Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Fireman Sam and Fireman Paddy get down to the business of fighting fires

Some people are great gardeners.  They only have to look at a plant to have it flourishing and bearing much fruit in no time at all.  I, on the other hand, am not like that.  I am pretty much bad news for any plant under my care. Last year, when I decided to grow carrots in order to feed my family some healthy, organic fare, the best I could do was a few sorry and somewhat rude-looking specimens (I later sold these on the local auction site as aphrodisiacs due to their somewhat raunchy shapes, but that is another story).

However, one plant I can grow without seemingly trying at all, is gorse.  That prickly, ineradicable weed seems to blossom all over our property without a care in the world.  No amount of poisons, bush-cutters or the earnest attentions of the Sweetpea seem to do it any harm at all; in fact, it rather seems to thrive on negative attention (some children are like this too).

The result of this is an extremely steep section, almost straight down, sparsely covered with a sprinkling of grass and a dense, luxurious Amazon-forest like expanse of gorse.

 It was in this expanse of sharp-tipped, evil plant that Firemen Sam and Paddy discovered Something that needed Rescuing.  I was never privileged to know what that Something was, but suffice it to say that the rescue was performed at great speed and I only got to see the last part of the operation.  Fireman Sam took advantage of my attention being momentarily distracted by getting his baby sister out of the car.  He ran into the garage, grabbed his tricycle, and, while humming the theme tune to Fireman Sam, launched the trike over the edge of the driveway and down the not only incredibly steep hill, but the incredibly steep, gorse-infested hill.  He got a surprisingly long way down the hill before running aground in an especially stubborn gorse bush, and like Pooh Bear before him, discovered that gorse is not a particularly friendly plant.

That was all very well, but now I had a small and very forlorn fireman stuck in a gorse bush, halfway down a very steep hill, and no one to do the rescuing but me (his brother fireman had very sensibly not followed his brother's example and had stayed at the top of the hill).  The result of all this is that the "Hero next door" became none other than yours truly, who had to clamber down the steep hill through the jungle of gorse bushes not once, but twice (the first time to rescue the fireman, and the second time to rescue the bike, whilst also coincidentally carrying the baby sister who refused to be left alone at the top of the hill a second time around).  Like Pooh, I too discovered that gorse prickles in one's butt are not as exciting as one might think.

The Sweetpea insists that I add a post-script to this tale:  he asserts that he is in full control of the gorse infestation, lest "people out there think I am an incompetent husband".  In truth, since this incident, his slash and poison technique has worked wonders for the gorse and we are starting to reap the results of his hard work.  At last - Sweetpea: One; Gorse: Nil (so far).

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