At the HM's office again today. It turns out the job is about twice as big as I thought, and at least ten times as big as he'd assumed, largely due to unnecessary overreach. Via e-mail (since he's back in the riding until next week), I'm trying to convince him to lower his sights a bit, unless he really wants me to take the next two months getting it done. I wouldn't mind that terribly much - I'll be getting scale for it, after all, and that's generous by my standards - but I doubt the results will be very useful, by then.
Next week is Reading Week. I desperately need to get one or more of my term papers done, but I have a terrible suspicion I'm going to be spending most of the break dickering over the cost-effectiveness ratio of various options for data entry.