The Kindness of Men


I have long been dependent upon the kindness of men with toolboxes.

..Chainsaws. Back-hoes. Transit vans. Men with cement mixers and post hole diggers. Circular saws and jack hammers. Spirit levels. Really, really long extension cords and chunky drill bits. Men with measuring tapes and strong backs and good manners.


Poor gremlin, stuck in my septic for weeks. No wonder he looks so angry… Photo credit:

Or, at least I have been this week.

You may recall I suspected gremlins had invaded my septic tank a couple weeks ago (see How to be Useless Without Really Trying). Turns out it was a collapsed drain. Kind of a big thing, especially since Friday and Saturday our toilet facilities were Out of Order. We did resort to a few Evergreen Lilac moments here… and I ain’t gonna lie… we made a few trips down to the pub on the corner that did NOT involve ordering a drink. (My apologies to the owners of the Blacksmiths Arms…)

Never one to suffer such privations indefinitely, I rang our estate’s maintenance man. (Note: It is ALWAYS a good idea to stay in the good books of your landlord’s maintenance man!)


Ahhhh… the Kubota mini digger. Apart from sparkly shoes, about the prettiest sight I can remember seeing in ages! Photo:

Monday morning, I awoke to the purr of a Kubota mini-digger being unloaded into my back garden. As it happens, I also had a fence man arriving the same day to sort out broken gates and to build a new run of fence for my hens. At one point, I had 5 men in fluorescent safety jackets buzzing around the property, stopping traffic, sorting and searching and digging, hammering. In an icy rain and high winds, no less.

By the end of day one, I had a partial fence on one side of the house and a meter-deep trench with – that wonder of wonders – a brand new 40-foot soil pipe connected to the septic. I think it was the prettiest soil pipe I had ever seen in my life. What can I say? I am easily pleased! The Kubota sat at a somewhat precarious angle atop a meter of hard, wet clay and my miniature army of men marched off home, soaked through, their boots caked in about 10 pounds of dirt. Each.

Day 2, I had infill, a shiny new utility cover, a fence with working gate, and my army of men shrank by two.

Today, on day 3, I have a new concrete pathway drying in the sun, and the 5-bar split gate has been hung and set at the bottom of our garage driveway – it is a thing of beauty!

Speaking of which: Here are a couple of photos taken early April of my formerly lovely garden:

 garden daffodils garden magnolia

Post-repair work, it looks like we have either hosted a monster-truck rally, or survived a nuclear winter.

garden disaster

Oh dear… 

Even though 2/3 of my back garden is now scarred and rutted from the Kubota, there is a ton of topsoil and seed coming next week to sort out the disaster zone, so I am not complaining. The plumbing works. Plants grow back. Nuclear winter aside, we’ll live.

Can I just say, for the record right here, that I love men! I really, really do. Not in a creepy Diet Coke commercial kind of way, but in a way that is completely respectful and appreciative of their kind chivalry. You all know I am never above playing the girl card where necessary, and voila, I have had trellis repaired, stumps pulled down, my faulty damp course injected, and all for the cost of a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a few cups of tea. Those jobs were not on the job sheets. 


Photo: (Mine looked better, actually… but I forgot to take a picture. I was too busy eating. And chatting. And trying to be charming.)

Mind, they were pretty good cookies.

I even managed to save some for my own man, since he’s paying for all this chivalry…

Your grateful, happy and muddy-booted,

Mother Hen

Feature photo: Shutterstock

Originally published on motherhendiaries 9 April 2014

© motherhendiaries 2014 all rights reserved


32 replies »

    • The girl card is the most powerful in the deck. Never forget that, my chickeny girl! Use it with great care… men are breakable, and there’s only so much chocolate that can make up for the damage done by one too many bats of the eyelash. Just sayin’…;-D

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your respect and for valuing our earthly purpose. We are not beyond recognizing the girl card when played, even to the point of thinking to ourselves, “Well played, little Miss.” For the most part, we do not often see it as abuse of our needy egos but as a required and necessary tool for your use to woo us into submission to deliver your desired pleasure du jour.


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