THINGS at Bate's mansion (oh the irony) have been significantly looking up.

As you know its been a rollercoaster of a journey, I wish I could say adventure but adventures are usually glorious, but finally I have a floor and a boiler that is working more or less efficiently.

My courtyard is beginning to take shape, the beginnings of its steps are appearing and its walls will soon be built so we can all sleep at night without worrying about an imminent landslide, but best of all, in less than four hours my beautiful kitchen will be painted in Mole's Breath and the builder man will be fitting the handles on the cupboard doors - leaving my fingers to return once again to their hand model status.

I can't wait until its over - having several men working in a miniscule cottage may sound exciting but I possess no mirrors and for some reason only my clothes marked B for Black have been moved from storage, so avoiding looking like an ageing, menacing crow is more or less impossible. The Aspergic Teen cannot wait until it is over, her sensory difficulties are literally being pushed to the limit, so we are forced to embrace sensitive and snappy. Oh the poor builders.

And I am sure the villagers cannot wait until its over - they must be aghast at the Steptoe and Son styled front lawn and dismayed at the living conditions of the primroses and bluebells.

I probably need another skip, but spending lots of money on rubbish clearance (and it mounts up when you need 84) is simply not sexy especially when I need to buy more Christie towels, a sofa and fillers or Botox or something as a matter of urgency.

The Projects Manager is not helping my financial health either. I know he was probably only trying to help, but taking me to reclamation yards to look at bricks was a big mistake. I looked at the said bricks for about five seconds (they are boring, they really, really are) before moving on to nicer things like stained glass windows, ornamental parrot cages and a life-size sculptures of the Green Man.

It was fortunate he had no room is his truck or the former LOML would be listing even more stuff on eBay for me in 18 months time.

Every cloud.