This evening, three burly chaps rendezvoused in our back kitchen to discuss knocking it down. Not before time, since the preliminary, removing the boiler, took place more than a week ago and we are meanwhile without central heating (we do have hot water). Malcolm the Digger Driver has removed the cotoneaster hedging which was killed by the winter, so the back looks strangely open. We are going to have to find somewhere to put the fridge for the time being, and cast ourselves on our neighbours’ mercy for laundry, because there’s nowhere else we can plumb in the washing machine, so I hope they don’t take too long. The elusive slater has promised to appear by Monday next, which is good too. Meanwhile, we’re trying to write a synopsis for an opera and the dept secretary and I are locked in a death-struggle with the University central timetabling system. It feels a bit like being a juggler with all the balls in the air at once.