I am susceptible to allergies at the best of times in the summer. Whether it’s the increased air pollution from more aeroplanes or grass or flower pollens, there seem to be more allergens on the air. This, I think, lowers my resistance to the things that do make me sneeze and wheeze and make my throat feel like it’s aflame.

This weekend it’s been the dust from the cutting of the slate. The tilers have been here all day today and yesterday. They had hoped to finish today but we kept them to our strict noise pollution bye-laws. I know that some people think nothing of making a horrendous  noise all day long at weekends and bank holidays but we try strenuously to be Not Those People.

So it will be another day of slate dust tomorrow then, which is annoying. I’m expecting to be dog training down in Cudham for most of the day so I hope that will give me some respite from feeling generally not up to much.

Further, I know I should be doing singing practice but it’s not easy to sing opera arias when you can’t breathe and your throat feels like you’ve been gargling broken bottles. I hope the dust just goes away soon.

Nonetheless you can see our slate floor taking shape. The patio outside will he raised to the same level and we’re hoping for as seamless a finish as possible between inside and out.

Our steps have been capped with slate, which does goes against the architect’s ideal aesthetic but will mean that they don’t need repainting every couple of weeks – here the thought of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum pops into my head. Wasn’t someone always whitewashing stuff in that? – and I can just see myself sitting on them with a Moroccan embroidered cushion and a beer.

It won’t be too long now I hope. There are still quite a few bits and pieces left to be done before the arrival of the kitchen and its installation at the end of the week. I’m so excited.