Having the builders in is a bit like having toddlers in the house. It's that sense of trying to adhere to a routine which can be scuppered at any time by unpredictable behaviour.
My builders are very, very nice, but they are quite demanding in the way that small children are. You have to come and admire what they're doing at regular intervals and make encouraging noises; there are the unscheduled trips to plumbers' merchants to pick up this and that; and regular supplies of hot drinks to organise. The minute you leave for work is always the moment they choose to have a long conversation with you about "rad valves" or "boxing in".
Meanwhile, the weather has been appalling. November is now officially the wettest in Britain since records began, and it was windy with it. Any attempt to get outside involves a quick scamper round the garden to rake up leaves before the next deluge or gale dumps another ton of them on the lawn.
I find that I need to be IN the garden to connect with it properly. It's all very well staring out of the window and trying to plan what I'll do next, but I only really get inspired when I'm wandering round with a mug of tea, inspecting this and tweaking that. The mug of tea usually ends up stone cold and full of flies while I fiddle around with bamboo canes and pots in an effort to visualise a new idea or bit of planting. You can tell I never trained as a garden designer.
So in the absence of gardening, I'm delighted to be going to the Garden Media Guild awards lunch today, where at least I will see gardening people. I'll tell you all about it when I get back/recover from the hangover.