Alternative to A&E

It always happens at the wrong time. There I was trying to get all the lawns cut on the nice dry, sunny day before the rain came. I got to the end of one big lawn, lifted the cutter deck of the ride-on lawn mower and the lever came off in my hand with a clatter.

With the big lawn mower, breakdowns have serious repercussion as not only does one have to call out the repairers to come and collect it, but collection, repair and delivery all take time and money. Meanwhile the grass is not going to stop growing and I am faced with the prospect of cutting all the lawns with a small machine, endlessly pushing it up and down, up and down. On the walk back to the garage for the technical manual I started calculating how long the normal 2 hours of cutting was going to take; not a happy walk.

Have you ever noticed how operating manuals for anything only tell you the obvious? Things like “To start press start” or “To exit, click Exit”. Well I read all the way through the manual and couldn’t find a parts diagram to help shed light on what was broken. Lying on the grass and peering up into the now disconnected works didn’t help much either – partly because I was now irritated as well as worried.

So back inside to the internet where a quick explore immediately brought up an accurate parts diagram and I could see that all I needed was a single bolt which had sheared: the supporting works were all in place and not lost somewhere on the grass. So a minor bribe to my mechanical assistant (aka husband), a quick trip to the local hardware store, 90p for a bolt and washer and bingo – working mower.

Which all goes to prove the value of reliable information on the internet. It is possible to find reputable sources and you don’t always need to rely on a chain of professionals. Amateurs often have the direct experience to enable them to point to a solution.

Stella Huyshe-Shires