Never, never try finishing a manuscript with a new puppy in the house. I am exhausted and Tex is obliviously exuberant. My office is a mass of shredded cardboard and decimated broom twigs. As well as the coastal book to complete by the end of January, I have a talk to give next week in central Brittany and cycle routes in pays bigouden to prepare for an English travel company. Actually, I'm quite enjoying it all, although whether I'll be able to remember details of the Seven Years War or the history of the seaweed industry when questioned is quite another matter.