3 July 2013

Strimming is Good for You

Actually, it’s not strimming, it’s called débroussailleusing which is quite a mouthful.

With foot high grass growing through thick brambles and bushes galore, a normal strimmer just wouldn’t be up to the job, so a bushcutter, which is the English term for the tool, is called for. At £650, it’s not a cheap piece of equipment but it’s the only way to do the job. Yes, I could get in local labour but they would probably charge about £1,000 a time and therefore it’s good financial sense for me to do it and, as I’ve recently found, it’s good exercise too.

Take this morning. I was up at 4am as usual and sat on the sofa for an hour or so reading the papers on-line. I went back to bed but when I woke at 8am my back was killing me. It’s the sofa – I’m sure it is. It’s too wide to sit on comfortably and so when I had had breakfast I looked forlornly at the terraces and decided that today would be a no-bushcutting day. My back was just too sore. But, an hour later my back eased up a bit and I decided to go for it.

Dressed in long, thick jeans, a full sleeved sweater, long, woollen socks, wellingtons, a smog mask and a tea towel wrapped around my face, it was not clothing for 25 degrees and full sun. Then I had to add the full body harness, a hard hat with face guard and I was ready to bushcut.

Bushcutting, I have to say, is not for the faint-hearted.  The device weighs 8.5 kilos (hence the body harness) and if that doesn’t sound heavy, try humping one around for an hour at a time on ground frequently sloping at 45 degrees. Then there’s the stones, thorns and bits of wood it throws up, hence the hard hat and face guard.

But, and here’s the thing, swinging it around as it cuts is exactly the same exercise a doctor told me to do years ago when my back first started acting up. ‘You need to stand with your legs apart and swing your arms around, swivelling at the waist’, he said.
The Metal Blade

And so now as the thorns fly and the stones thrown up by the metal blade try to cut my legs in two, I swing away thinking I’m saving a fortune not only on professional gardeners but also on the osteopath all my mates go to!  

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