We have trenches! After two or three days of digging a track and moving soil and rocks from one place to another, it seemed as though nothing was happening fast. Then in one afternoon we had foundation trenches. They are narrow enough to jump over and stand in the kitchen washing dishes or sit on the sofa looking at the view. That first evening I came back from the polytunnel with eggs and salad, jumped through the front door and stood at my picture window watching the light fade from the mountains.
We had a few days of dry weather for digging, but it’s started raining again and it’s very muddy, especially where we have top soil from the trenches spread over the area that will be our front garden. It’s not the best soil, but fine for planting trees which is the first stage of my garden plan. I am dying to get started but it makes no sense until we are past the stage of machinery coming and going. That might be quite near the end when Will comes back to dig for the septic tank and Puraflo system. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to persuade Will to hang around for a while at that point and do some landscaping. It will be quicker than me and my spade – hours rather than days. I had always hoped that our build would be low-impact in terms of materials, design and the build-process. In keeping with that, Will’s digger is relatively small, but still the power compared to my woman-power is fabulous – it would be crazy not to take advantage!
I often day-dream about growing trees. Silver birch, hawthorn, beech, larch, alder. In my more fanciful moments, caught by a wave of nostalgia for the trees of my childhood, I picture ornamental cherries in blossom. That’s usually when the wind has dropped and I forget where I live. Meanwhile, Phil has that look on his face again. The cement-calculation look. He’s also doing blockwork calculations for the next stage of the foundations. And ordering things – cement, sand & gravel, breezeblocks – a few shades of grey. It’s good that one of us has his feet on the ground.