:: Fair Warning! ::
This is going to be a long post and it is all going to be about me.
You have been warned!
Hi, My name is Rick.
Don’t worry if you forget my real name. I have been going as Kal on the Internet since the Internet was young and I swear I answer to Kal in real life as much as I do my real name!
I wanted to post this because today was the beginning of a new era for me. Friday, 27th November 2015 was my last day at work for the council. I had been a Seasonal Gardener there for 5 years but now it has probably come to an end.
For the past 5 years I have gone back there each spring, in one case ending my role elsewhere to go back! When I first started I was hoping that the gentle hints of a full time job would actually happen. By the end of the 2nd year I wasn’t big on holding my breath and waiting. Now at the end of the 5th I have given up.
Would I accept a full time job if offered? Hell yeah! It’s a bloody good job with great people. Ok, the job itself is hard work, during the summer months when the grass cutting is the main job, you can expect to walk 20 km or more a day and we didn’t have ride-on mowers other than one collector deck machine. Ride-ons have a bit of a stigma where I worked. It was a sign of weakness among the guys to use one. I mainly used this, she was a beast that would just eat large areas and could cope with bankings and tall, thick grass with no problems…A real workhorse!
The job did have some downsides to be sure. First was the public… OMG, if I had a penny for every cretin that got in my way or just annoyed me… Well, I would never have to work again! And it didn’t matter what the weather was doing, you had to do your job. Nothing more miserable than cutting grass in the pouring rain let me tell you. Well… Aside from cutting house gardens, parks and open spaces where dogs run about and owners don’t clean up. *rageface*
Another thing that nobody tells you about is the lifting… Some houses and areas you visited were nightmares. I will be glad to NEVER EVER have to go back to “Gnome Woman’s” house again. The house where you had to carry your push mower (all 28kgs of it) up 10 steps then another 5 just to cut a postage stamps worth of grass in her back garden, minding the absolute minefield of gnomes that she had, then lug the damn thing back down the stairs and then push it back up the road to where the van was to do the next set of house gardens. ARGH!
Sometimes the job was perfect for me. Every 2nd Monday I would spend the whole morning on my own. I would take my mower and walk a set route while the other guys took the van and some other machines and went off and did another route and we would meet back at one of our depots for lunch. Bliss!
There is also a few good points to being a gardener. Warm, sunny days, ladies and parks. ‘Nuff said really! ;-P
A couple of other good points? I’m fit… I get loads of fresh air, good exercise and a fairly good tan in the summer, something my daughter hates me for. B-)
I have also learned so much while working there. I was initially put in the team because they were a man down and the other seasonal wasn’t starting till the following week, had I have been put with another team I don’t think I would have stayed as long as I did. The team I was with was very much a cerebral team. They were all actual gardeners rather than just people that cut grass for a living. Other teams were just ‘get the job done and move on’ while mine cared. This is probably because of all the teams only ours had 3 actual parks (One being a gold standard park), 3 bowling greens and a number of what’s known as ‘prestige plots’. So we did more than our fair share of highly visible work and it needed to be of a good standard!
In my life I have learned a lot about gardening from my mum, my gran and everything else has been from those guys. One of the guys was instrumental in my actually becoming a scrounging gardener, an ideal he lives by. They were always giving advice and instruction. It was from them that I learned “The 3 D’s of pruning“, basic plant (and weed) identification, basics of propagation, a love of nature in general and why it’s all important!
I also learned far more than I ever wanted to know about the joy of cleaning the underside of mowers. Yeah… That’s sarcasm BTW, in case you didn’t notice. *sigh*
Today was my first day not being there, and in a way I am sad. But fear not! I have been provisionally offered another job, its working nights but that’s OK for me, it just means I will get to spend time in the mornings in the garden!
I will be continuing my blog but quite a lot of the ‘other’ stuff will be missing. It also means I will have to do my own research for answers rather than simply asking someone and being shown how to do it. This means I will likely do a lot more screwing up till I get it right!
Oh well. On with the motley!