There I was, digging this hole…

this hole in the ground. Bernard Cribbins clearly had similar problems to those confronting my family recently.

You see, this hole digging lark has been the lot of the Lawyer over the last few weeks and lots of people have been sharing their wisdom on hole digging with him. It’s his fault since it was his need for a pond that has been driving this. He was the one to persuade the Textiliste that the one thing our garden lacked was a hole and water.

PhotoScan (2)

can get in? Please dad. PLEASE!

We used to have a pond. When we first moved in, 25 years ago. But the Lawyer was a bit too interested in it so health and safety decreed it had to go.

Throughout this period of home drought, his divining instincts drew him to every pool or pond. Even just standing in the rain made him happy….

PhotoScan (4)

large or small…

Even if the Vet was never entirely convinced…

PhotoScan (6)

Trust me, I’m going to be a lawyer…. Is that a crab?

He helped me build a new flowerbed and seating area where the pond had once been.

PhotoScan (8)

Mum said more water….

So eventually after 24 years of hurt we said ok. And there’s been no stopping him.

2014-07-03 18.38.03

Hmm? How big?

First we needed the precise spot.

2014-07-03 21.19.13

I’ve finished!

And then there was the first cut and the canine approval.

2014-07-04 12.57.07

and deeper we go…

The dimensions have caused some debate. In the end we decided we wanted a bog garden at the lower end (to the left in the above picture) with the deeper part – a metre deep – at the right hand end.


the blue ‘clay’ spade is a truly awesome piece of kit – thanks to the Personal Trainer for the loan

sam's pond 3

down, down deeper and down

The amount of earth that has been shifted is about seven tonnes. Currently it sits in a Krakatoa sized heap in a small compound in the front garden awaiting a skip. Most of it is a sort of modellers’ clay.

2014-09-09 15.28.14

anyone for pottery?

At least he’s kept smiling throughout.

sam's pond 4

I can smell Chinese food? Am I deep enough?

Some others helped. I left the hard work to the Lawyer but became involved latterly with the technical stuff. Like slapping clay on the sides. But mostly he just disappeared into the ground.


It’s my pond and I’ll dig if I want to…

And then, just as we had bought the lining and were deciding we needed to tidy up the sides because they were a bit too straight, it rained. And rained.

2014-08-14 14.19.47

wet, wet, wet

And we wondered if we needed the lining after all.

2014-08-26 16.17.44


2014-08-26 16.18.01

is it ready yet?

But at least it was good for the ice bucket challenge.


We smoothed sides and stood back; we await the return of the Pond Guru from holiday for his final instructions/telling off if, as I fear, we’ve done it all wrong. Ten days ago, it was like this…


getting to be rather sinister…

But now the water is receding so we may have to line it after all.

2014-09-09 14.54.45

if it rains again I shall be soooo cross…..

PS I have always tried to convince people I don’t like water, swimming, the sea and all that jazz. But there is some evidence that this urge-aquatic that infects the Lawyer comes from my side of the family…

2014-07-17 17.25.47

more evidence of the Archaeologist’s egregious scientific experiments…

PPS And Dog always enjoys our efforts – if he can pin one of us down for long enough….








About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in families, gardening, London, memoires and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to There I was, digging this hole…

  1. somemaid says:

    Looks amazing. But don’t throw away the clay. Mix it with straw and lime and then you can make a clay based bread oven. Perfect for pizza and other alfresco dining experiences.
    That water looked mightily cold.
    P.S Just came back from France where I found an entire Tintin collection in the supermarket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Now there’s an idea. I’ll have to look into the design.
      Oh am I jel re Tintin. I was talking to a friend with a new car he’s just bought and he had a stencil put on the side – I decided if and when I ever get a new car I’ll have Tintin and Snowy running down the side. Probably breaching all sorts of copyright but hey…


  2. willowdot21 says:

    I am not sure that the Lawyer is going to be too impressed with the unlined pond but then he should not of gone off at such a crusial point! Totally impressed with the icebucket challenge hope your mates and relations lived up to the challenge. Great post wonderful photos love that dog. xxx


  3. Charli Mills says:

    Reminds me of the song, Cool Change by Little River Band. There’s a line, “I was born in the sign of water, and it’s there that I feel my best…” Great future pond; lovely, lovely garden. And way to go–taking the ice bucket challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: When is a hole not a hole? | TanGental

  5. says:

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little research on this.
    And he actually bought me breakfast simply because
    I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this topic here
    on your web page.


  6. Pingback: Son of the Hole | TanGental

  7. roweeee says:

    Hi Geoff,
    Looks like the lawyer could also have become an engineer. Our kids have been digging huge holes on the mudflats outside here at Palm Beach, on the Pittwater side.
    One of my school friends has Motor Neurone Disease and I am considering getting a group of ex-students from our school to join forces, However, while I’m all for fundraising and assisting research, I forgot about the icy water. That looks painful.
    Your pond efforts remind me of my efforts to build a garden out the front of our house. I dug the hole myself. Lined it with newspaper before adding the new you beaut soil and then added some ashes from the combustion heater, not knowing they were in some sort of dormant state just waiting to reignite. Consequently, my hole was soon alight. It was surrounding my a ring of sandstone bushrock and it looked like I was involved in some whacky witchcraft ritual instead of simply trying to garden.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

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