For Mavis’s 5th birthday we bought a trampoline, a great big circular thing which dominated the garden. Being conscientious parents we also invested in side walls to prevent her from bouncing off and injuring herself, and a protective cover. The walls are made of aluminium pipes which extend from the ground to about 6 feet above the surface of the trampoline and are attached to its legs. The pipes support a length of nylon net which encircles the bouncy bit.
This summer we decided that the grass had suffered enough and decided to move the trampoline on to the deck. We achieved this by removing the walls of the trampoline and lifting/rolling the base. It was a struggle and it took ages to undo and do up all the wing nuts holding the wall onto the trampoline.
I was a bit concerned that bouncing would cause the trampoline to gradually shift and fall off the deck but tests proved me wrong.
Today, following a lovely sunny few days, a pleasant change in the school holidays, the forecasted gales and rain have arrived, soon to be followed, we’re told, by snow. The garden chairs began to sail round the garden so, having delivered Whiz to the station to sit on a nice warm train, and with Mavis and Horace still tucked up in their nice warm beds, I decided to put away the flying garden furniture. There was quite a lot, Mavis’s miniature table, parasol and two folding chairs, 4 plastic garden recliners and 2 dining chairs. I also disposed of the protective cover for the trampoline which had been left in a heap on the deck and was full of water, a scooter, a tricycle and a bicycle.
As I was putting away the last bike a gust of wind caught the trampoline and because of its side walls, sent it sliding down the deck and off the end into the hedge.
I shall now digress to discuss cats. We have two: Ben and Gizzie. They are night cats, they sleep by day and most of the evening then get shoved unceremoniously out of the door at about 11.00pm whatever the weather. Inside the house they have every comfort: central heating, fitted carpets, cushions, pillows, duvets, food and drink. Ben urinates in the toilet (we think he may be Grandma reincarnate actually) and drinks only from the tap. Gizzy spends most of her life hiding from Mavis. They have a cat litter tray but, except when it’s absolutely pristine, will not use it. Consequently when they arrive in the garden at night their first thought is to piddle and poo as soon as possible.
Now I thought that cats were nice clean creatures who daintily buried their doings. I must have been mistaken. Our cats poo on our, admittedly rather crumbling, concrete path; it is absolutely disgusting. Not only that but they are prolific defecators, they must be twice a nighters at least.
Each weekend, weather permitting, I de-ish the path but by Wednesday, today for instance, it looks like I’ve never been there.
So, back to the trampoline and where it landed, yes, you’re right, in the ish. To make matters worse there was another pile of ish beside it bobbing merrily in a growing puddle.
After chasing my hat round the garden for a while I decided that removing the trampoline wall was the only way I would be able to return the trampoline to its agreed position on the deck and prevent it from flying.
Gale force winds prevailed as I painstakingly unscrewed each wing nut and then leaped back to avoid the falling aluminium pole. I then unthreaded the pole from the net, chucked it in the garage and moved on to the next pole. I unwisely left the poles nearest the ish until last.
By the time I got to the ishy bit there was an enormous quantity of netting flying from the last two poles, blowing from side to side and swiping me with its dripping folds. Cursing, I squatted down astride the ishhy puddle and undid the wing nuts, careful not to drop them into the puddle. One pole removed, only one more left. I repeated the exercise on the last pole just as the wind dropped for a moment. The netting, which had been flapping menacingly above my head, descended like a folding parachute, on top of me and, you guessed it, straight into the poo.
Struggling to escape I fought my way out of the tangle and staggered back to survey the damage. The netting lay right in the ‘es aitch one tee’. Water from the puddle was seeping through the holes ensuring maximum coverage. Little turds were partially dissolving making them nice and soft and sticky.
Pulling my hat down purposefully I picked up the edge of the netting. Careful to avoid splash back I dragged the whole thing, including several clingers on, into the garage and shut the door.
When it’s crispy it’ll just fall off, won’t it?