Oh the joy of having large machinery at your beck and call. Shane brought round a 13 tonne excavator, which is actually way more power than we needed, but it’s what he could get and it certainly did the job. Suddenly I was the Pharaoh with a team of slaves at my command….”Move that rock over there… not there, further this way… good. Now remodel the drive to come through here…. wider at this end… garden bed here….enormous log here…” and so on.

So from this:

to this:

and from this:

to this:

There is clear access to the front doors now and much more light in the entry area.

Then we had to mulch:

I was very pleased to get some large rocks. They really add a sense of stability to a garden and I plan to plant around them with some soft pluming fountain grass which should make a beautiful contrast. These are Castlemaine rocks and their ochre colours are very sympathetic to the mud brick walls of the house.

So there you have it; a bit of a moonscape as all new gardens are. I was absolutely stuffed after all that strenuous giving of orders and now I am looking forward to planting the new beds out and watching my plans (or something like them) come to fruition. And that is the joy of gardening isn’t it?

And in very important news, the new Doctor Who made his appearance on Sunday night. How I wanted to dislike him for replacing the gorgeous David Tennant, but I couldn’t. The new guy was actually annoyingly good in the role. But not gorgeous. Which is good. I’m too old to go through all that emotion again.

But there is another David who has been occupying my mind lately:

or my ears, more accurately. This album is a real treat for any alt-country fans out there. Even the 15 year old, who thinks all my music is pretty lame, was impressed by one of the songs on the album, because it happens to be about a monkey driving a locomotive. As Max observed, you just can’t get enough of that sort of thing.

Dave Rawlings is, of course, the partner of the incredible Gillian Welch. What a talented and creative pairing. Leo was blown away when I told him that they were partners; he asked if I thought that they might consider adopting him as their alt-country love child.

I said no.