It was cloudy and there was a threat of rain but otherwise conditions were just fine and dandy for a spot of pond emptying.

Well not exactly a pond, but it was a more than modest spot of still water and the time had come (being the cool winds of autumn) for it to be emptied.

It was one of those price-friendly pools that are large enough for adults to submerge in and yet not too deep for young'uns to frolic about it.

An item which plays part of the great New Zealand-China trade business, although while made in China I doubt they have time to utilise and enjoy them as they are likely too busy making them.


And at the price they make them for they certainly flog a good number off.

So anyway, it was time to empty the thing of the few thousand litres of water it was holding.

This was where the world of geology entered the situation, for the pool was set up nicely down the back... where the ground level is slightly lower than the level of the drain covering beside the house.

So running a draining hose (yes the appropriate fittings came with the pool) from the plug thing in the side up to the drain was pointless... as water does not winningly flow uphill, so to speak.

I knew this though, for a couple of years back we had a similar pool (before the leaks came-a-calling) and the flow from the draining hose was down to the barest of trickles... and stopped altogether with only half the great aquatic pond emptied.

This is why they make things called buckets.

So there I stood, an empty bucket in each hand and a great pond of water, easily half a metre deep and about three metres across, glistening at me.

One has to be realistic and pragmatic and patient and determined and other things in such circumstances.

It was clearly a daunting task but like anything daunting you just have to suck in a large intake of oxygen and simply get on with it, because it ain't gunna empty itself.

So the water scooping and 20-metre round trips to the drain began.

I counted the trips, figuring that after the first 12 there would be a clear difference in the water volume.

But there really wasn't.

Although of course removing about 15 or so litres every time was making a difference.

It's just that it wasn't keen to show it.

So on I went, and as I walked the path I realised after about 20 journeys that I had to make a direction change as the grass was damp after recent rain and I was starting to leave a slight mud-attracting trail.

Not surprising as I was also spilling water along the way as well.

When I clocked up 30 bucket-bearing trips I then noticed something.

The pool top was caving inward as the water restraint holding it up was falling.

Me and my buckets (which I dubbed Bill and Ben) were winning.

Progress was being made although at the cost of the old shoulders starting to make a few pangs of complaint.

"Toughen up," I murmured to myself.

"That's easy for you to say," I replied, before realising that when you start answering yourself it's not the best of signs.

Probably the adrenalin surges I reckoned, as I clocked up the 40th return trip.

At that point I started singing that silly old song "There's a Hole in Your Bucket Dear Liza" and tried to come up with other "bucket" songs, but failed.

Then I racked up the half century of 50 return bucket-bearing trips from a now sad little pond/pool to the drain and at that point the irony stepped in.

It started to rain... which meant the pool level getting an ever-so-slight reprieve from Mother Nature.

"Over my dead buckets," I snarled quietly.

For the final four scoops (I had resolved to knock it off at 54... the year of my birth) I just flung the water out over the grass and then tipped the near-empty pool over and job done.

"Well done Bill and Ben," I said.

"That's okay... see you this time next autumn yeah?" I answered in a silly voice.

It was just around 1pm when I put them to rest in the garage and rewarded myself with a cool ale.

And then went to sleep.