Late yesterday afternoon, we tried to print some lovely photographs Flo has taken of Ellie. This proved impossible, because the colours were very wrong. This is not a problem I have encountered before. I tried cleaning various settings and even changing inks, to no avail. All this takes a long time when you don’t know what you are doing.

A skip was delivered just after Martin arrived this morning, for four hours of which he raised a considerable sweat on this, the coldest day of the month so far – indeed prompting me to don socks for the first time since May. He works steadily and without a break, except to take the drinks we ply him with.

He prised, bashed, and dug out the solid lumps and loose hard core material;

loaded them into a barrow which he wheeled repeatedly along the Kitchen Path, up the Brick Path, to the skip placed half way along the Back Drive.

The filling of the skip was not the easiest of the stages.

By the end of the morning much of the levelling had been completed.

When I had begun to photograph the work I realised that I had probably left my 35 mm. lens in the car. I discovered it in its saturated case under the passenger seat of the Modus, clearly not waterproofed from the recent storms. I could barely see anything in the viewfinder and the pictures produced were decidedly murky. Very soon everything was fogged up, and I left it alone for the day in the hope that the condensation would evaporate. These pictures were all produced with a 55 mm. lens. By the end of the day all seemed fine.

We then visited Wessex Photographic in Lymington where we sought Luke’s advice on the murky photographs. He made some suggestions and offered to have a look at my set-up if we were unsuccessful.

We dined this evening on another of Jackie’s wholesome chicken stewp meals with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Gran Selone Premium, Italian red wine.

Now I am going to watch the Football World Cup match between England and Wales.


  1. I am in awe of Martin and being basically lazy, am glad I never had to work that hard–although I was maid for two summers while I was in college. Hope your pictures turn out ok.

      1. Ok, now the work makes sense to me. And I also now remember the word coming up before with a truck that delivers them on the road in one of your photos. Yes, we say dumpster. 🙂

  2. I hope your lens is okay, Derrick. Martin is hard working guy, that is a whole lot of work! Over here, we call a Skip a Dumpster which I strongly dislike. How about Bin instead? 👍🏻

  3. God bless Martin! What hard, amazing, good work he does!
    I hope your lens is really really really okay!
    Hope the murkiness in the photos is figured out and will be gone! Hope Luke’s help helps!
    “All this takes a long time when you don’t know what you are doing.” So true! I’ve learned that, too, in a lot of areas of life! 😖 🥴
    (((HUGS))) ❤️
    PS…YAY on the game!!! 🙂

  4. If I ever get a colour print of a photograph with satisfactory colours in it, I think it a miracle. I have never discovered how to make good quality prints.

  5. Great result for England. Now the work begins. I watched the first half, not that I am a fan of football.
    Martin is certainly a grafter.
    Hope you get the colours sorted on the printer.

  6. Martin works so hard and filling a skip with heavy chunks of rubble is very difficult and tiring – I have tried and know! I hope you and Jackie are well, Derrick.

  7. this man is working hard, it makes me tired just looking at the photograph. I am glad your lens recovered from the humidity. Mine does not seem to have. I may have to get another one.

  8. It’s great to know people who help us with hard work and technical things. I like watching Martin’s progress and hope he doesn’t overdo it.

  9. Martin is a very hard worker. You were lucky to find him, and I am glad he is helping you and Jackie with all this heavy work. I agree, I hope he paces himself and doesn’t overdo it.

    1. We don’t like the way the design has been broken up by squares of loose chippings and gravel. It was always uneven – because, as we now know, it wasn’t properly laid. Also it wasn’t real stone. Thanks very much, Judy.

      1. I have large flat irregular-shaped stones and the cracks between are filled with little chips whose sides face up. It is attractive but very trippable. I’ve had one bad fall a number of years ago. I keep thinking I should have them altered, but such a mess…One day.

  10. Murky … another word I enjoy for it has a number of connotations. New paving (or whatever surface you are planning) will make a big difference aesthetically and be safer to walk on. Our front path (which we fortunately seldom use anymore) has become very uneven over the years as the paving stones have been heaved out of place by the underground forces at work 🙂

  11. I got a kick out of the fact that you were donning socks for the first time since May and we were busy getting our neighbor to help with his bobcat to remove the snow from our driveway so we could get out (and he has already done that for us at least 3 times since mid-November!!). Ah, this ccccold weather started waaaay too soon here in Montana. I’d have frostbite for sure if I was in your sandals with no socks!!

  12. Glad to hear your lens was fine despite the damp. I do hope the mystery of the wrong colours is solved. (Sounds like a Wallace & Grommet skit) Good hard work by Martin on a cold day. This kind of labor seems made for a cold day, otherwise part of the challenge would be the heat.

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