My poor husband works so hard and at the weekend all he wants to do is sit in the garden surrounded by lush greenery, listening to the tinkle of next-door’s fountain. Sadly this is not his experience. The gentle sounds of next door’s water feature are drowned out by the raucous shrieks of our unruly children. The lawn looks like a stretch of unloved scrubland. And the patio has been reclaimed by nature and is now coated in a thick layer of green slime. It’s a cruel, cruel world where a man works hard all week only to come home to a slimy patio.
So last weekend I decided to address the whole rogue patio issue. In his usual supportive way, my husband stood at the back door shouting helpful advice. First piece of advice: coat the patio in bleach before hosing it down. Of course he recommended bleach. He loves the stuff. Nothing makes him feel like a toilet has been properly cleaned like its pungent aroma burning his nasal passage every time he goes in the bathroom.
But, as we all know, bleach may well be excellent for patios, but it is terrible for clothes. So I did what any right-thinking woman would: I took my trousers off and power-hosed the patio in my knickers. This is despite watering it down so extensively I’m not even sure there was any bleach on the patio. My daughter was baffled. I mean, if a substance is so harmful you don’t want to get it on your clothes, surely messing about with the stuff in your underwear is the height of folly? To be fair, I think a bigger concern was what the neighbours might think; but they’ve met me before, so power-hosing in my undies probably falls well within their expectations.
And now the patio is lovely. It is an oasis of calm and joy. My husband is happy and I am fully dressed again. The only cloud in the sky (apart from the constant one that hangs over every British summer) is that now the patio is impeccable, my husband has noticed that the lawn isn’t meeting requirements. Oh well, at least that’s a job I can do with my trousers on…
P.S. I would love to tell you that the lovely patio in the picture is mine, but sadly not. It is the patio my husband would like to have when we win the lottery. It was designed by Belberdos Landscapes, who seem to do a lot of rather chic gardens.