I’m a lockdown cliche

August 30, 2020

I’ve done up my garden, bought a puppy and made around 103 banana breads.

How many have you ticked off the list?

It’s the new-found enjoyment from gardening that’s surprised me the most because I’m such a townie. I’ve realised all you need to feel connected to something is a little bit of knowledge about it.

This is wholly down to Carol, my gardener (how grand that sounds).

But a bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.


I’ve been overzealous with the raking as it turns out, because I was hellbent on maintaining Carol’s freshly-turned soil look. I didn’t realise that removing all the dead leaves would deprive the soil of important mulch.

I was trying to Botox my garden into submission, removing all the character in favour of a wrinkle-free, Pinterest-friendly look. When it’s the wrinkles that are needed for balance.

Classic townie.

(I did wonder how on earth people manage to dispose of all that debris – and how I’d ever manage to keep this going come autumn.)

Fortunately, Carol was on hand to give me a pro tip – move the leaves to the back and you get the best of both worlds.

When you first learn about something as an amateur, you only focus on the fun bits, and everything seems simple. You think you can do it yourself. You laugh at the idea that someone would charge you for this and quietly take it into your own hands, thinking smugly about all the money you’re saving.

Until you come a cropper.

Ok, removing one too many dead leaves from a garden isn’t life or death, but I’ve heard of people getting into proper trouble when they think they can do what you do for a living on their own, for example DIY investing (and also DIY marketing).

As we know, there’s a whole lot of invisible stuff that goes on underneath the visible bit of what we do that balances out the rough with the smooth, the fun with the boring, so that the end result works properly rather than getting people into trouble.

This is where the fee comes in.

But the trouble is, the under-the iceberg stuff isn’t usually what we want to talk about. Because we don’t think anything of it, we just do what we do. But this is the gold that’s worth mining – before your prospects get better ideas.

That’s where the marketing comes in.

August 30, 2020

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