At last, the new patio's finished. It bears little relationship to the original plan but I think it's better for it. Even Jade approves (although notice that she's deliberately turning her back on me - more on the reasons why later).
The washing line is most amazing antique. It was here when I moved in and must weigh a tonne. It was made in Australia and I didn't have the heart to move it so it got a new coat of paint and some new line.
The gravel bed under the washing line is my new herb bed. I had to dig up the old one. Miraculously, the bay tree seems to have survived and the cuttings I took from the lavender have taken. All the gravel in the gravel bed and all the rocks around the pond were dug out of the patio by (my) hand!!!!