Gardener and writer Debbie Webber recounts moments from her chaotic, noisy and busy life as the mother of five children ranging in ages from three up to thirteen in our regular column, The Fab Five....
A new arrival has been hotly anticipated in our house this week. And no, it isn't a baby or a furry baby variety.
If I'm honest, not everyone in house has been hotly anticipating it at all. I reckon it's only those whose job it is to keep everyone fed and watered that have shown any interest.
Still, Tuesday saw the children standing by, gazing on in bewilderment as their mother dashed about in a frenzy hacking at the front hedge by the gate. And all for our new arrival.
I like to think of it as not another thing to add to the list of Why We Think Mum is Mad but more a living lesson of Why You Shouldn't Give Up.
After such a build-up I am going to look positively sad when I tell you we were looking forward to the delivery of a fridge. Yes, a fridge! Not just any old one though, but an extra wide American style fridge.
We, or rather I, have been waiting weeks for its arrival (did you know there seems to be a shortage of fridges at the moment? Me neither) and the delivery had to be meticulously timed with the old one going via a different set of delivery men.
So when two of them, complete with massive fridge laden on their trolley, told me from the wrong side of the gate that actually they were loading it back in the van, 'luv', because it couldn't fit through our unruly hedge without being scratched, well I did what any sane woman desperate for a non-leaking, bigger fridge would do -- I hacked at the unco-operative greenery. And hacked. And hacked.
Instructions were shrieked at the children to "get me the bigger shears from the greenhouse" while the delivery men stood by and photographed the whole, unseemly spectacle on their phone. They said their boss needed photographic evidence but I'm not sure it wasn't to laughingly show their mates at the warehouse how demonic some women will become when faced with not having a lovely new fridge.
Actually, I surprised myself. It's amazing how you can find hitherto untapped strength when you need to.
It took some hacking, the very old hedge having grown rather tree-like under our tender care.
The men stood by while I, puce in face and sweating of brow, hacked and cursed and muttered darkly. "Mind your feet luv" one instructed, while waiting for more orders from the Boss. I just think he wanted to see if I could really chop enough away in the two minutes they'd given me.
And I did! Nothing, and I mean, nothing was going to prevent that fridge entering my house and being installed in my kitchen, even if it meant the doors and hinges had to come off too.
Now though we have a lasting, if ugly, reminder of one woman's determination not to be beaten. Until, it grows back of course.