Regular readers will recall difficulties we have had with Mrs P's throwing ability. Quite simply, she has none.

She can stand facing north and give a ball an almighty heave only to see it fly off south, east, west or a combination of any of those directions. Anywhere but north - its intended target.

While she makes up for this lack of ability in other ways such as kindness and a huge degree of hotness, we of the whānau actively discourage her from doing anything with a ball other than picking it up and handing it to the person next to her to throw.

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I'm sure you get the picture.

Anyway, recently she spent a sizeable portion of the weekend pulling out an old garden and then replacing it with all the stuff you need for a new one, topped off on the second day with a variety of plants all in heaps of fresh garden centre bags of mulchy-topsoily-composty stuff.

I have to say it looked quite impressive and commented thus as she came inside and plonked herself on her new couch to view her handiwork through an open ranch slider.

George The Dog was less impressed with the new garden and excitedly raced up instead with a ball which he plonked fairly in Mrs P's lap so she could throw it.

Obviously I counselled against Mrs P participating in such a manoeuvre.

It was unlikely, I said, she would be able to throw the ball through the open ranch slider, across the deck, down the stairs and out on to the vast expanse of lawn without her breaking something.

Unfortunately, flushed with the success of her new garden, she was having none of it and launched into the throw.

As the ball left her hand George was out the door, across the deck, down the stairs and through Mrs P's new garden scattering dirt, plants and flowers everywhere.


But there was no ball out the other side. So he came back through the new garden and did a bit more damage as he looked for it.

While all this was happening the ball Mrs P had meant to throw out to the open lawn had hit the ceiling in the lounge, bounced down to hit the edge of the couch, gone out the ranch slider, across the deck, down the steps and into the new garden.

It stopped amid the carnage just as Mrs P was shrieking at George who, presumably thinking his Mum had gone troppo, was scampering around looking for the ball and the nearest exit from this muddy new garden with all the pushed over plants and flowers.

Mrs P had made it out on to the deck and down the steps in a vain bid to stop the carnage just as George spotted the ball, went back in again to grab it, level the solitary remaining plant and then head for cover.

To say Mrs P was disappointed was an understatement but after a while she was more worried about George who, sensing something amiss, had taken himself off to hide among the other bushes around our place.

Luckily Mrs P, by this stage feeling terrible about frightening the dog, quickly found him and after 15 minutes of coaxing him out they were friends again.

It didn't last long though.

Muddied, bedraggled and still carrying the offending ball in his mouth, George bounded ahead of Mrs P as they returned. Up the steps, across the deck, through the ranch slider . . . where he jumped up to sprawl right on the middle of her new couch.

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to .