Hosepipe ban kicked in today. I had thought to venture out into the garden and wield the hose before it had its final reeling in, but couldn’t be arsed. Rain is forecast and, unlike the meteorologists’ predictions for sunshine, the plink plonk of acid water will no doubt arrive. Of course it won’t be enough rain, it never is. So this year the garden centre will not see very much of me. No waving my debit card with gay abandon as I struggle to the cash desk with a trolley laden with jewel coloured delights for my garden. I have decided that lugging a watering can around is just not for me (or my back) and have made an executive decision to let the garden go hang this summer. Definitely the right decision as my wacky lady gardener (often to be seen weeding in her bikini) found a dead rat in the watering can this morning. What comes up, comes up. What dies, shrivels and disappears. It is so depressing that our garden, so full of plants, so painstakingly tended over the years, so much admired, will become a dreary brown patch of land this summer. And what of me? I actually rather liked going out with hosepipe in one hand and glass of chilled wine in the other, watering the beds, enjoying the peace and tranquillity. Very zen. A pleasure to be denied me this summer. Thanks Southern Water and your leaking underground pipes. Thanks government, for insisting on building endless (un)affordable housing in the South East of England where we simply do not have the infrastructure to support the population influx. Yours grumpily, Grace.