J the boss is here, putting the finishing touches to the back door, which - to anyone (sadly, not I) with a practised eye and a knowledge of old-fashioned joinery - is an impressive work of craftsmanship; I had to be given a guided tour of the external and internal rebates and staggered joints, and the skills needed to fit it into the drunken angles of an old garden wall and a lumpy sort of house wall, while following the preferences of a customer who wanted more window and less door, thus throwing out all the standard measurements.
Anyhoo, while J was here, I took the opportunity to discuss the possibility of salvaging the old kitchen door. And yes, it is entirely possible.
The door will be raised a little, more timber will be added to the bottom, clear glass will be fitted (that's just a pane covered by hideous sticky-plastic window film!), hinges will be reversed, and the old Suffolk latch will be re-used too. No problem, says J.
I didn't mention cutting a hole for a cat flap. Perhaps I ought to do that now, while J is in a can-do mood....
Note: A cat flap is required in this interior door because if one was put in the new back door, Hamish and Scooter could bypass me entirely, coming in to the utility room unseen, bolting their food, and legging it as soon as they heard me. Instead, they must come in from the garden to the kitchen, then through this door into the utility, where their food bowls will be placed above dog height. (I know, it's complicated....)
It's part of the enforced relationship with me that I have cruelly imposed on them: I know my limited place as the lowly provider of dinner, but I reserve the right to actually set eyes on these two thankless little cats at least twice a day. Low cunning is essential when dealing with them. And infinite patience.