I spent this afternoon battling with the soup again - marginally more diggable since it hasn't rained for all of about 3 days, but it still left me with mud soup-plates attached to the bottom of my wellies.
Never mind: object achieved. I finished constructing the next raised bed: having double-dug the area over the last couple of weeks, I finally up-ended the last wheelbarrow load of compost and then put in the scaffold boards.
The worst of constructing raised beds, I find, is getting it all level. When you've got a site like mine - sloping not just from side to side, but also from front to back - it's the devil's own job to get four sides of a rectangle on a level. With this bed, as with others, I had one end almost proud of the ground level while the other end was sunk almost level with it. At the end of the day, it doesn't affect the result, which is a defined, contained area of really well-cultivated soil which produces seriously good crops. Well worth the work - and the frustration.
The strawberries are now in - four rows of Honeoye which I hope (mice permitting) will provide me with lots of really early strawberries this year. I'm planning to plant out the garlic soon, too, and the early crop of peas and broad beans which have been pre-germinating in my coldframe at home. It's amazing how much there is to do at this time of year!