Wednesday, 18 May 2011

TaDaaaaa... whilst slowly turning blue in the face...

He has been asking for years for me to reclaim the small seating area right outside our backdoor...

It used to have a wooden patio set, with next to it some big pots of chosen herbs I like to have close by for cooking.

The patio set was re-situated to the lawn, just in front of the old spot, as it had been a bit of a problem placing the parasol with it in such a way that it wasn't going to topple over the edge with every gust of wind, or to just not stand in the way and hit your head on it whilst trying to get past.
At least on the lawn that wasn't a problem, and we could use a screw-in holder so that the stand would not create dead patches in the grass.

The old spot became therefore another place to house things I wanted to keep a close eye on (seedlings, things that looked a bit poorly, etc.), to collect and display more herbs and to store Projects-To-Get-on-With.

It appeared that it wasn't supposed to be used for things like that and that he wanted to put another patio set back in that position, as walking to the lawn a few paces down seemed to be too much trouble.
The issue I had created by filling that space was, that all these things needed to move to somewhere else, which meant another area somewhere else needed to be freed from 'Stuff' that needed to go to yet another area that already had 'More Stuff' in, that of course in its turn needed sorting of sorts... *sigh*

Where to begin?
"Sorting the 'More Stuff'", you would think...

If only "sorting" was not just trying to rearrange everything a bit more efficiently, in respect only freeing up a little area not really big enough to house the other 'Stuff', so what do we do with the rest?

"Just get rid of it!"
HA! Like that is an option!
I just need to get more creative and find space where there is none.

So, that took me of course some time, again... doing a bit here, a bit there, but nothing really opened it up enough to place the set in its rightful position yet.

More creative ideas came up over time which meant I found new uses for plants I had bought in the past waiting for the Someday that I would be able to fit them somewhere in a plan just nicely.
Which they did, so they moved to the other Someday position, but at least it was enough to clear 'The Patio Spot', so I thought...
But it only fitted the table.

Apparently, if they really want to and  you leave them for long enough to try, plants in containers will find a way to squeeze their roots nicely in between the paving slabs, so that when you do try to lift them, you would not get a lot further than, oohh, hovering height maybe?
So as well as those 'buggers', I was again stuck.

I went to inform him of the issue that had crept up and left it for another Someday.

And then last Thursday happened...

It seemed to all want to come together!
I managed with the greatest effort to get some mortar out from where the roots from the most obstructively placed plant had found their way through.
All in all, it took at least 4 hours of sweat, some blood and definitely a lot of profanity from my side, but I eventually did get the wretched thing out!

After some more shifting of plants, pots and things, I triumphantly placed two chairs either side of the table (other two will never sit there comfortably anyway, but they are waiting for the poppies that have popped up over time in some other cracks to finish flowering and so are for now stacked on the side in the border...) and left it to that, with just a little left to clear away to make it nice!
Feeling very satisfied with the accomplishment, I had a lovely cup of tea and looked forward to his arrival home.

And of course he had not noticed my great feat even though he would have to walk right past it to get to the backdoor to go inside...
Never mind, nothing new, so I pointed proudly through the window, doing a big "TaDa" thing, and looked at him to see his happy reaction.

Which of course, again as usual, wasn't as happy as I'd imagined, as all I got was:
"But why are there still those things on the table?", followed by "...and what about the other pots on the left side? Can't you put them somewhere else or make it look better?" referring to my herbs, of course.
So I pointed out I had worked hard and that he could at least have said how nice it is to see the space with the set in place ready for him to use, but no... as usual... there would never be a "Well done!" or even something remotely like that to come out.
Never some positive reinforcement or just a kind word, again only what he doesn't like about my efforts or solution, making me feel reprimanded and belittled and that whatever I try, will never be good enough for him.

He shrugged, turned to me and just about managed to say "Sorry, but it's still messy..., but thank you" and gave me a watered down hug, before he walked off...

Maybe there will come a day he will be able to go past the criticism and recognise some of my achievements and actually pay me a compliment with some sincerity and without the ever following of "...but...", killing any happiness about what I had done in its process.


But it hasn't happened yet in almost 20 years, so I won't hold my breath waiting...


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