The bricklayers have worked hard all week and now we have two raised terraces that make up the vine mount to fill with earth. Therefore, despite the horrible weather, it is 'all hands on deck'. Patrick has bought 2 new builders barrows for the occasion...WHOOPEE!!... the earth has to be retrieved from a big heap deep in the orchard and barrowed back into the middle of the Kitchen Garden - not a short trip! and having a decent barrow makes all the difference. We split into 2 teams - Aideen and Diane (blue team) James and Kay (red team) - Patrick stays at the heap shovelling earth, because unsurprisingly he can't push a barrow very quickly because of his leg! The four of us transport the earth, we need to be in pairs because the barrows have to be lifted up about 3 feet to tip the earth into the raised bed. (We decided against using a ramp!). While we still have energy, there is some silliness...Aideen and Diane block the path with a piece . of wood...James enters into the competitive spirit and barricades the path with pallets...on our return we find each of the central path arches has a piece of wood suspended across the path. Aideen and Diane thought we could limbo underneath them. But gradually, our pranking behaviour subsides into a monotonous trudge backwards and forwards in the rain, trying not to slide over in the mud!
At c2:00, Diane and I rush inside to clean off the mud, because we are required to sing in a wedding at the Church. Frustratingly the bride is half an hour late and we mutter to ourselves that we could have moved another 3 barrows in that time! We rush back from the wedding, grab something to eat and go back outside until it gets dark. Aideen has now had to abandon us to do some practice and Patrick joins in pushing barrows - nobody could accuse him of letting his leg hold him back! Bella runs backwards and forwards like a pacemaker, getting wetter and wetter. Pip comes out at the end of the day and tries to follow us back and forth but she only has little legs and gets left behind and gives up after a few journeys!
James comments as we heave in our umpteenth barrow into the terrace that this is where you have to have vision about what you are trying to achieve. I reply that if I hadn't had vision about what we were doing at Church Gardens I could never have kept going for the last 20 years!