Well, life without the builders is just as busy as life with them, but with less kettle-boiling involved.
Lists get written, and mostly ticked off.
Dogs get taken to the sea and swim energetically, coming home to sleep like the dead. (Flossie does, at any rate; Tosca watches.)
Beautiful babies come to visit.
It's tormenting for babies like 9-week-old Merlot because they can't be set down on a floor other than their own until their vaccination course has been completed. So Merlot wriggles and squeaks, and gazes longingly at the cats and dogs who troop in to inspect, and in the cats' case, pronounce him wholly beneath contempt.
Merlot doesn't care. A few days later, he comes for another visit, and it's evident that his ears have grown rapidly.
So what else?
Well, two days ago I had my blood pressure checked. Not as good as I'd hoped: I blame the hectic-ness of the past few months, but also noted that the electronic monitor - the one that strangles your arm rather painfully - was playing up again. Three times that arm had to be strangled before the nurse gave up, and accepted one of the readings.
Despite the erratic behaviour of the machine, I have been summonsed to talk to the practice nurse and to have my low-level medication reviewed, but also must monitor myself, taking triple readings twice daily, for two whole weeks! And then I must present my home readings to the GP. Perhaps they hope that my home monitor will be better behaved than the overworked machine in the practice.
Today I had my regular deep tissue back and neck massage; I feel like I have someone else's back now, someone much younger and fitter than I. Maybe I should have a massage before a blood pressure check - I'll try that one next time.
And this afternoon I travelled a good distance in mild sunny weather, and picked up an espaliered apple tree (Cox's Pippin, my favourite) for the Lovely Son to give me for Christmas (and - oh joy - to plant for me, after putting up the requisite training wires against the garden wall). This was a pleasant excursion along little country lanes to a specialist fruit nursery, made all the happier by ending about a mile and a half from a town that boasts a Waitrose.
So of course I had to go, buying things I may never use, like rose harissa paste (suggestions welcome!) and lovely cordials for the non-drinkers (well, me) and can also tell you that the Lovely Son will do well for
Christmas pudding cheesecake
Tomorrow I have my hair cut and coloured. Three hours of torment for me, but I should emerge fit for polite company at the end of them, and fully acquainted with the details of my hairdresser's recent stag night in Prague, as well as all his socialising plans for the holidays. I won't need to speak at all.
And then on Friday the Lovely Son arrives, bringing tools and timber for the long-promised wood store and bookshelves. We plan to have our usual low-key (aka idle and slow) Christmas Day doing very little other than reading our new books, eating Anton Berg plums in madeira chocolates, and walking the dogs.
His girlfriend joins us some time on Boxing Day, so our 'proper' Christmas dinner won't take place till the day after. This gives us time to pause, review the cheesecake and chocolate situation, and make salads and life style resolutions.
Meantime, there is still present-wrapping to be done and the eternal tidying. And maybe a cup of tea - I've been a bit tea-deprived since the builders went away. They'll be back in the New year; phew, that's a relief!