Well, dearies. Thursday’s outbreak of plumbing activity produced the following: the central heating stopped working entirely. And on Friday, another leak broke out, and is quietly but firmly dripping to itself in the booklined space outside the coat cupboard. We were in the ironmonger’s today buying lightbulbs when someone stormed in and said, ‘I want traps for meeces’. It is a notion I could resonate with if we could think where to put the bloody things. However, and more cheerfully, we had a day off on Wednesday and went to Cromarty, which was terrific. Our antique-shop-running friend in Cromarty has acquired some part of the stock of a very oldfashioned Highland tailor, and thus, the Prof acquired two retarditaire Harris Tweed jackets of deeply respectable cloth and cut for really quite trifling sums. Also, via the Net, I have bought a dual control electric blanket. There have been occasional moments of marital disharmony on the topic of heated beds (I boil, he freezes, both parties negotiate, feeling injured). Thus, snug under the duvet, we may, at least up to a point, laugh at the plumbers’ inability to sort out the plumbing, and the Professor can turn his half back on again if he feels the need without annoying me. The only further refinement to this happy state of affairs was suggested by Miss Kit. A triple control electric blanket, with a circular area bottom centre, activated by a touch pad. But, as I reminded her, she has a hot spot already.