The dear little boiler was coughing last night like something out of the last act of La Bohème. Then it died. Now, of course it is our tiny hands which are frozen, not to mention our tiny feet & other parts. Pathetic telephonic representations were made to Keith the Plumber; who alas was presumably busy; ’tis the season for heating systems to get into the spirit of things, of course. I cannot be the only person who has observed that if your boiler or other necessary device has it in mind to go wrong it will do so in the depths of a public holiday. Ditto animals having accidents. It is all exceedingly annoying and we have wrapped the Tropical Godfather up in cashmere, as if he were a species of phalenopsis orchid. We are happy to report that unlike the phalenopses, none of his extremities have as yet gone black and dropped off. We have bought a bag of coal, and intend to spend the evening by a roaring fire in the sitting room, which is not so bad. Does anybody out there know who the patron saint of plumbing is?