There are times when another defeat for your football team isn't the worst thing life can throw up.
That sort of news is at least entirely predictable. The sort that came from a miserable visit to the site of my future home was only fairly predictable.
Work on the attractive new building in the Abu Dhabi suburb of Manasir proceeds at what can best be described as a leisurely pace.
In much the same way that London Underground passengers learn that platform indicator minutes are not the same as minutes anywhere else, we have come to see that construction timetables here are meant only as a rough guide.
Thus, "it'll be finished before Christmas" was a phrase uttered in no more than seasonal jest, while the promise of completion by Jan 1 was a well-intentioned gesture designed to humour prospective tenants.
After that date came and went, I became far too intuitive to read too much into the next one, Feb 1. And as I picked my way past two sleeping labourers, and watched a whole team of men engaged on the essential task of sweeping up dust in the road outside, I quickly put March 1 down to just another pipedream.
But even rough guides sometimes seem better than none. So I wandered into the site office at the weekend and threw myself at the mercy of the project director, begging for no inshallahs, only brutal honesty.
"My work will be completed in one month maximum," he said, by way of one of those good news/bad news introductions. "But as for the electricity and water supplies, that is quite beyond my control."
In other words, he finally agreed, a true completion date of some time not before April 1 - no joking - was the "logical" interpretation.
The good news/bad news routine wasn't quite over, and I am not referring to the glee of the Abu Dhabi hotel industry at the thought of the further barrowloads of dirhams it can expect to collect from me while my homeless state continues.
For before leaving the office, I had another tricky issue to raise.
When I first agreed to take the flat, back in early November for heaven's sake, its great selling point seemed to be the wonderful wraparound terrace. But recently a minor snag presented itself. There's no way out on to it, unless you feel like climbing through windows or abseiling from the roof.
Let us not rush to judgement. It cannot yet be said to be beyond reasonable doubt that the simple matter of providing access to such an appealing feature required more perceptiveness than the architects possessed. There may well be another explanation that hasn't occurred to me. There may also be a perfectly good reason why the terrace is, in any case, enclosed within a high, prison-like wall. I am ready to be persuaded.
At the end of this hapless site visit, I discovered that a colleague already installed with his family in a nearby building was inviting us for drinks. His home is, as will be ours, a penthouse flat. It also has a vast terrace. He is not only able to get on to it, from any of three exits; once there, he can see over a normal-sized wall. I am trying very hard not to hate him.
"Look at the positive side of things," said my smug friend. "You can always paint your wall in nice Provencal colours. And when they said the flat would be finished by Christmas, they didn't specify which Christmas. If they meant this year, they could end up completing it months ahead of schedule."