It all got done in time. The housework, laundry, etc etc. Parents arrived safely. Father has already examined the livingroom ceiling and agrees with you MrsT that the leakstain is an old one, he's also pointed out the other stains on the ceiling and believes that the room above flooded at one point. Oh and apparently the staircase is coming away from the wall in the loft and this may or may not have been caused by the weight of our bookcases. Bother!