After having been on good behaviour for several evenings I relapsed last night, going to bed only at 3:30. I was severely punished for it this morning, when I was woken up at 8:15 by my friends the "gardeners" (read: cretins) who had not brought their lawnmowers this time, but, much worse, their leaf blowers. (Or whatever the English name is for that piece of equipment that is about half as efficient as sweeping or raking, costs a lot of energy, and produces a hellish noise that drives everybody insane. In other words, the ultimate boys' toy.)
Last month the cretins managed to keep themselves busy for 3 consecutive days with blowing the leaves back and forth through our street. Once, when the racket became particularly loud, I looked out of my window, and right underneath, one of them was blowing the leaves from my garden path. Wtf??? Those leaves look a whole lot better lying on the garden path than hanging in the shrubs, you moron! The next day, again, a hellish racket: this time someone was busy blowing the leaves away from the garden next door. Where to? Yep, you guessed it: into my garden. So half an hour later, there they were again, repeating the whole process. When they finally left after those three days, my garden looked a disaster. The path was relatively leaf-free, but the lavender plants, the fuchsias and the shrubs that had looked green before, now all had a lot of dead leaves stuck between their branches.
And so this morning they were back again. I lay in bed, headache fast approaching, thinking up the most refined and some not so refined tortures for the "gardeners" and the inventor of this utterly useless piece of crap. A simple but effective one would be to submit them to this noise for 24 hours, all while they were trying to a) have a conversation, b) listen to music, c) watch TV, and d) sleep.
At one point I could tell from the racket that they were busy in my garden, but, surprisingly, after a little over an hour the noise stopped and didn't start up again. When I checked, I saw the leaves lying in great heaps along the street, but the cretins were nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately I couldn't sleep anymore, so I got up after trying for half an hour. The person doing my garden today was apparently a lot more thorough, there is hardly a dead leaf left. Two of the hydrangea's branches were snapped in the process, and some of the smaller plants have been blown down, but on the whole it does look better, I must say.
It is now evening and they have not come back to collect the leaves. Apparently they are hoping that the wind will disperse the leaves, so that they'll have an excuse to come and play with their toys all over again tomorrow. So it will have to be an early night for me, I'm afraid. All the more tragic since I learned that from 12 until 8 tomorrow morning there is a Nick Drake night on the radio (because of his death exactly 30 years ago). Boohoo!
This afternoon I went out to do some Sinterklaas shopping and to look for the Blackadder and Angels in America DVDs. V&D had the complete Blackadder set, but between Ally McBeal and Baantjer there was a large gap. Uh-oh. When I asked someone at the desk, it turned out that Angels in America was in the top-20 rack that I had completely overlooked. Hurrah! I couldn't believe my luck. I took them both, paid for them, and then it turned out that the disks of Angels were nowhere to be found. AAARGH! And the person who would no doubt know where they were, had just gone on a break. So after having done some more Sinterklaas shopping I returned 20 minutes later, but unfortunately the knowledgeable person had not been able to find them either, and in the end I had to get a refund. Ohhh. So near and yet so far! But I have held the box in my hand, it does exist, and it will be mine!
BTW, _m_h_n, you can tell Sinterklaas that it costs € 29. :)