1. In the middle of last week I walked out early to get some milk and passed a smell that I couldn't place, but stopped me for a moment. It was a cistus that nearly filled a front garden. I have smelt it in Sardinia; and during an incense workshop; and my father always complains that his bushes never smell, apart from on very still, very hot days. I must have caught this one at exactly the right moment. Anyway, fast forward. I'm walking past in the late afternoon, and the street is in shade. This time, the bush is covered in crinkly hot pink flowers, each one with a splotch of yellow and of burgundy at its centre.
2. A new book with a pleasing design. I treated myself to the first volume of the Moomin comic strips. It has satisfyingly thick pages and a cloth cover. The stories are full of the old Tove Jansson magic. The format gives her more space to be whimsical than the books do, and it's a pleasure to see more of her artwork.
3. My writing teacher has -- as usual -- written notes on my script during the class. Things like 'Pacy' and 'Good' I look at them and feel pleased. Then I wonder why I've been throwing out the pages each week once I've made the changes she suggests. Writers starting out get little enough praise -- why waste it?