Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
What this photo fails to show is the pleasant sense of depth and size this room now has, with the floor fitted and building rubbish/bits/tools/supplies cleared. I'm not quite sure how to get a photo to show this sense of size - I guess one needs a wider angle focus than our camera will give - one certainly feels the space. And just as well, since this room is to be kitchen/living/diner.
Just visible, if you peer, are loops of wire coming out of sockets - in fact, Ta-rah!, the ground floor flat is now 'first fix' wired - meaning all socket boxes in the walls and ceilings, all wires in place, all ready for plastering - actual fitting of lighting fittings and mains sockets and actual connection comes after plastering...
Oh, and (due to more recent regulations) this 'first fix' has to be inspected by an electrical firm appointd by the council, and the appointment is still to be booked. I perspire slightly in case young Graham has any objections to my methods. Shouldn't have, we discussed most things on the phone (but I've yet to meet him.)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
In fact the photo above is already out of date - but it does show how fences are now in place dividing our (development house's) garden into two - top garden for the ground-floor flat, bottom garden for the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...
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
In the way all such momentous decisions are made, last Sunday we realised we had used up all our spare VHS tape because I insisted on taping Harry Potter (which clashed with Time Team) and then we wanted to tape Lewis (just watched it - so well done in the spirit of Morse) so we could watch The Lady's Detective Agency (brilliant show catches the spirit of the original books so well) ... and then Damages (plot still impossible to follow) - thanks to the fates, the programmes we like to watch seem to turn up like London buses on Sunday evening at the moment.
But JG-C was due out to her 'small' choir Monday evening so we needed to record Crime Watch for her... and no clean tape left. Off we went on Monday morning to... er... buy some more tape. Except we'd long wondered about getting a DVD recorder, so we 'just had a look' in Curry's and... bought the box above. Where the fact it is a DVD recorder/player is almost irrelevant for us since we scarcely ever borrow (let alone buy) a pre-recorded DVD, nor do we tend to want to keep recordings long or archive them - no, no what the box does have which is absolute bliss is, firstly, an HDD (Hard Disc) recorder and, secondly, a digital tuner.
To deal with the second first, we increasingly find that programmes we want to watch (e.g. way-out zany Earl) - and therefore often need to record - are on digital (freeview) channels... previously only recordable by setting the digi-box (on the top in the photo above) for the VHS recorder (at the bottom in the photo) ... to record-from.... a process for not-quite-clear reasons by no means fail-safe and besides (the cheapo TV, just showing top of the photo, is old and only analogue) we couldn't watch a digital channel if we wanted to be recording a different one. So, to be able to record digital channel whilst possibly watching a different digital channel is good. And, shortly, analogue is going to switch off, anyway!
As for the former, the HDD not only easily can hold absurdly far more hours of recording than we'd ever want but has this godsend facility that you can watch from the start whilst the thing is still recording - thus JG-C could come in on Monday at about 9.20 and watch Crime Watch from the start whilst the programme was 20 minutes ahead of her. BUT, she could thereby be back to 'live' for the update.... and there's not much point watching a "live update" if in fact it's a recording(!)
Equally, now if somebody calls around (or telephones) when we are watching something and it's rude or inconvenient not to pay attention to them we can for a mere two flicks of the button start the HDD recording.... and go back to our programme easily after the interruption, watching without having to wait, merely watching five or ten minutes behind the actual transmission. This is SUCH a convenient practical facility...
Mind you, there is one snag with this ... fairly trivial but, then, 'trivial' is everything, I find. The new box takes about 30 seconds to get organised after switching on so you can't, actually, "just" hit the button unless you've neurotically set things with the recorder ready to go in case somebody calls. Nevertheless, what you can do once it's on is just so superb. Definitely a good buy. But for being able to do just exactly what you might pragmatically need... I find it funny it can do a million things we DON'T need which sound so glamerous... what's good is that it can do what we do need.