Banks??? We still haven't settled on our new house, though have had access since Maundy Thursday. The reason is that the vendors bank don't seem to want to accept the money to discharge their mortgage. I am confused but it seems that banks have no incentive to stop receiving interest payments. It hasn't really affected us: we are paying the electricity and gas bills, have cleaned it, had a builder and gardener visit etc. So we are just not yet paying our mortgage which is nice. I have only slept in the house for one night and Elisabeth has stayed with my sister - though has bought a mattress and started thinking about paint colours. We have borrowed a table and chairs, installed my mother's bed which Gillian had been storing, filled up the one built in cupboard with stuff, been given a kettle and toaster, borrowed a microwave from Gillian - so it is 'camping' but reasonably comfortable. Unfortunately, I think we have decided that the skirting boards and picture rails, and possibly the dado rails, would look much better if the paint were stripped off. When I finished doing our Coventry house I said never again... But I do like woodwork, so my hot air gun will be resurrected. My fingers are already aching in anticipation. I went to Bunnings yesterday and was impressed that the staff did much better than read what was on the label of a product - my frequent experience at Homebase and B&Q. One fellow, of whom I asked 3 questions at 10 minute intervals, even remembered what my last question had been! Oddly all the paint brushes bar 2 expensive medium-sized ones are synthetic not bristle. I wanted bristle to resist dissolving in paint stripper but not only did the bristle price put me off but the size wasn't right. Off to Maitland today to see my brother and family, with promised 27 degree temperatures. We've had sunshine pretty much every day we have been here, which has been good for both of us. Rowena seems to be OK in the UK - visits to coffee shops seem to be essential to revision! Elisabeth and I go back to join her on Tuesday. I'll visit Sydney end of May for 11 days and return properly mid July after A-levels.