1. She looks a bit fierce, but her spotty dog is so handsome that I tell her so. Also, I know that Alec is fond of dogs, and I like to see him greeted by a friendly one if the owner is happy with that. "Sparky!" she says. "Sparky, look at the baby!"
"Alec, woof woof. Look at the dog, Alec."
They ignore each other.
2. The playground is empty. The equipment is sturdy enough, but rather scruffy: colours faded to earthy winter tones, and the metalwork is blotched with patches of rust. It's eerie -- like one of those slideshows of the contaminated zone around Chernobyl. Then again, Alec doesn't hold anyone up and he can try to walk up the slide if he likes. There's no queue for the swings; and I don't have to chat with anyone.
3. I lie down next to Alec we settle in for goodnight bub. The next thing I know, Nick is waking me up -- very carefully so as not to disturb his softly snoring son. It's an hour later.