I sat back and chewed my dog-eared sandwich, wondering vaguely whether I was breaking a local by-law by not having a conservatory yet. It was probably all right, but I might need non-planning permission, and the neighbours were almost certain to object. Unlocking the door, I girded my loins, straightened my back, squared my shoulders, gritted my teeth, and held my head high.
“I need a cigarette now!” yelled Hettie, who had obviously been standing outside the room for my entire break.
“Follow me then” I said – my head reassuming its habitual position on my breastbone.


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