Today is Saturday morning, and what I should have been doing was getting on with our business books and accounts.
It is now October and the tax man expects our tax returns by the end of the month and we have already had a threatening letter from the council that unless they see a copy of our accounts they will be stopping our council tax benefit. (Although I have spoken to a nice young chap on the phone who said that seeing as I'd rung in and explained the problem we should be ok for another month).
So the weekend is a Good Time for getting on with doing the accounts as I am usually left in peace and can make some good progress.
'Before you start on your paperwork,' said Graham, 'Would you mind just holding the ladder for me while I trim the jasmine?'
We have a lovely jasmine round our front door, which blossoms all through the summer, and still now has little clumps of flowers here and there. But we had both noticed that it has really got a bit too vigorous this year, and had managed to get up to the guttering - never a good thing. So of course I agreed to this 'little' job.
We had been given a ladder only the other day by a neighbour who wanted rid of it and thought we could chop it up for the fire - it is a perfectly good wooden ladder, just lightly green in places cos it has been left outside. So up the ladder with the hedge trimmer went Graham, while I leant on the bottom and acted as ballast. I didn't look up as it soon began raining great clumps of jasmine.
After a while I told him I would have to sit down, and he had to move the ladder anyway, so we had a little break while my legs recovered enough to have another go.
After a little while, and noticing how the little clumps of jasmine appeared to have amalgamated into a very large heap of jasmine, at the next break I went back to the garden gate so I could see where he was up to.
Now one of the things I always forget is that when I say 'Trim the jasmine.' what Graham hears is 'Massacre, harm, destroy!' so I was a bit shocked to see that all that appears to remain of the bits he had 'trimmed' were sparce brown twigs.
'I think you've taken enough off.' I said diplomatically - well you can't glue the stuff back on again, so no point having a row. 'Oh yes,' said Graham thoughtfully, 'I hadn't seen how it looked from a distance.'
'Don't worry,' he said, 'It will all grow back in the spring. In fact,' he said optimistically, 'I'm sure that pruning it stimulates it to grow more vigorously.'
I look forward to spring.
In the meantime I must remember that Graham is the kind of man who, when given a job which requires either dynamite or a bulldozer, would enthusiastically use both!