While investigating what to do about the damage, I ended up ordering grafting tape off the internet and seven M27 dwarfing rootstocks because well I'm pruning a marvellously delicious* apple tree next week and it's got to be worth a try. The Laxton's apple turned up; a beautiful, healthy tree of a seriously decent size, all wrapped up in shredded junk mail and black plastic: I'm going to need a bigger pot!
I also went to a Burns night where I discovered the heady pleasure of Port Finish whisky while discussing damp, restructures and astonishing exotic glassware. Rich and reeking! But enough of the hedonisms of trees and barrels.
Let's talk 356 days of house.
More wallpaper stripped from stairwell and hall (not done yet).
Paint scraped from stairs and hall (not done yet).
Rotten skirting ripped off to see what was behind (more rotten wood, apparently under the plaster; very confused now).
Cracks and holes revealed ready for assessment and filling (hall).
Paint knocked off the verandah door (might have to use stripper, on reflection).
Our half of the neighbour's massive willow chopped, smashed and taken to the tip.
More sweet peas planted.
*Not its actual name. I have NO IDEA what it is, so I'm going to call it a Jason's Orange until told otherwise.