Monday 30th October 2006

There was a man who kept coming onto the Meadow (outside my window, living as I do in the front of the Meadows Building) at eight every morning and using what my intimate knowledge of the sounds of horticultural machinery (one of the many perks of living on a nursery) tells me is a strimmer.

This has been pretty annoying, and has been the cause of many a lost hour’s sleep over the last week or so. It’s all the more irritating because I simply can’t work out what the Hell he can be doing.

Outside my window, there are mainly trees and grass. A strimmer is a woefully ineffective tool against any but the feeblest trees, so we have to assume that it’s the grass he’s working on. But this doesn’t really clear things up. Why every day? How much grass can there be to strim?

He could be doing it on some kind of strange rota system which results in some tiny amount being done every day but which, like some kind of grassy analogue of the Forth Bridge, will be completed only just in time to start the whole process again, but this doesn’t make a lot of sense. Strimming is quite a quick job, and there’s definitely not enough strimmable grass within the distance-a-strimmer-could-still-be-loud-enough-to-wake-me-up radius to take all these days of strimming within the distance-a-strimmer-could-still-be-loud-enough-to-wake-me-up radius.

The alternative is that it needs to be done daily. But it’s late autumn, for God’s sake, and fairly warm it may be, but the grass, or indeed anything else, even trees, that he decides to strim, can’t be growing so fast that they need daily strimmer attention.

But the reason I introduced it with “there was” is because today it got worse. The weekend the clocks go back is traditionally associated with a lovely hour’s extra rest, but this weekend any chance of that was dashed by my favourite inexplicably persistent two-stroke engine noise starting its drone at 07:20 instead.

It appears that the strimming bastard only managed to put his clock back by twenty minutes rather than the commonly-accepted hour.

Perhaps he’s just a bungling incompetent who can operate neither strimmers nor clocks. It might explain why he’s taking so long.


  1. Tom Fuller says (03:36 31/10/2006)

    Hilarious. :)

  2. Patel says (11:37 31/10/2006)

    Do you actually know where this guy is working? Strimmer noises carry for a LONG way - using my new chainsaw last weekend (about the same size engine as your average commercial strimmer) elicited comments from neighbours about a mile away!

    Or maybe he's the strimmer enginer working in the gardeners compound doing some early morning engine tuning.

    Or maybe its a college conspiracy to ensure students get out of bed in time for lectures...

  3. Statto says (12:47 01/11/2006)

    The strimming bastard.

    I caught the strimming bastard red-handed this morning. Turns out I was right: he’s a man and he was very near my window. It was even a two-stroke engine. However, it wasn’t a strimmer: it was a blower. He is using it to move leaves about in an attempt at what it would be silly to call “spring cleaning” the Meadow.

    I still can’t see why he insists on doing it so early, though. The only thing I can think of is that they don’t want to piss off the tourists, and it’s not like a strimming bastard with a leaf-blower is likely to put off many of the paying punters when they don’t know he’s going to be there. In fact, it probably makes it more likely that the saps will pay to go into college to get away from the annoying strimming noise. He could even use his blower to blow some extra tourists in, if he wanted.

    He wasn’t close enough for me to tell whether or not he’s a bastard. But he was well within the range of my paparazzi lens. See figure.

  4. Patricia Morrison says (20:30 22/11/2011)

    For a scientist, you are an amazingly good and droll writer. Well done, sir!

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