...with digging boulders and builders' rubble out of the cottage lawn. But apparently not.
I've bought grass seed. We've had a bit of rain. It's sunny and there's a light breeze. I thought I'll just dig out the weeds, rake it over and then seed before too many leaves come down and smother the new grass.
It's that sinking sensation as the fork goes in no more than a centimetre or two and there's that jarring gritty thud as the prongs hit something solid. But we dug this all over last autumn! I thought we were rid of all the big stuff, but oh no!
It's the cornflake packet syndrome. The big bits move up to the top as the small particles drop through the gaps to the bottom. And that's what's been quietly happening to the lawn all through this year.
I prod around with the fork, trying to find a gap where it goes in a bit further, heave, watch the tines bend and the ground in front of the fork slowly rise as another flagstone comes to the surface. Behind me the "lawn" is now a muddy mess.
And the weeds! Tod has been mowing this scruffy patch and I'd hoped that it would gradually grass over, but there's more weed than grass and even the grass is more like weed - tough and coarse. The mowing has kept it tidy, but the perennial weeds (dandelion, thistle, mallow, fat hen) have thickened and sent down long tap roots, which have easily found a way through the rubble.
I carry this image of my father - bent over a neat lawn, legs straight, slightly apart (more so after his hip operations) picking up a leaf, digging out a weed. He said he wasn't a gardener, but a "tidyist".
I could do with a lawn "tidyist" right now.