With snow lying and permafrost deep into the ground, Joe Smith felt that it was an ideal opportunity to replace the missing lintel above the large south-facing window in the west wing, which has been supported by one of my acro-props since the middle of last year. His reasoning, sound as ever, was that the frost would hold the stones in place above the window, whilst he inserted a couple of concrete lintels. He duly arrived at 10 am in his Land Rover, complete with a trailer load of scaffolding, cement and a bag of sand warmed beside his fire overnight and accompanied by his trusty helper, Norman. By 1115, he was shouting for two 7-foot lintels and I was slipping and sliding down the front road in my Land Rover to collect a pair from Castle Douglas. Back by noon, lintels duly delivered and the job complete, equipment stowed and Joe departed at 4.45 pm! Not a bad days work at all.