Tuesday, January 23, 2007

If only the grass WAS greener

Despite some refreshing downpours over the last few weeks, the weather has continued to be hot, dry and a little bit depressing as an increasing amount of the local plant life turns into a shrivelled, crackling and brown version of its former self. In our own backyard, the once thriving Phoebe the Hebe, which we had resurrected after transplanting her from a pot into the garden, now appears very much dead although we do hold out some misguided hope that she will return (a flash flood-style storm while we were away washed all the bark mulch from one end of the garden to the other, exposing the once damp soil to the sun and drying every last drop of moisture out. Poor Phoebe didn't stand a chance). Cruelly, the greenest thing out back are the weeds.

I've grown to wondering about the state of our greenery as the tightening water restrictions start to bite both backyards and government-run playing fields. Our tiny townhouse backyard has very little grass, a lot of weeds (I have to let something grow to stop the soil blowing away and the weeds appear to be the only thing that don't require watering on my part) and the odd patch of bark mulch. The size and the state of disrepair are definitely not Bugalugs friendly. Consequently, he doesn't go out much. Add to that his ginger hair and very pale complexion and it's a wonder he even knows what sunlight looks like!

We were discussing a photo of me, aged about 1 year old, playing on the back lawn with my own father. What is now starting to bother me is where will Bugs play as he starts to get older? Not in our backyard, which is barely longer than cricket pitch and not a lot wider. There are little parks hidden amongst the local streets but they aren't irrigated and rely upon natural water fall as much as our own backyard. On the upside, as Elijah gets a little older, there will be plenty of playing equipment for him to fall off and hurt himself on, all within easy limping, crying distance to home.

Perhaps what I really need to do is start taking him down to the local playing fields (about 15 minutes walk, 2 minutes drive) and let him crawl around on the grass to his heart's content. At least those fields are still well irrigated. I would have to keep a close watch him though as the fields are quite open and you always need to keep an eye out for nasty, pricky, needly things (fretful father that I am).

We are slowly making our plans for the future. Those plans are going to have to include easy access to something green if Bugs is ever going to grow up knowing what the world looks like beyond the glass.

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