Er, what’s that you’re up to? asked LSB as he spied me decanting the remnants of my cup of tea into a milk container. ‘The slop-bucket has returned,’ I said, ‘we have to feed the hedge.’
‘Oh God,’ he sighed, with feeling. ‘Not again.’
A few of years ago, during a dry spell, we had a hedge planted at the front. It has not been a roaring success, the new hedge. Its initial purpose was to keep the children hemmed in while I sipped a glass of Sauvignon of a summer’s evening. The garden is on a slope you see, and the kids couldn’t have been trusted not to go a-hurtling into the footpath. However, the gaps between the bushes never knitted together to form a substantial barrier. There remain unsightly large gappy bits and the children are now old enough to stay off the road. I’ve now got a border to which I have to weed and tend as if I don’t already have enough to do.
A neighbour, who is both kindly and green-fingered, has sought to brighten up our crap looking foliage, by planting a few bluebells and a rather wonderful pom-pom primula. In my usual inept manner I almost let these die for lack of watering, hence the return of the slop bucket.
It irks me you see, how much water we waste. While waiting for the shower to heat up, for example. Lots of water, straight down the drain. Our kids are forever ordering drinks, then forgetting about them and own cups of tea go undrunk while we race about after them. Then there’s the rinsing. I am a keen rinser of plates before they go into the dishwasher. LSB is not. He will shove in his porridge bowls with half the oaty goodness still clinging to the sides. I’m forever having to take them out, and very annoying it is too.
So I was at this business, rinsing and swilling and tipping it into the milk when LSB caught me at it. ‘We’re in the middle of a pandemic, in case it had eluded you,’ he said. ‘You can’t go firing that round the garden. It’ll be like the day of the Triffids out there.’ He had a point, what it being spread by droplets and all. ‘Get it down the sink,’ he said, ‘in case it ends up back in the fridge and into my coffee.’
Oh, most authorative he became on the subject. So down the plughole it went. However, he’s not coming between me and my shower basin. No sirree. I’m just thinking that we’ve had a dry spell and there’s obviously going to be so much water used with the extra laundry we’re all doing that I must do something to redress the balance. I was driving home one day and I heard Feargal Sharkey on Radio 4. He’s become an environmental campaigner, has our Feargal, and he’s demented about how fast the water authorities are draining the nation’s rivers for public consumption. One would think, what with the torrents of rain to which we are oft treated here in Ireland and the UK , that water shortage be an issue, but you’d be wrong. Rivers have dried up all over the place, and you can see him chat about this here. I have been greatly mocked in my efforts to preserve water, so it was nice to be vindicated, by Feargal Sharkey of all people.
I’m keen to know any other eco-tips you have during this time. Hit me up for ideas, and get that shower basin on the go yourselves.