Having received a card from the middle-aged couple a few doors along, next week we're having a little soiree for the neighbours - all except Dead Bob Willis and his invisible wife, obviously. As I drive home from Homebase with a boot full of planks singing along to "Rebel Rebel" it somehow feels Christmassy and normal.
Sean's spots are healing, Emma making friends; Lynda is working in London today. The house is "coming together" (as in, it's no longer falling apart). The roof of the summerhouse is secured with tarp and screws. There's nothing useful I can do alone. Nothing for it: I must write.
Neither of the kids seems traumatised by their first day at Straddlewick; we heave sighs of relief. Then, at tooth-brush-time, Emma says Sean was called names by an older boy in the playground.
Lynda's supposed to meet me at the train station but the Stilo's out of action: some sort of steering rod calamity that will cost more to fix than we paid for the infernal thing. For about a trillisecond I consider taking a mechanic's course then remember I have better things to do. I'm not sure what, exactly, but I do.
That night, I spend some time thinking about what we tell our children, about Heaven and God, about what happens when we die - and although I don't believe in any of it, I tell myself that, right now, it's ok for him to believe. After all, as a five-year-old, there are plenty of things that he believes in that I know aren't true.
Following a great deal of badgering, bribery and blackmail the children allow themselves to be shown round Straddlewick primary by the deputy head and we assume from their relative silence they have no fundamental objection to being educated there.
Mesmerised by the second child and totally drawn in. And I didn't love Anna any less. Phew! There isn't a finite amount of emotion in me. Or at least I hadn't reached the limit yet. I'm pretty apathetic about most things so it's quite possible I have some saved up over the years.
Joy! The kitchen sink is finally installed so now we can wash our pots and clothes without resorting to the scabby old bathtub. Shame about the missing cutlery drawer - "I'll come back later," says the plumber, vaguely - but who cares when you can clean your socks without your hands resembling Brillo pads immersed in Jif?*
Continuing to work in London is disorientating: waking hours before dawn, driving along waterlogged lanes to the station where I wait for the local train to take me into Cambridge, where I make a dash for anything heading towards the city: no time for coffee or breakfast, then I look up drowsily from "Portrait of a Lady" (how did these people ever actually mate?) - and I'm back in the smoke.
One of the main reasons we left our beloved London for a tiny village no-one's ever heard of is the local primary school, which is tiny, with its own little swimming pool and straight As all down its Ofsted report. Unfortunately, although there's a place for Sean there isn't one for Emma and rather than try elsewhere we're keeping the kids home.
So only children are the future. Bigger families are increasingly disparaged in the West, remaining the preserve of the opposing ends of the class spectrum, and fewer and fewer of us will be able to afford the financial and time investment required to rear a brood as market conditions adapt to smaller families.
Imagine a family - mum, dad and children, all in their pyjamas - snuggled up together on the sofa, drinking hot chocolate and listening to dad read a favourite Christmas story. No, it's not a flashback to the 1950s; it's what parents have told us they will be doing this year.
A few days later, I'm stuck up a step-ladder holding a drill and wondering what to do with it when our immediate neighbour trudges grimly to the door; he's around 70, with an unyielding and yet woebegone face, like a dead Bob Willis. When I put out my hand he regards it like it's a dead badger and doesn't shake.
However, as all parents know - hiring a nanny can be stressful, especially when you don't know where to start. But if you break the process down step-by-step, you're more likely to do a thorough job and will have a positive nanny hiring experience.
If, like the Cambridges, you have a baby aged zero-12 months, you are either aiming towards a routine, or have one already ticking along. The challenge is to make sure that as you take up invitations from family over the Christmas period, that it is a relaxing time for everyone - you and baby especially.
Once the kids are asleep Lynda and I crack open the Cava but we're so cold and tired, so daunted by the scale of the task ahead, it tastes flat and we go to bed. As I lie awake and listen to the unfamiliar sound of nothingness a terrible fear grips me: have we done the right thing?