DS has been back from schools rugby tour in S Africa for three days and he is bored. Most of his friends are away and he has no transport and no money and apart from daily visits to the gym – you should see his muscles, in fact, if you come to our house you can see them all the time as he never wears a top indoors, preferring instead to lope around topless, occasionally feeling and flexing his muscles or looking at his reflection in anything he can find – he is passing the time eating, facebooking, watching TV and eating a bit more. I was in the garden where I have been solidly for the past few days, cutting back, clearing and weeding like the new convert to the church of gardening that I am, when he appeared on typically silent feet and started whacking a tennis ball against the fence with an old hockey stick I had unearthed from under a large bush which I found under a small tree which I didn’t know I had.
‘ I’m bored ‘, he announced in a bored sort of way. Whack. ‘ Why don’t you dig out some roots? It’s very therapeutic ‘. Trust me, wrestling stubborn bramble roots out of the ground with a large garden fork in a Herculean battle of woman versus root – I lay back fully on the fork at one stage using my entire body weight as leverage – is deeply, deeply satisfying. Whack. ‘ I don’t need therapy ‘. I balance on my trusty garden implement, pushing it far down into the soil. ‘ Not yet ‘ I say wobbling slightly but he is already gone, back inside to the safety of the TV and away from annoying mothers who are deluded enough to think that a 16 year old might want to do some digging. Through DD’s bedroom window I can hear Helen Reddy singing from her laptop, “ I am strong, I am invincible, I Am Womaaaaaan ‘ and I feel the roots tremble on the points of my fork.