We spent a quiet and meritorious Sunday marking undergraduate dissertations, which have settled on the both of us like dandruff. Then we took the dog for a walk. Then there was a cold, harsh wind from the north, and then it rained quite a bit. After which, we put on our brave little soldier faces and a variety of mothridden garments, and went out to limewash the garden wall. Limewash takes best if it goes on a wet wall and dries quite slowly, unlike more conventional paints. This has been a matter of some urgency. In the course of the hideous winter just passed, almost every flake of the limewash was scoured off the wall, leaving just enough to look like a bad rash. This, incidentally, seems to have been a widespread problem. The house in Banff which was limewashed the colour of Heinz Tomato Soup (a mistake, incidentally) at hideous expense only last year is now pretty well back to the underlying pebbledash. We weren’t aware of an actual scouring component in the bitter blasts, but on the other hand, we were out as little as possible. Anyway, winter went on and went on, and eventually went off again leaving us with a garden wall which looked like an illustration to a book about skin disease. Then we were otherwise engaged. And now, with everything in the border about two feet high, we have at last found time to slap the last of the limewash which was sitting in a tub in the shed onto the wall. This was perfectly horrible, but now it’s done. We’ll have to try and do it properly in the autumn, because the single coat we’ve managed to apply is no more than cosmetic. Still, as is sometimes, though not always, the case with cosmetics, a quick slap-over has done wonders. Added to which is the sense of of revolting masochistic virtue which comes of having made ourselves do it in horrible weather and fading light.