When is a hole not a hole?

When it’s a pond. Previously on this channel I brought to you the saga of pond creation Chez Le Pard – Dun Lawyerin’ – and I left things on an upbeat note. The hole was dug, the rogue rainwater removed and the materials were ready for the final push. Well, there seems to be a pressure for more reality checks on blogs and less of the ‘look at me, isn’t it all dandy?’ piccies so, hmm, time for an update.

We (The Lawyer, the Pond Guru and me/I) had a plan. A. Finish the shaping and line the bottom where the clay was boggy from the decanted rain with old carpet. B. Add a ton of sand and shape to fit. C. Finish with a proper 30 year liner. D. Fill with water to hold the liner in place. E. Build a clay barrier inside the shallow end to enable a bog garden to be created. And F. Create a lip with old roof slates and bits of York stone before planting. Here are the photos that took us through that process.

The slate. Such a great idea to do the edging but we needed to obtain some more materials before we finished. Stuff to hold them in a final place, soil to help stabilize some of the surrounding paths. We left the pond overnight with large stones holding the slates in place.

And that’s where we confronted reality.

The next morning two slates had fallen in. It looked like an acrobatic fox had found the one place where they hadn’t been held down firmly. Surely we couldn’t be so unlucky…

I went away for a few days walking and met up with the Pond Guru to finish things off. The level had dropped by a foot; the lining was punctured, low down in the deepest section. Our beautiful sand lining had collapsed with the water that it had absorbed. We had to decant the remaining water – some thirty to thirty-five dustbins full – and dig out the clay barrier. Now we have to order in more sand and another, thicker lining. We swore, a little LOT.

I couldn’t photo the pond – it was too painful – as it leaked but this is it after emptying…


Had I cried I would have refilled the sod.

The Lawyer, whose grand scheme this is, is abroad. When I relayed the grim news I received a whatsapp.


As Kipling almost said: ‘If you can dig a pond while all about you are filling theirs and empty it twice and not give a toss, then you’re a f*****g saint.

F&&€∂Φ⊗♠ò‡§¶οξρing hell!


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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.
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15 Responses to When is a hole not a hole?

  1. You know, they say the best successes occur after failures – I say try again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sherri says:

    Oh Geoff, I feel your pain having had more than our fair share of gardening disasters…but I hope you don’t mind but I did have to laugh at your ‘Kipling’ quote at the end. Just think how wonderful your pond will look when it’s finished…but until then, remember this…’if you can meet with triumph and disaster…’ and all that.. 😉


  3. willowdot21 says:

    Well I feel your pain too………….. No honestly I do! All I can say is that’s F*****g pondlife!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amber Prince says:

    Omgosh! How frustrating. I’d be so p’d off and defeated. Good luck on the second go around.


  5. avalinakreska says:

    Sabotage. Who can you blame…The Government? It was The Birds that didn’t get fed that morning because you were diggin’ a hole… 🙂


  6. Pingback: Son of the Hole | TanGental

  7. roweeee says:

    LIke your pond, my garden in the front lawn was over-run by weeds and grass while I wasn’t well and so I greatly admire your rebuild. My garden lives on a lawn and indeed, I am starting to consider paving the front. My husband is allergic to the lawn mower and I dare not learn how to use it or I’ll have to do it..despite struggling at times to walk even when sober.
    I had a boss with a similar attitude once and she refused to learn how to use her computer and used to the monitor as a noticeboard and stuck post-it notes all over it instead and used the typing pool to type up her work. It sounds ludicrous now that anybody could get away with such technology avoidance at work…especially in management and she was very smart. I must pass that story onto my husband and kids. They’ll be in stitches…a bit like my husband’s story of his uncle trying to stop his new tractor from going in the creek by pulling on the reins. Needless to say, he got rather wet.

    Liked by 1 person

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