I have a new wall in my loft.

It’s stark and brutal – plain breezeblocks – like the cover of a fair-to-middling Pink Floyd album.

As I gaze at it, I get some mysterious urge to bitterly rage against English society, stifling mothers and vicious ex-wives, and dubiously project blame onto them for the futile death of my father during the Second World War, whilst moaning about what a drag it is being popular, loved and adored by obsessive fans.

Then I realise that I don’t have an ex-wife and my dad’s alive and well and living in Essex, so this would be foolish.

Pondering the wisdom of basing a key joke on an obscure music reference that most people won’t understand, I wander back downstairs to the lounge.

I am a bit down, as I still can’t try the chimney again. Which means that I can’t use my new grate, as made by the local blacksmith. It’s a gargantuan iron construction that weighs several hundredweight, and incorporates all sorts of spikes and crenellations. It sits there sadly, waiting to be useful.

He also made me an iron curtain pole, which I pick up and study. It is genetically impossible for a male to hold any pole-shaped thing without performing some form of Luke Skywalker lightsabre wafts, so I play with it for a bit. Whoosh! Thrust!

Again, it’s massively heavy and solid. If I should ever discover a burglar, I have a hidden secret weapon – I will snatch it off the wall to defend my property.

Although I had better be careful. I have no wish to become the Tony Martin of haberdashery.

When the cement round the chimney stack dries, I’ll know whether I can have a fire or not.

Until then, it’s starting to get cold.

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