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Picture above as reference to almost the full extent of my life at present.

Quote of the Day: Imagine if you will, the one sided fly on the wall conversation that could emanate from a customer’s house:

’Ah, Jill...…

’Yes, I’m well thank you. And you after your spine surgery? Actually, no, never mind about that. Far more important, those mile long hedges we couldn’t make our minds up about…

’The ones you wanted to plant up for us a year ago? Yes, they’re the ones…

‘Well, good news. We want you to go ahead after all. Tomorrow would be ideal…

‘Recovering from spine surgery? Well, yes you told me that, but don’t let a little thing like that stop you…

‘Well, frightfully sorry but that’s not good enough. It would only take you an hour or two. Our new hedges need planting tomorrow and are far more important than you being a cripple.’

- Jill Foxley 2/3/23

Honest moan alert…

OK, so it’s a slightly exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek Quote of the Day but thats how it’s beginning to feel.

Pin back your lug holes or please scroll by.

If you’re still reading then don’t say you weren’t warned…

I’m ‘off sick’ at present. Signed officially ‘off sick’ by my surgeon until June 11th in fact.

Is that news? I don’t think so anymore. I’ve banged on about it a bit recently.

My ‘shoring up and scraping out’ surgery feels like a marriage, not something I have undertaken lightly and unadvisedly. It is not something minor or inconsequential. It’s actually something that needs to ‘go right’, is potentially life changing for me and if it doesn‘t ‘go right’ then I will be back to square one or even, unthinkably, worse.

It may be nothing to anyone else but it’s a big deal to me.

Simon is bearing the brunt of all my chores and daily tasks, and bloody well, I might add. Increasingly too, he is very strongly my emotional crutch at present.

In order that I could ‘clear my desk’ so to speak, I made sure I worked, albeit heavily medicated and even then still extremely uncomfortable and in considerable pain, right up until the last possible moment pre-surgery. Nothing was left undone which needed to be finished prior to my op. Other things may be in the pipeline but they are all agreed to be on hold until the time is right.

My surgeon says the two month check will hopefully make sure all is healing well, but expect a full year before we know whether or not it has worked. Advice from him and the physios is that there is to be no physical gardening at all for me for a year. In fact, he highly recommends that my physical working days as a gardener are done.

My current customers have been told about this comprehensively in the run up to surgery and all, without fail have acknowledged the fact that I will be ‘off sick’ in totality, for the next couple of months, with very much reduced capabilities for a year.

Yet I’m completely astonished at the number of calls, messages and emails I have received over the last few days that are all work related, expecting me to be up and about, firing on all cylinders, working normally and easily available. Not doing physical work perhaps, but nevertheless still expecting me to provide a normal service.

Normal service for me at present is pictured below.

Who do these people think I am? Superwoman? I’m only just able to wipe my own bottom FFS! At least the dogs love me.

What is it that people don’t understand? If I worked for a company and was signed off officially for four months, would this be happening? I doubt it whole heartedly.

I’m pretty close to tears writing this, Oversensitive maybe, but close nevertheless. Perhaps each communication in isolation is a minor thing. At present, when they are all lumped together, they start to knock on the fragile post surgery door, making demands on me that I simply cannot easily fulfil in these early days where I am trying to heal as best as possible. I feel completely overwhelmed, more than slightly grumpy and under siege.

I don’t like it. The time is not right. It is too soon.

You know who you are. Have a care and give me a break, please.

To everyone else, thank you for your support and encouragement and please disregard this post.

Simon’s extremely appropriate offering for the day below, especially as my severe sciatica pains have been miraculously abolished since surgery. Made me laugh a lot, and I thought it an idea to end on a slightly less glum note.

He also advised me to sit on this post overnight and reread it in the morning to see if I still felt I should publish it.

I’m doing it anyway.

‘Doctor, I’ve got a shooting pain in my leg.’

’How long have you had it?’

’Since somebody shot me.’

As Basil Brush would say ‘Boom, boom.’

Flowers today, because they cheer me up, even though the pic is a few years old.

1 Comment

Mar 02, 2023

You write and explain so well.

People can be awful.

It is easy to lose faith in humanity


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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