THE FINISHING touches were put to the plumbing last week, the electrics are nearly there – just a couple of lights to put in the stairwell to replace the dinky little stainless steel ones we chose that don’t actually shed any light – and Paul and Matthew are getting on with the decorating. But – disaster! – David’s been gone for more than a week. And not just away on holiday, but – gone. Where? Another job, presumably. He couldn’t get on with the final bits of his work ’til some of the other stuff was complete so there was no reason why he should have been here. But he’s been with us since day 1, overseeing the job on site and talking everything through with us, and just being one of those people who you feel better for having around. Andrew, his boss, gives me a funny look when I ask if we’re ever going to see David again and says yes, of course, he’s coming on Wednesday to fix the doors. 

Meanwhile Ian’s having his annual week at Firbush, the Edinburgh University outdoor centre on the banks of Loch Tay, which means water sports, specifically sailing, predominate. He’s having a great time. “I capsized six times when I was out in the laser today” he says in his nightly phone call. The last time I had to be picked up by the rescue boat because I was so exhausted.” Is the weather good? “It’s cold and raining and the wind kept coming in gusts which is why I kept capsizing.” He sounds chipper but it’s my idea of hell. Water? I can just about manage a bath and a shower and the – very occasional – visit to the swimming baths (can’t be out of my depth) but sailing, even on a loch with safety boats all around? No thanks.

“Is David back yet?” Ian asks me each time he calls. Tonight I can give him the good news. Except he hasn’t ‘phoned. Hope he’s not at the bottom of the loch . . .


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