With our Egyptian holiday cancelled I decided to put the spare time to good use by painting and redecorating N° 2 sprog’s bedroom. So I stripped off the wallpaper, re-plastered the walls (where they needed it), sanded the woodwork and the radiator and repainted the lot. My father was a dedicated DIY-er. In his case, it was a matter of necessity. In my case, I suppose we could have got somebody to come and do the work but in fact I got a great deal of pleasure out of it. It is something to do with the ‘honesty’ and simplicity of physical labour and something to do with the satisfaction of seeing the fruit of your labour materialise. It also provided me with a golden opportunity to listen to BBC Radio 4 non-stop, from news programmes through documentaries and comedy to drama. And when I wasn’t listening to the radio, I was alone with my thoughts and able to think a number of issues through. Last but not least, it was a sort of homage to my late father, since everything I was doing I had learnt from him when, as a kid, I helped him with his DIY activities. Doing things we had once done together brought back happy memories. Indeed, the whole thing was a sort of meditation.