I mowed the lawn and the lawn lost

*Google says that I’m not the first person to use this “I fought the lawn…” pun in a blog post title. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.*

Back in March, we had a lawn installed. As the grass gradually got longer and longer, we realised that we could not delay the purchase of a lawn mower any further.

It’s not a very large area, so I didn’t want to go spending huge amounts of money on a lawnmower. But, conversely, I also had requirements. I wanted something that would collect the grass shavings for me, and I also wanted to avoid the Flymo brand, as they are basically all cheap, shoddy, flimsy pieces of orange plastic tat.

Stood in my local Focus, I contemplated the options. On my left, I had a Bosch electric rotary mower that met my requirements, costed about £60, and would take up a significant amount of space in the garage, when the garage is full enough already.

Qualcast Panther 30

Qualcast Panther 30

To my right, I had the Qualcast Panther 30 for about £40 ((you can currently get it from Argos for just £30)).

I ummed and ahhed for a long time, while Karen ran around the store chasing a toddler who had a surplus of energy. I had mental images of blazing hot afternoons, sweat pouring down my body, red in the face, grunting and heaving and screaming “fucking piece of shit lawnmower!”

But then I suppressed my preconceptions and thought about it rationally. I thought about my hodddd and how much simpler and easier it is to sweep the carpet using the hodddd than the vacuum cleaner. I thought about dynamo-powered bicycle lights, and how modern ones are far less intrusive than their old-fashioned counterparts. I thought about how much easier the hand-powered lawn mower would be to store and transport. The reduced risk of accidents. The additional exercise. The lower purchase price. Bernard screamed past at a few hundred miles per hour, with Karen in hot pursuit. She suggested that if I wanted to make a decision any time soon, that was okay with her.

A few hours later I was in the back garden, sweat pouring down my body, red in the face, grunting and heaving. But I wasn’t screaming “fucking piece of shit lawnmower”. Because I knew that it wasn’t the lawnmower’s fault. It was the fact that this lawnmower is totally unsuitable for cutting long grass, and this came as no surprise.

Once the grass is down to a reasonable length, this thing actually whizzes over the lawn with impressive speed and agility. I’m the kind of guy who is willing to go out and mow the lawn once a week, and so I have a good feeling about this. Stay tuned.

5 replies on “I mowed the lawn and the lawn lost”

My Dad has something similar (without the ‘catch bucket’).

Tips are to keep it well oiled and get the blades sharpened regularly (once every 3 months or so?), keeps is easy to use. And yes, I did find it quite satisfying to use it instead of the electric mower.

Mower terminology:
catch bucket = box
trimmings = clippings
lawn installation = laying of turf or sowing of seed, as appropriate
Flymo = cheap, shoddy, flimsy pieces of orange plastic tat

So you got one out of four. Not bad.

By the way, I do find the way your comments suppresses line breaks to be mildly irritating. I wonder, does your code suppress HTML? If not, I’ll start using a few <br />s here and there.

Gordon: Thanks for the tips. Does your dad get the blades resharpened professionally, or does he do it himself?

Graybo: It’s a Markdown thing, and there are good reasons for it. You can either put in a br tag, or put two spaces at the end of the line. If in doubt, use the preview.

We’re moving soon and as the new house will probably have a smaller lawn, I’ll be getting rid of the petrol mower that has served me well over the last few years. I’ll check out of these little things for the new house.

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