I lost count of the number of shovelfuls and barrow loads of turf, soil, rock, concrete, stone and old dog bones Pritch and I shifted today as we carried on the grand design. The patio, which is large enough to double as a helicopter landing pad takes shape as we cleared the turf. Work was slow for various reasons, mainly the length of time to barrow the spoil, the bone jarring rocks just beneath the surface of the soil and the canine trip hazards. Levels were hard to find, especailly towards the conservatory end where a 40 centimetre variance was discovered to be as a result of me running the tape over a lazy sleeping dog, once moved we were back on track.
Grass being a premium and sought after commodity here on the Bonsai Mountain the turf was lovingly transferred by yours truly to bare soil in the lane and relaid in the hope it will take and provide a few more mouthfuls for the rampaging Ryelands. However, by barrow 37 I was getting a bit lax in the turf transplanting and opted for using the fresh cut sods as green compost material for the raised beds in the veg garden as it was easier. 23 barrow loads later tired arms and legs opted for the much quicker and shorter choice of tipping it down the vertiginous slope of the hill and letting nature sort it all out.
The Berners, who are in their natural world big load carriers, bred for sled pulling up steep mountain sides declined the invite to shift the last 56 barrow loads of dirt and instead made matters so much easier by getting underfoot.
By end of play, when it was almost impossible to lift my arms we had dug it out ready for the stone to arrive. I am thankful that there are four rest days before the five tons of stone scalping's have to be barrowed in through the garden gate and whacked in place ready for the concrete. Which again needs to be barrowed in. Beginning to wish now that we had chosen a patio that wasn't big enough for a Chinook to land on.