By eight o’clock this morning, we were entirely surrounded by white vans. As the day progressed we discerned a certain atmosphere of grievance, generated by the fact that the official and sacred Trades Holiday is apparently in progress (we thought it was next week). I’m afraid we aren’t feeling entirely sympathetic; the words ‘then you shouldn’t have dilly-dallied about for the last four weeks, dears’ tend to form themselves in the MAIND even if we are not so tactless as actually to utter them. There is now a large, mysterious red egglike thing in my glass-cupboard. A pity in a way that I’ve spent the day reading about surrealism, which has left me looking at it somewhat askance. The boiler is, we believe, installed, but till there’s a dear little plumber, it cannot be prevailed upon to do anything. However, digging up the back yard operations have revealed quite a lot of leakage from the oil-tank; if they can get that traced to source and fixed, and the new boiler is more efficient, then one area of life might get slightly less expensive, which would be nice. The absence of a plumber means, naturally, that the washing machine is still in the garden being rained on. But we now have walls on the new porch, and they have been wood sided, there are roofbeams though as yet, not a roof. You have to say that, while nothing in the practical day to day of life at the moment has got better one iota, there has been progress.