Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The English Summer

In my ongoing poll, two of you have asked for a Madeley rant. Well now is the time. Since I'm not in the mood to write my usual technically impressive piece of journalism, full of obscure but fascinating facts, I've scribbled the following over a drunken lunch. Judy doesn't like it and has asked me to remove a few of the coarser words, but I've had it with people today.

If some of you hate what I've done so far on this blog, you'll learn to hate me even more with this.

Is there anything so mundane as the British love affair with the garden? When I see adults kneeling on their padded mats at the edge of shrubberies, I feel like giving them the final coup de grâce before burying their heads beneath well mulched biannuals. It’s homicide that’s as justifiable as it’s fertile, and at least we put them out of the misery we call ‘doing the garden’.

Because nothing is as futile as gardening. Does nobody feel for those poor grey fellows, stick thin, who work all winter long, preparing their idylls for the warmth of summer, only to find the imbecilic neighbours appear with the first bumble bee of summer? Out these neighbours come, arguing about how to work the lawn mower. And when that’s done, these cretinous goblins have machines to cut and to grind, mulchify and liquefy. They have sprays and potions, poisons and fertilizers. They have every tool made by Black & Decker except the one that will help them prune their family tree which has pollinated itself so often that uncles and brothers are now one and the same.

And once the lawn is cut, the decking is down, the gravel spread over last year’s dirt, the neighbours change into their summer casuals, filling out vests from gut to man breasts; fathers in tight nylon shorts with one hand on their bollocks as the other turns red raw sausages on the barbecue. And if they sometimes confuse the two, it only adds the to flavour, barbie-style.

Gardens provide a summer home to the offspring of idiot brothers who have bred with idiot sisters. They let their dogs shit on the lawn, their scab faced babies shower toxic toys everywhere, they leave their inflatable swimming pool to turn green as plastic meet parasite. Then some acne ravaged teenager appears, extruding more oil than an Kuwaiti pipeline, and spends her holiday rubbing ointment into festering pores while listening to music dreamed up by some cocaine addled DJ with an obsession with John Barry.

There is no more public a place to do all your private business than the garden; where large breasted mothers with nipples like blackened onion rings sit breast feeding ‘little Daniel’, while cradling the latest Jackie Collins on their stomach's mound of pallid putrescence as they allow the juice of some summer fruit to drip from their lips before casting the flea stuck remainder into the flower beds they spent the previous weeks tidying. They have their decking, their fake Tuscan earthenware, their hammock from Homebase. They have their meals on the garden furniture; shoving barely cooked lumps of cheap meat bought from the market around with plastic forks. The meat’s more donkey than beef, less healthy than lard, and with more dangerous germs in it than in a cache of Iraqi chemical weapons. It makes them fart freely, which doesn’t matter because they’re out in the open. Enjoying the summer.

Is there any hell greater the English garden at the height of summer?

If there is, please take me there. I could do with a laugh.


Flowerpot said...

Yes, the British Seaside. As someone who lives by the sea, I can say this with some measure of authority.

Richard Madeley said...

I should rant about that next, then? But I have so many things I hate more than the seaside, which I avoid when I can help it.

Swearing Mother said...


I'd concrete the lot over if I were you. Bloody gardens. Pah! Who needs then.

Next rant please: Patio heaters, furry dice, snotty kids with no hanky, Crocs, men's toenails, Gordon Brown not being able to breathe through his nose, Cherie Blair's gob, people parking over your drive, pensioners who can't wait their turn, people who push their sodding supermarket trolley into your backside in their attempt to make you hurry along, other drivers, stupid bloody pigeons and anyone who drinks when they've already got a mouthful of food. Or holds their fork like a pen.

Aaah. That's better.

Swearing Mother said...

Sorry, that should be knife.

EmmaK said...

I live in Baltimore, USA now (used to live in London), and yes, I do miss the English garden, all wet and green and lush. Right now, my lawn here is the color of yellow straw and the texture of a whore's pubic hair. Not enough rain, you know, in these parts.

Richard Madeley said...

Swearing Mother, of course I'm right. I'm Mr. Right. British gardens aren't what they used to be. I just wish I was allowed to say this stuff on Channel 4.

EmmaK, funny you should mention that. We're doing a show next week when we'll be giving pubic hair care tips for whores. Alan Titchmarsh will be in the studio showing us how to water it after a long hot summer.

martpol said...


I'm intrigued to know your views on people (including mothers with prams) who get in your way when you're trying to walk down the street.

Daimyo Higham-Baka-Ohta said...

Richard, you may be right but we who dwell in flats in the middle of the fSU dream of gardens.

EmmaK said...

Richard...I had no idea you were so amusing!! I will be tuning in to the bush pruning segment with Alan Titchmarsh. I have linked you to my blog and it would be an honor if you would return the favor.

I know in the past you have been forgetful...who could forget that time you 'forgot' to pay for that case of whiskey in the supermarket. But please remember to send me some linky love this time.

Richard Havers said...

A ranter after my own heart.....and of course the one thing to remember about a rant is that it contains a modicum of truth/fact but quickly descends into ,well, a rant.

In our house rants usually get referred to as kitchen sinks. That's to say everything bar the kitchen sink gets dragged into them. Rants are also a part of the ‘somebody syndrome’ - somebody needs to do something about that.

Saw you last at William George's b'day bash - what a band!

rilly super said...

richard darling, doing gardening is tantamount to writing 'I can't afford to pay someone to do this' on one's forehead and then standing to attention outside one's front door with a pitchfork, à la american gothic. You might as well sack the au pair and look after your own children!

Mopsa said...

Dick, you go from strength to strength. How about a rant about holidays?

The thinker said...

Dear Clever Dick - Well I am so sorry - poor you and Judy. You must be living in the neighbourhood from hell. I assure you there is NOTHING like those people or gardens down here in select Devon.
In rural England we talk quietly to our plants - wise words of wisdom encourage them to flourish -we don't use chemicals. that's why we have so much wildlife and rich birdsong. We only use hand trowels or hand forks - no Black and Decker utensils.
My dear Man when you have saved enough money I suggest you move to a more middle class, genteel area.

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