Right. The house is now officially stripped back to its components, and it’s not a pretty sight: the electrician is complaining that the whole thing is constructed from ‘spurs’ (what a mess, he says); Wonderful Builder has even taken up the tiles now, so adhesive and plaster dust are making their own pretty footprinted design around and about. His complaint (among many, good-humouredly) is that nothing is done properly. When I tell him two owners back were builders and actually did the extension themselves…he rolls his eyes. Not even pointed, he says (referring, I now know, to the brickwork. Not to treat you like idiots, but hey, I had no idea…).

The television is in the loo. The toilet paper is on top of the television. The sitting room floorboards are lodged at impossible angles with cables jutting out. The cats are locked in our bedroom and have lifted the carpet up across the door in an effort to dig their way out.


AND: poor E, never the giving in sort, is home today with a vile cold. While I taught up the hill, he had to endure several hours of plaster chiselling under his room. Insult to injury or what?!

So what makes it better? Watching him devour a chocolate muffin I brought back, then lie down and curl up around me sitting on the edge of his bed, just like he used to.