass finally end its murderous ways.As I slammed down the accelerator, freshly churned soil flew into the air as my wheels were forced into action. This action was my downfall for as my wheels spun, they lost traction and before I could act, I started sliding backwards down the hill. No longer having a man around the house I was not in the position to scream like a banshee in the hope of being rescued, instead there was only Sausage who would hear my bellowing. And for those who don’t know Sausage, she was my beloved dog (she has since passed away) and a rather small one at that, so any hope of rescue from her was out of the question. Then panic set in for rather than push my heal downward, which would have powered the brake action, I pushed forward causing my mower to thrust backwards at incredible speed. Fearing death and realising no help was at hand, I took evasive action. I had to get off this mad beast and fast. In my haste to dismount my right shoelace became entangled with the seat, which left me to hop frantically on my other leg alongside a backward moving, mad mower.
Suddenly I could see the headline flash before my eyes.
I screamed (all in vain I might add) ‘stop, stop, you mad mower’, but did it listen? No, it just kept on rolling without a thought for my safety, and in the midst of this madness Sausage watched with great interest, probably wondering why I had chosen to mow in such a stylish yet awkward manner.
Thankfully rescue was forthcoming, but not by Sausage or some macho male who heard my screams. No, my saviour was a large tree that halted my descent just as the Beast and my now mildly mangled right leg were destined for extinction.
Hallelujah I gushed as I freed my leg from the jaws of the mad mower, but sadly it was that moment Sausage decided she could help, and not seeing her small grey shape, over I went. Not one to be easily offended, Sausage took this opportunity (seeing I was now at her level, flat on my back on the freshly cut grass) to shower me with a few swift fish-breath infused slurps.
So there I was, now not so proudly lying beside a still roaring mower while a delighted and very smelly sausage dog showered me with love and affection. Removing Sausage from my face I pushed and heaved until the reluctant mechanical beast was back on even ground.
Later, as I stood on my verandah with a glass of wine in hand, and a blood soaked bandage wrapped tightly my leg, I realised ride-on mowers are to be treated with respect.
So heed this warning unsuspecting and prospective gardeners: never underestimate the ride-on mower, they can be very dangerous creatures and need to be handled with care!

life, photography

A little french…

There is something about France that brings out the best in me. A few months ago I had the privilege to travel there once again, this time with my 14 year-old son. We did nothing in particular, just jumped in a car and drove where the road took us. No plans, no set agenda, just time spent seeing, watching and sharing life.

Together we embraced French culture whilst silently embracing our own relationship that is bathed in love, trust and respect. Once again, simple pleasures equate to a life well lived and shared with those who are indeed and always shall be, well loved.



Simple pleasures +1…

Finding the simplicity in life is easy really. We just need to open our eyes to the beauty that envelopes our daily lives. Take my earlier post below ‘Simple pleasures’, not only did the surf on that stormy Sunday 4 years ago give simple pleasure to my beautiful children, it also afforded me the simple pleasure in being able to photograph that moment and revel in their enjoyment.

And for me now, having the time to breathe in the pleasures that inhabit my daily life is humbling. I take the time to watch, listen, embrace and also document some of those pleasures with a simple click of my camera. Simple pleasures are just that, and being able to capture some of those moments in order to relive them is fulfilling to say the least…

Here are some more of those moments I have managed to capture.


a little routine…

There is something to be said for routine.Image
With having made a positive change in my life, I am now a silent and content witness to watching life unfold, as it does for many, with routines that are complete and solid in nature.
Free to now shape my own routine, I see with clear eyes the routine of others.
He walks with bowed legs, his crooked stick aiding those crooked legs. His smile wide and giving, shining its light upon those who share his morning. His worn cap, frayed yet loved is tipped ever so slightly, his silent acknowledgment of my presence with his.
He runs, panting, sensing and sniffing his well travelled path. A worn tattered rope connected to her, keeps him close and without flight. She too smiles and bids me good morning.
They are there, sharing with me my new routine. This routine I embrace for I am now a participant in a world I was too often absent.
As I walk, regret for having chosen this path does not walk alongside me. There is simply happiness and fulfillment at having chosen to make a life that is reflective of who I am, and who I have always needed to be.


And at first there was the beginning…

‘Face your fears’ the financial guru said whilst interviewed on a national tv program. I thought about her words for a moment trying to put them into a financial context, then I got it. She was right, facing your fears makes perfect sense. So I asked myself, what are my financial fears? And my answer was honest, I strived for the approval of others rather than myself and in doing so had remained for a very long time in a high paying, yet highly unfulfilling job. Funnily enough though I was not aware of this when I handed my resignation in last week. What I was aware of however was the overwhelming feeling of freedom and happiness that enveloped my being the moment my resignation was accepted.
Now I fully understood why I felt so free: I had taken a forward leap and faced my financial fears head on.
I have no idea where I’m headed or what life has planned, but what I do know is that I have faced a deep seeded fear and embraced the unknown.
And now? Well, l shall simply await the wondrous possibilities that will undoubtedly unfold.