There was so much bending and twisting involved in clearing the land of weeds, that whenever I straightened my back, I felt that the invisible hinge there needed oiling. My husband, on the other hand, had devised a method of kneeling on a piece of old carpet, and slicing off the top layer of weed with a spade, as he went along. To this day, I don't know how he managed it, but he had no back-ache, so there was something positive in all his efforts.
The days soon fell into a pattern; a shower to start the day and ease the stiffness in our bones, and hot, relaxing baths when we felt we'd had enough of the digging and forking, and loading of the barrow. We also stopped to admire any treasure that surfaced, after having been buried in the soil, for goodness knows how many years. We soon amassed a collection of broken china, all kinds of bottles, and best of all, thirteen troughs, which I would share with my family, before planting them up.
Thanks to the division of labour, we arrived, sooner than anticipated, at the excavation of the ponds. Common sense told us we would need to hire a JCB to remove the soil, since we wanted the area of the ponds to be approximately 25 feet by 34 feet for the front, and 25 feet by 25 feet for the back.