The nimble platypus was seen as a bit of a novelty in Crewe

It has been a couple of days mostly connected to water. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours staring into a concrete manhole full of water and pumps trying to work out why a pond was flooding even though everything appeared to be working correctly. It is odd that thousands of pounds worth of engineering, pumps, pipes and electrics should all be in thrall to something as basic and unsophisticated as a plastic ballcock but such is the case. Elongate the brass arm of said ballcock and all problems are solved – presto.

Today the water was mostly falling from the skies in torrents turning another site of mine into a quagmire within hours. As David Smith, the contractor, elegantly put it as we squelched through mud and watched great chunks of earth slide like avalanches into a newly dug swimming pool – “You could have walked through here in stilettos yesterday”. For all I know he could be speaking from experience.

As compensation I was bought lunch by Tony Craddock – who works for a company called Louis Poulsen. They make beautifully engineered light fittings. The pub he took me to at Willersey in Gloucestershire was a hang out of mine many years ago. I spent three months living in a Bed and Breakfast in Broadway while I built a garden near there. I spent the day laying huge slabs of york stone (mostly unaided as I had one of my frequent employee crises) and my evenings reading a book at pubs in the area. The Bell at Willersey was hot stuff with fish – I remember a particularly good one cooked in a paper bag which I ate while reading the Iliad (not in Greek – that would be a bit too nauseating). Memory is a weird thing – I can remember that but not where I put my keys.

Must draw now rather than using this as a form of procrastination: I have a planting scheme to finish by tomorrow.

I am listening to Just for Tonight by the Chiffons. The picture is of a post.