I’m sitting on our sunny terrace doing absolutely nothing. Well, I’m writing, but that doesn’t exactly count as physical labour. And I’m drinking coffee, which also doesn’t count. But everywhere around me there’s frantic activity: all the neighbours are buzzing and fixing with their washers, brushes, pots and spades.
There’s some strange urge coming to life in every (middle-aged) house owner this time of year. It’s almost as if family happiness was related to the amount of work you do outside the house. Ok, so I know there probably are people for whom fixing house and garden is a real passion. I’ve just never been one of those. Not that I don’t enjoy a nicely put up terrace and garden. I’m just the kind of lazy sod who prefers to have someone else fix it for me – so that I could concentrate merely on the enjoyment part.
To tell you the truth, I’ve always wondered what these fixers do when the sun isn’t shining? Watch gardening and cookery programmes on TV? Plan their garden efforts for next season? Still, can’t claim I’m totally innocent either. When those first sun rays hit our terrace, I too headed out to the garden shops looking for that perfect flowerpot. But I did buy it ready-made and I swear my fingers didn’t even touch the soil. And our terrace is still unwashed, non-polished and cluttered with kids bicycle helmets, footballs, dog hairs and various other stuff reminding us of the (only) bliss with snow (=it hid all that clutter).
My somewhat rigid attitude might have something to do with the fact that our previous house was a high-maintenance one, with a garden the size of a football field… The amount of work we put in while living there is beyond comparison. Looking back now, it seems like madness to ever have chosen to do that voluntarily. At the moment I’m thoroughly happy to just sit here on my low-maintenance terrace and smile at my busy neighbours (who of course might very well be thoroughly enjoying themselves too, for all I know).