The wind is blustering round the house as if it was the equinox not the solstice. The country is saturated - a brief expedition to buy smart knitting wool for a friend’s daughter stuck in hospital was over roads running and sheeting with water — though not, we gather, as much water as there is further south. There is mud everywhere, though the amount of mud actually in the house has been significantly reduced. There is still no sign of Olga, who not even her friend the taxi driver has seen for a few days, so we begin to wonder if her old Ma back in Latvia has been taken ill and she’s dashed to the rescue. However, we are in possession of mops, buckets, a Hoover, and, crucially, TIME so we can guddle round the house ourselves. Otherwise we are dealing with a mountain of roots provided by the Two Nice Girls (the parsnips were beginning to get well out of hand), and awaiting the arrival of Dr Biswell and Mr Wil (who, at times of transit, tend to be referred to as Les Wirlwinds Boys, a phrase of Ed’s). Les Wirlwinds are coming up tomorrow, we hope, if the Solway behaves itself. The University has stopped sending us emails, a brief but welcome respite. The knitting wool shop is a beguiling place, full of such beautiful colours that one longs to be able to knit. Apart from the wool for the languishing patient, we came away with a charming little cardigan for a baby in bold and brilliantly coloured squares — a most cheerful object, and what’s more, the lady who knits them up does so to support a children’s charity in Malawi, so it’s a bit of a win-win. A friend had a baby last week, so we even have someone to give it to.