TradeShark Diary, The REAL 15th June 2020

I seem to have cocked the dates up a little. Really yesterday’s post should have been dated the 14th!

The delivery “window” for the gravel was 7:30 to 4:30. They didn’t put much effort into that window prediction. Rain had been forecast for later in the day so I was hoping for an early drop. By 3 pm it still hadn’t arrived and I was starting to think it wasn’t coming. Ten minutes later the truck pulled up outside. We were his last delivery of the day. The delivery was hassle free. The guy had to block the street for a few minutes but craned the bulk bag to exactly where I asked. That was the easy bit. 850kg of stone to move with a shovel. There was no sign of the rain and the sun was pretty hot. I cracked on with it and an hour and a half later I had moved almost the full load. The bit that was left was going in the back garden so I dragged the bag down the side of the house and through the back gate.


During the hour and a half I took 3 breaks. I didn’t want to get dehydrated plus it was bloody hard work! Sue was sitting in the back garden. When I sat down for the second time she said surely it was nearly done by now! Sorry if I’m not working fast enough while you sit on your arse drinking wine. That last bit was my internal dialogue. You have to bite your tongue in lockdown. I ignored her. When I took my last break I was pretty knackered. This time she asked me why I was breathing heavily. Are you for real?? That probably should also have been an internal comment but I was fucked and pissed off and she’s asking me why I’m breathing heavily.

I told her that I would bring the leftover stones to the back garden and she could spread it. There was probably 10 to 15kg of stone in the bag. She went to look at the front garden and said we needed to finish the front before we did the back garden. You could still see the black sheet in places. Having explained through clenched teeth that I still needed to spread the gravel with the rake and tidy up the edges I also explained that if she thought it was so bloody easy she could do that little job in the back. I just left her to it.

Half an hour later I was finished in the front. I had tidied all the edges and it looked pretty good. I went into the back garden. Sue was sitting down. I apologised for snapping at her. Now Sue’s almost never wrong. Her words, not mine although she didn’t use the word “almost”. Once she decides how something is, that’s it. However this was one of the rare occasions. Having shifted the 15kg of gravel she was knackered. Her tune changed a little.

“You’ve worked SO hard to get that done. It looks amazing. I can’t believe was a difference it makes.”

She was banging on about it for the rest of the evening and the last thing I remember before I fell asleep was her saying how hard I had worked and how pleased she was with the garden. It’s all or nothing with her sometimes. I woke up around 3 am with her digging her elbow into my shoulder saying, “you’re snoring! Lie on your side”. Ah the old Sue’s back.

During her exhausting afternoon in the garden she managed to break the umbrella/parasol. God knows how. All she had to do was wind the handle to put the umbrella up. One of the support arms snapped. I looked for a new one on Amazon. I had also been looking for more garden chairs as our daughter and the kids are going to come to sit in the garden on Fridays when Ella finishes school at 12. Prices seem to have gone up quite a bit. I guess people are spending more time in their gardens so they’ll pay the extra. The set of 2 chairs and a bistro glass top table that I bought last year was now over 250 quid. As a Yorkshireman if I had paid 250 for it I would remember. I would still be in counselling for it.

I found some chairs that seem to be decent quality without a silly price tag. I found an umbrella for 50. I was happy with that but Sue said it was too much. She wants me to try to fix the old one before getting a new one so I ordered some black duct tape. I think she feels guilty for breaking it.

That was pretty much our day. After we had eaten we watched Coronation Street and Sue went to watch a film in bed. I had a couple of episodes of “60 days in” to watch. I took the dogs out and joined her in bed.

Stay safe.

Tennis Trading Course

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