When I returned at half past twelve, it looked like this
There was no power or water. Meanwhile, outside, Bournemouth and Wessex Water have reached my house in their mission to replace the drain along the whole road.
I was having a well-deserved sit-down when a large man with GAS on his back strolled unnanounced into my sitting room and informed me that the water chaps had cut through my gas pipe. This was not a problem, apparently and I wasn't to worry. Oh, good.
The gas is fixed, power and water back on, men gone and they've fixed me a temporary kitchen in the obstacle course which was once the dining room.
In better news, there are crocuses out in the garden and the afternoon was so mild and spring-like that when I strolled up the road to post a letter I didn't bother with a coat. Tomorrow, more disruption but also a new greenhouse. Today, a bath, a glass of wine. Not much reading getting done.