We have long pondered the challenge of access to the top paddock behind our house. This week Stu started to dig into the hill near the stairs that already go up to the fienile in order to build more stairs that will take us up to the top. The location provides private access because they are behind our security gates. Rather than sitting on the bank, the stairs are lodged into the bank which makes them look rustic and feel like something from Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree books. But it's a massive job. He uses a large crowbar and shovel to carve out the packed bank, then cuts tree roots and pulls out ivy. Once he has a clean step-like shape, he comes down to the woodpile where he chainsaws thick branches into correct lengths for uprights and horizontals that will create retaining walls for the step. Then he climbs back up with an armful of pieces and pounds them into the bank with a sledgehammer. Quite a horror job...but he says "with every step I can see more of the top paddock"...oh to be an optimist!