Tom Sim is making the loggia for the Daily Telegraph garden. It’s all coming together well but one tricky aspect is how best to char the oak timber boarding to get the effect that Christopher Bradley-Hole is looking for. Tony Collinson, Tom and myself experimented with a few boards with some success. Tom had tried the day before but had decided to do it inside rather than outside. Given that he has a joinery workshop, the smoke detectors are very sensitive so he was quite surprised when two fire engines turned up, sirens blazing. After a slightly embarrassed explanation, the fire brigade suggested carrying on the work outside!