1. "I'll come home early tonight," says Nick. "Be brave, and be cheerful." This cold is not as bad as the last one, which was accompanied by a cloud of gloom and despondency. I feel awful, but I don't feel un-cheerful.
2. There are small sooty handprints on the lid of the loo from when the mother took care of the clean-up after Alec got into the fireplace.
3. Alec has taken a liking to Nick's model train magazines, and they flick through Continental Modeller at bedtime. Alec points to pictures of steam engines and says 'Toot'. I'm lying there dozing and waiting to do the go-to-bed feed when Alec remarks "Dad" in a conversational sort of way. I glance up. Nick is looking a bit embarrassed, and Alec is jabbing his finger at a picture of a grandfatherly man with glasses, a bald head and distinguished silver hair. "Dad-dad!" he says again.*
* This afternoon, he identified as 'Dad-dad' a picture of the smooth-headed, bespectacled chef Heston Blumenthal in the FT pages we put down under the high chair.