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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Who needs a garden when you can have Astro Turf on your balcony..?

Amelie's flaring her nostrils to demonstrate the main advantage of artificial grass. Namely, that it doesn't give you hayfever. And it smells pleasantly of rubber.

I bought that roll of prime turf months ago from Lidl for the bargain price of £6.99. I think they'd got a job lot from a bankruptcy sale at a snooker table factory. Either way, they were selling them off in the spring on the assumption that we'd get a summer. Which explains why it's been sitting in the hallway since March. It's taken until now to rid the balcony of icicles and mop up all the rainwater. A week ago I couldn't even see the balcony due to fog.

But finally, two weeks after the longest day, and with the nights drawing in as we edge closer to winter, the summer's finally arrived, and I've had a chance to do some gardening. Amelie and I spent this morning cleaning the windows and scrubbing the balcony, after which we tangled ourselves up in double-sided sticky tape and laid a bit of turf. Not only is it perfect for doing some drawing in your pyjamas, but once you're dressed, you can relax in sophisticated luxury with an iPad...

That's another victory for The Thumb Fairy. I can't believe Kayla's just sitting there.

Anyhoo, in addition to my landscape gardening on the balcony, I've spent a lot of today working indoors on the kind of mundane jobs that are barely worth mentioning. Toby got into the spirit of things this afternoon by watching the Wimbledon final whilst chewing on a strawberry, while Amelie spent some time playing the Cillit Bang Game, which basically involves her walking around the kitchen saying "Hi, I'm Barry Scott!" in a very loud voice.

After a few arguments with our daughter, who can be even more annoying when she's playing herself, we decided to take some advice from the latest McDonalds advert and prove that we all have a lot in common by getting some burgers from the nearest drive-thru. That soon patched things up, and before I knew it, I was sitting down with my daughter and making a ship in a bottle.

No, really. Back in March, a few days before I bought the artificial grass, Amelie was given an uncorked bottle by a woman in a pub. It's been sitting on a shelf ever since, waiting for me to help her stick a boat inside, but as a father-daughter craft project, I wasn't sure it would be plain sailing, and I didn't want the ship wrecked, so I've steered clear of it ever since.

In Southampton on Friday, however, I saw the maritime benefactor again, which reminded me that I still hadn't agreed to Amelie's boat-building requests. So when she asked me yet again today, I finally said yes. And what a nightmare it proved to be. The kit came complete with cotton thread rigging and printed paper flags. But quite honestly, by the time you've fiddled about for an hour with a couple of sails, some ridiculously thin wire, and some even smaller holes, you just want the bloody thing finished. So we abandoned the fancy embellishments, and went for the 'rowing boat in a jam jar' look.

I told Amelie to make the face that launched a thousand ships, and this is what I got...

Helen of Troy, eat your heart out.


Phil's Mum said...

Well, I think that's a very impressive day's work! Would you like to borrow our lawn mower?

Poirot said...

I am slightly concerned. I wasn't 'three sheets to the wind' but I reminded you of an empty bottle you needed to stick a cork in! ( note to self - work on public image)

On other matters you should apply to host the World Subbuteo Championships.