...so, to work out some of my general bad mood, I spent about 2 hours yesterday wielding a pick and a teeny little spade. The pick is to break up the shale that makes up my entire garden from about 6 inches down, and to remove the old bricks that I think might have been a patio a few centuries ago - judging by their cohesiveness, they would last for another few as well. These guys weren't shy with the cement. Unfortunately, the edge of it is right in the middle of where I want the first row of lavender bushes to go, in the famous lavender bed-to-be. The teeny little spade is because it's the only way of getting any of the dirt out without hitting unbroken bits of shale and feeling as if your wrists have just shattered under the impact. So it's pick, pick, pick, and then remove the results one half-cup at a time. A very slow process, and very sore biceps, shoulders, wrists, hands, back, thighs (no, I can't understand that one either...) even after a hot bath with everything that said muscles or relax that I could find in the bathroom cupboard.
Aqua says that her Mom trained her dog to dig holes for her. Mine, although exceedingly fond of digging holes where they aren't wanted, remain completely uninterested in assisting with trench-digging.
The only one who was remotely interested was CJ, and that was only because he kept dropping a chocolate-coloured (from the mud and slobber that coated it) half tennis ball into the hole as I swung the pick. Damn dog nearly got a new hole in his head numerous times, as I suddenly had to abort the swing halfway. And then he lies down with half of him just about in the hole, making little excited whimpers as he waits for me to throw the revolting soggy ball for him to chase and bring straight back.
It's a half ball, by the way, because the first thing he does with a new ball is bite a hole in it. Then he drops it in the pool, so that it can choke the pool-cleaner. When he gets it back again, he tears a few pieces off, and then plays with the remnant. So far this week, I've given him 5 new tennis balls. Weird dog....