I suppose it happens to us all at some stage – none of us is safe from addiction and the scary grip it can have on your life. I myself have bravely struggled with an espresso problem for years. It has driven me to terrible depths. I am often to be found at the bottom of the drive hanging around the post box "waiting for the man" – the Nespresso man. This evil bastard now has me in his nefarious clutches. He takes longer and longer to deliver my stash and this affects my moods. I snarl at people who offer me an "eXpresso" – "it's eSpresso" I growl at them like some Stroud stoner watching a yurt guest use a rolling machine for a joint.
All of this, however, is nothing compared to my wife's new addiction. She has become seriously, hooked on lawn care. We live on a farm and so there are no formal gardens as such. But we do have this weird field behind the barns that seems to serve no real purpose and was all overgrown when we arrived. Something about that field triggered a powerful nurturing gene in my wife. She started driving around on the little ride-on mower that the previous person to live here left us. I'd watch her secretly from the kitchen window. She looked a bit weird, like one of those people who build a little train in their garden and ride around wearing a big hat. I made some lunch and brought some out to her, but she wouldn't stop, even for a second.
The obsession got worse and worse – I started calling her "Chufty", which felt like it could be the name of a man who would ride a small train, but she just ignored me. One morning, while I was by the post box waiting for the man, another lawnmower was delivered. According to my wife, she needed this one to do the more subtle parts of the field. I nodded as she was not in a mood to be questioned, but I smelled trouble ahead.
That night when I went to bed, there was no sign of her. Eventually, I looked out of the window and spotted her on the ride-on, holding a torch in her mouth and still mowing. I wandered out and asked her whether she knew what time it was. She told me that she had to finish what she started. I went to bed. She eventually snuck in at around 11.30pm, smelling of diesel. When I awoke she was already gone. It turned out that she felt a strong urge to be the first person into Cheltenham B&Q to purchase a long brush for the grass.
I remember when we went to lunch with a neighbour who was a lawn obsessive. He had a brush that he would use on it before mowing commenced. How we'd howled with laughter at the thought as we drove away. Now she was one of them – a grass botherer. It's been over three weeks now and I'm not sure who to turn to. I found a number for people addicted to grass, but it turned out to be something very different and they thought I was joking. If any readers have a similar problem, please get in touch.