Something large, noisy, yellow and mechanical arrives...
...now it is busy digging on The Moor.
'The Boy' (Brian, 49) looks on. Occasionally there's a 'toot toot' from John JCB in the digger for 'The Boy' to move a flagstone or assist in some other way. The first of two 'scrapes' has been dug. They must be five metres across; shallow scrapes as new watery habitat for our newts and frogs.
John JCB likes 'The Boy' and has telephoned to check he'll be around this weekend and not working. 'The Boy' lops tree branches off so they don't scratch the digger and gets a Murray Mint as a reward.
John JCB sculpts the second of the two scrapes. This one is fed by a sparkling spring. We stop thinking 'frogs' and start thinking 'ducks'. John JCB realises he has an audience of two women and two little girls and chases 'The Boy' with the bucket. He looks over at his audience with a cheeky grin as 'The Boy' dives for cover.
There's tremendous skill to wielding such a machine. John JCB uses the bucket like it's an extension of his arm. Yesterday he cleared the lambing shed with his other digger and piled the manure in the garden (it looks like Everest at the moment, but it will rot).
The stream is trickling clean, clear water into the 'scrape'. We note how deep it is, stop thinking 'ducks' and start thinking 'wild swimming'.
Just a final bit of patting and sculpting. Edges cannot be left untidy, John JCB is a craftsman. He's also a character - I once had a whole conversation with him where his gaze never left the comfort of my cleavage while he regaled me with tales of 'f***ing this' and 'f***ing that' with my two little girls listening in with wide eyes and big ears. I'd love to think of him meeting the Queen, I'm sure he'd say something (in his broad Pembrokeshire accent) about the 'f***ing weather, Ma'am, while gazing happily at the Royal bosom.
The side effect of digging - useful flagstone sized bits of slate.
The liberated stones piled into the garden. They've been slumbering underground for who knows how many years. Now they face a new life over ground as part of our garden.