We all got bored with the earthquake in the end. To liven things up some snowflakes fell on a stadium in Invercargill and its roof collapsed http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10674390
but we got bored with that too. Luckily it's Springtime, so we can all get back to the national obsession with short grass.
It's Spring and the lawn is growing like mad and our Flymo has died. Our Flymo was given to us as a cast-off by my father-in-law:
'Is will do.'
He was Hungarian and never fully mastered the language. It had already served him for 15 years; it has served us for 25, and now that the skirt has broken in two places, the wire cut in twelve, the blade worn to a sort of metal stick, and the bearings have totally gone, I felt it time for renewal.
Flymo are now owned by Husqvarna and make a light-weight push-mower, and when I spotted one in the junk shop almost new but at a third the price I promptly brought it home to convert into a pedal-powered mowing machine. Did you know 5% of all air pollution in America is caused by lawn mowers? http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2010/06/04/the-problem-of-lawns/
Besides, I thought Why go for a ride for exercise when you can be mowing the lawn by muscle power and not running the hazard of that woman on the main road with the concealed driveway pulling straight out onto the cyclepath while looking right for cars when you are approaching at 20 mph from the left and have only two yards to brake to a standstill in? (I dodged in front of her bumper. I hope she died of fright, cos I did. This is actually my ghost, writing.)
Lisa runs the junk shop: Lisa concisely said
'Good mower, that. Bloke bought it new but didn't know how to adjust the cutter, and my dad fixed it.'
Lisa was not lying. Her dad had fixed it. I tried pushing it out of curiosity and was sore amazed. I cut the back lawn in ten minutes. I cut the front off-side lawn in twelve minutes. I cut the big lawn in twenty, and the council's strip in front of the house, fifty yards long by five yards wide, in a mere six minutes.
Therefore if Flymo are watching and would care to send me a corrupt payment of, say, $168 (please) for a gratuitous endorsement, I shall recommend their H40 with considerable delight. It weighs next to nothing though there may be a catch in there because when I pulled the wheels off to have a look - as you do - I found that the wheels are plastic and the gears are nylon. So we shall see how long it lasts. Still, at about thirty quid, it's the price of the petrol to run the ride-on all summer, and quicker and quieter and I don't have to worry about the entire blade system falling off. The ride-on, American engineering at its throwaway worst, came with the house. The owners knew what it was like. It is a White Outdoor Product. If the Internet was a bit bigger I'd have a go at listing the faults of our ride-on, though if the financial crisis has any blessings, one will be the extinction of White Outdoor Products. If White Outdoor Products care to send me a corrupt payment to delete this negative publicity it will be $168,000 please. (Bit of luck that too will hasten their bankruptcy.)