It is too cold in my unheated workshop to do the last thing to some objects to be delivered (if I can find a truck and HIAB crane) next week, so I am leaving the car parked up and footling about here at home.
Try as I have done, I find it impossible not to get caught up in the mounting frenzy of the build-up to Christmas. It reminds me of the death of Princess Diana all those years ago. I did not think that the British were capable of such unashamed, hysterical displays of mass grief, then I remembered what happened when the death of Sherlock Holmes was announced. Black armbands, the lot.
I have to 'shelter-coat' the pair of composite stone dogs prior to putting them up on a wall. This involves making a sort of paint with very fine stone dusts, putty-lime, very fine aggregate (pumice in this case) and a binding of casein. It must not freeze.
The shelter-coat technique was developed at Wells Cathedral by a Professor Baker, who resurrected the traditional use of real slaked lime which had fallen out of fashion when they marketed Portland cement in the 19th century. He originally called it a 'sacrificial coat', but it was decided by the diocese that the term smacked too much of Paganism to sensitive Christian ears, so was dropped.