No bloody way! I hate gardening. Don't get me wrong: I've got nothing against gardens or against other people gardening. But, for myself, I'd rather read or blog than garden. I'd rather see a movie or go for a walk or listen to music or play the piano. Gardening is an unpleasant chore. What has brought this on is a pamphlet by Andrew Simms and Molly Conisbee proposing a national day of gardening leave, and called, logically enough, National Gardening Leave. I know, it wouldn't apply to me, since I'm retired. But it's the principle. Here is how the work begins [pdf]:
This pamphlet argues that Britain would be better off if we all spent less time at the office. It makes the case for a new, voluntary scheme to introduce a shorter working week. We call this National Gardening Leave. The proposal calls for adapting a wide range of available spaces for the rapid expansion of gardening, both productive and aesthetic, in Britain's towns and cities.
We argue that this would make people happier and healthier.
Did you see that?! It just shimmies from less time at the office to... gardening. What a cheek. Talk about foisting your own values on to everyone else, as if they're universal or obligatory. A shorter working week is one thing, but having to spend the time saved from work doing gardening could be hellish for some us. You want healthy? Fine, but there are other routes to it.
What, 'Individuals could, of course, spend the extra day however they liked'. Oh. In that case, I withdraw my objection. But next time don't be so quick with the shimmy. And don't put gardening into the very name of the proposal. It prejudices the issue of what people will do with the extra day. It's outrageous. I revive my objection.