Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Men and machinery.



While I was busy drawing sketches of ideas for the design of the front garden, my husband and our boys stood huddled together watching the JCB in action. In the same way as a stoat mesmerises a rabbit, their heads would follow the digger, as it scooped out bucket-load after bucket-load, carving out a huge crater, while leaving behind a mountain of soil.

As the morning wore on, the noisy drone of the digger reached the village, whereupon an old man came sauntering along the road, leaned against the boundary wall, obviously fascinated by the whole procedure, and made enquiries as to whether we were building a swimming pool. When told it was for a pond for wildlife, he looked at us, aghast, as if we were insane, and asked why we had not thought of saving ourselves all this trouble by just sowing grass like everyone else.

Later in the day, when the digger had completed its task of creating the second crater and mountain of soil in the back garden, I'm sure I detected misty-eyed expressions, as it went up the drive. But the moment soon passed, as my husband's gaze turned from the digger to fix upon the various mountains of weeds, small stones, boulders, and now two more, of soil. But, being a conservationist, I had plans for all of them.