My First House

1976 and the puchase of my first house in Woodhall Spa with 3/4 of an acre of land. Fine when
you go and look in February but something else when you come back in July as the owner!

Attacking the Rain Forest

Grass and weeds up the WAZOO and no idea where to start. Various tools are tried all of which
prove useless in this mind blowing jungle…….HELP! Eventually a brush cutter, combine harvester
thingey is acquired/borrowed and the land is cleared and huge haystacks are burnt as more and
more land is cleared. The land is leveled, rotovated, raked and watered then tons, and I mean
tons of grass seed spread.

Weeds are 5 feet high!

You Can’t Be Serious


Now we get to a planning stage and there will be walkways around the garage, a cross path to
a greenhouse and a patio. Beside the patio there will be rose beds and a fish pool. All looks good
on paper so let’s go. Paving slabs? see local paper……. auction of paving slabs….. buyer to
remove. I buy the entire estates slabs and then have the problem of transporting these things……
hummm! I know,. lets see what the MT section has that will do the job. Persuade the MTO that I
need the Station Dustcart and take a couple of his lads with me. Well that cost me a few beers
and the cost of getting the lads uniforms dry cleaned but at least I got the slabs back to the house…
now for that pool.

The Dig Begins

Great, A Sewer pipe….. but look at all those slabs

A design is scratched out and digging with shovel and pick begins along with wheelbarrow and
plastic bucket. About 2 weeks of back breaking evening work and many blisters later a hole in the
ground is big enough to accept the next stage. My next door neighbour is a builder and supplies
sand, cement and lends me his mixer. It takes me all day to make enough concrete and get it in
the hole and then its a rush to mix and spread a cement slurry to give a smooth finish and fill all
the micro holes. So now, with the concrete in the hole, fill gently with water and the weight of the
water will compress the concrete and prevent cracking and leaks.

The Water goes in

All the excavated dirt now becomes the rockery and special hollow rocks are placed to make the
job complete and attractive. With the basics in place now wait a few days and empty the pond
and refill, do this 3 times to get all the lime residue out of the cement and concrete and now
introduce some pond plants to oxygenate the water and then we are ready for some kami-kazi
cheapo goldfish to take the plunge. Meanwhile suitable alpine plants have been placed in the
rockery while yet more work takes place on those paving slabs.

One year later

The chainsaw hacks down trees and arches, seats and more flower beds are constructed. The
pool simmers on the back burner and now fish are intoduced and nosey labradors are kept out.
By spring all is eatablished and now the fun of maintenance ….. what did I start?

7 Years Later

5000 bedding plants are grown in the 8 x 12 and duly planted with the rest being sold to pay
for the winter fuel to keep the greenhouse going.


What did you think of this article?

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  • 1/23/2008 12:21 AM Steveo wrote:
    High Tony,yes there is more to life,than just riding trials bikes.I’d had the experience of building about the same dimention of pool and waterfall.Rather enjoyed ,after the right amount of libation,tying a worm to a small rod and string,for the pond fish.this usually got my friends laughing their faces off.Got a lot of satisfaction out of that pool,laying in the hammock.Nothing like the sound of running water,to ease one’s soul,thanks for your sharing! Steveo
    Reply to this
  • 1/23/2008 8:32 AM Tony wrote:
    Just wait until you see the next pool!
    Reply to this
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