Well Worn Path


The Water Treatment Plant has arrived.. on the back of a lorry that blocked up the road. Local car drivers could only sit and stare as the mighty tank was hoisted up. No wonder it needed such a bloody great hole.

The difficulty, as ever, was in getting it down the drive. It started on its journey looking precarious, suspended from the bucket of the Swing Shovel. A temporary hiatus thanks to a low hanging branch but the chainsaw soon remedied that. To the greatest relief of all concerned the tank was lowered, very gently, into the ground.

With barely time for a coffee, the concrete came next. Dumped, in a heap, squarely in front of the garage door. Did we have plans to go out? Not any more. The dumper truck worked overtime, ferrying the rapidly hardening substrate from the top of the hill to the bottom. Set in place all around the tank, surely only an earthquake will now shift it.




By lunchtime they were back at work on the path alongside the house.

The pick axe was replaced by a jackhammer today. It lifted the tarmac with ease and started to slice through the concrete beneath. Four inches down and we’d have expected bare earth. But instead, a discovery. A layer of closely packed stones: what looked like an original cobble stone path. Stones rounded and worn by countless feet of old.

We couldn’t save all of it. The drains still had to be laid. But the guys worked carefully, each stone gently extracted, cleaned off and retained.



It will need some work. Now there’s a surprise. It’s too uneven as it is to be practical as a path.

But how lucky eh, that the digger didn’t fit through the gap in the wall?


Well Worn Path

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2017-11-06T20:48:14+00:00September 21st, 2012|Tags: , |


  1. where the journey takes me September 21, 2012 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Hi there Jessica- I have linked through to your blog from I’m not sure where – but what a great discovery – I know I am going to enjoy your blog as we already have something in common – a cottage to renovate and a sewage system to install! Oh and of course a wood. What I am excited about most is that you seem to be one step ahead of us and I can now see the extent of the ‘hole’ we will have to dig soon and hopefully we (that is my better half and me) will be able to learn from your escapades – how lucky am I to have wandered over here today I am certainly signing up to follow you. Is you system a soak-away or a bio-digester? Love the stones what a great find. Happy digging – Viv

    • Jessica September 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      Hello Viv, and welcome to rusty duck.

      I have had a quick peek and your cottage looks very exciting! Our system is a bio-digester. It (allegedly) turns waste water into pure water, but I’m not about to test it to prove the point! We were really pleased to find the stones too.

  2. Mise September 21, 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Water treatment, like insulation, is a cross to bear, a milestone on the long path towards the perfect cushion. Your newly discovered stone path is lovely; I would lay it again, unevenness and all.

    • Jessica September 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Mise. The plan is to lay it again, staying as close as possible to the arrangement of stones that we found. But at the moment it won’t even allow a wheelbarrow safe passage, let alone my one and only pair of Jimmy Choos…

  3. Josephine September 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    It reminds me of an egg, a rather large one !
    You are moving along at warp spead, Mr. Spock would be impressed .
    What a wonderful discovery with the cobblestones, and yes, please re-lay them, I am smitten….Lucky duck you 🙂

    • Jessica September 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      When I found out they were going to dig up the tarmac path, I was looking all over the internet for places to sell me granite setts. Luckily, we didn’t get round to ordering any…

  4. starproms September 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I’ve never seen one of those tanks before especially suspended in mid air like that. One thing for sure, that’s the first and last time you’ll ever see it, ha ha! How interesting and exciting and promising.
    Now those stones, interesting again. I think you need Time Team next! Seriously…

    • Jessica September 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      This is the second very old house we’ve renovated, and this is exactly what I love about doing it… discovering it’s past history as you peel back the layers, bit by bit.

  5. Simone September 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    How wonderful to discover that old path. I wonder who walked along it? Wouldn’t it be great to go back in time and see?

    • Jessica September 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      It makes you think doesn’t it? It also makes me wonder what our predecessors from hundreds of years ago would have thought of the house as it is today?

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