1. Our journey -- from train to bus to train to taxi -- has gone without a hitch. There were no delays, and no panics.
2. There are so many conkers that it's hard to avoid treading on them, and hard to resist picking them up (but I know that Alec would just want to suck them, so that helps me to leave them alone). At first we are worried because there are no boys picking them up, but then we meet a grandmother and grandson with double handfuls; and later see a mother and two sons picking their way through the damp grass outside our hotel.
3. The receptionist tells us that there is a park not far away. We follow her directions, and just as we are feeling lost, we spot a flash of bright red and yellow at the end of the road, and hear children's voices. The park is a good one -- it has gym equipment for adults; a zip wire, a stack of huge stones and a wild rotating swing for teenagers; swings for Alec; and climbing frames, earthworks and a fake treehouse for everyone else.