We have become slightly less scruffy: the appearance of an inexpensive upholsterer in the vicinity has come as a great boon. The very stained and shabby grey and white striped sofa in the sitting-room is now a temporarily un-stained and un-shabby green and white striped sofa, a great improvement. We have also got around to replacing the dishwasher, which we’ve been without since quite early in the year — I hope it works and behaves itself. Miss Best Friend is still bucketed, and very cross about it. She is SO nearly better but can still do a surprising amount of damage in quite a short time when released from captivity. This all seems to be going on forever since it’s two steps forward one step back, so we’re hardening our hearts.