After being warned last night by my landlady about the early arrival of workmen, I had reluctantly set my alarm for 8am. This is an hour unfamiliar to me since I resumed my studies and I had no hesitation in hitting snooze at the first call. A second call was unnecessary. The workmen,failing to rouse me with the feeble doorbell, had obviously reasoned that since the front door was going anyway they might as well bash their way through...

Upon returning bleary-eyed to my room I encounter an A4 sheet with far too much writing on it stuck to my door. The essence of this communique from my housemate is that he'd like me to do washing-up, let in builders, get key for new door to him and generally let him know what's going on by voicemail or mobile, if it's no trouble. On top of that I was asked by the landlady to check that the workmen were going to replace one of the front walls they were knocking down with a 'double' one. I'm not entirely sure what this means but bring it up with them anyway. The builder understands, however, and dismisses it straightaway in a thickest brummie accent. This is not good. I raise the landlady on the mobile and then pass her to the reluctant builder who handles the device like an incontinent gerbil. They bang it out (brummie vs plummy) and I go sort the washing up.

By the time I've emptied the bowel the landlord has materialised in his pin-stripes, spouting cavity wall regulations. In response the workman is basing his case on physical constraints.

All this before 9.30am. The rest of the day never really took off after that.