In summer I let time drift. A few weeks ago the battery in my alarm clock ran out. On a number of occasions I have passed batteries in shops and neglected to purchase the replacement. On my bedside table there are two alarm clocks now; neither of them have functioning batteries in. When I wake up I have no idea what time it is. I switch my mobile phone off at night and it is laid on the kitchen table. In the kitchen is the only source of time. This is a digital clock on the cooker. To get the time I have to get up, traipse through the corridor and the living room and through the kitchen. I have to approach the cooker clock because my eyes are not in. I bend down to see the figures. It is, say, 6.13. Quick calculation. That means that the actual time is 6.01. I am of the breed that do not like clocks to tell the real time. I know the cooker clock is twelve earth minutes fast. Now I can traipse back to bed. Traipsing figures greatly in the morning in my house. I even translate this state of affairs into my speech. I say ‘What time does the clock say?’ rather than ‘What time is it?’ You see, exactitude at all times in this household. We do not brook infelicities of expression. On August 10th I have to get up early for a train. A clock with an alarm will be required by then. Use the phone alarm, I hear you say. No, sir! The requirements of the homestead dictate that the mobile phone is turned off after ten o’clock. These are the rules that enfold me.