In fact the photo above is already out of date - but it does show how fences are now in place dividing our (development house's) garden into two - top garden for the ground-floor flat, bottom garden for the upstairs flat, shared path down the side with a little 'alcove' off this for bike storage and re-cycling bins. AB and IB saw the start of this operation on their very welcome visit... except what they saw we had to decide wouldn't do - following the architect's plan the bike (etc.) 'alcove' was initially taken out of the upper (nearer in the photo) garden... making this look very 'mean'. So, poor (builder) Alan (visible in the gateway to the lower garden) had to move some of the fence (he was very good about it!) AB and IB saw so the bike 'alcove' was/is taken out of the shared path.
Since this photo - only about a week - the path on the left is now surfaced... not with 'rammed hoggin' as the architect specified because.... well, thereby hangs a tale. No, I didn't know what 'hoggin' was either until I visited the web... and anyway nobody seemed to supply it. Except one firm (the web, again) nearby claimed-to... except, they told me, we didin't want 'hoggin' but 'self-binding gravel' - THAT was what was used for paths in (Oxford) colleges and London parks and due to a geological curiosity it was only available (near here) from Wicklesham quarry near Faringdon... I needed another telephone number.... 'hoggin' was by contrast horrid messy stuff... (I had to believe since I still didn't really know what it is...)
My mind slightly spinning that I'd obviously been speaking to a connoissuer of gravels and soils, amazingly I had the order made and delivered all during the day yesterday.
And since this photo the gardens are turfed - except for a border JG-C is due to start planting this W/E, top soil due to arrive tomorrow - around the lower edges - with paved patios in place at the top ends.
We had to whip in a sprinkler to establish the turf this morning. Water supplied from a 'garden tap' I fitted that's to the right of where Alan is in the photo. There's also an outside electric socket there - not yet actually connected but end of the cable waiting for this in the house - both supplies run under the now-surfaced path on the left. In a moment of blinding forethought I only recently suddenly realised the lower garden/top-floor flat would need supplies down there or how could they actually use their garden?
To supply the tap for the sprinkler meant making a temporary water link in the house - easily enough done using blissfully easy-to-use push-fit plastic plumbing. Gas-plumber Martin was there and leapt to help. Highly entertaining because he swears you must tighten push-fit fittings or they'll leak, and therefore carefully did-so. He's quite wrong (and every packet with a fitting says you only need to tighten the fitting if you want to stop pipes rotating!)... but I hadn't the heart or courage not to tell him not to bother. I mean, when Martin wasn't there and I made similar temporary connection to test for possible leaks before covering up the pipe under the ground I just clipped them on, no tightening, nary a leak....
Indeed, just recently ran a pressure test on the central heating pipes that run well under the floor to check no leaks before they become inaccessible. Interestingly the fittings under pressure lock tighter and tighter because of their natty design, so much so I couldn't initially undo them to end the test until I remembered that actually you can competely unscrew the fittings (revealing all sorts of natty washers an O rings and things.) I was just wise enough to point the pipe away from doing this - water shot out as from a fireman's hose.
(I took this to indicate no leaks.)
So, our "Easter holiday" is to be spent with me wiring busily - there's now enough in place inside for me to wire TO - and JG-C working on the borders. Thing is, however friendly Alan and Martin are, it's much easier wiring without having to dodge around them and their tools...