1. I give Alec one of the butcher's free samples: a piece of sausage. He eats it quickly, and then asks for another piece. There's a second variety to try, so I give him a bit, just to compare. As we leave, he waves at the butcher and says: "Bye-bye Sausage."
2. Our landlord comes to prune the wisteria that is trained over our kitchen walls and has been empire-building across the roof (he planted it when he lived in this house, and it's legendary round here: people are always telling us that it flowered in its first year). It has been so enthusiastic this year that the window looks as if is has a green eyebrow. When he has packed up the prunings and taken his ladder away, Alec and I go outside to look. It's much tidier now, and the yard seems very spacious. In the kitchen, the change in the light makes me think of that day in early spring when the sun shines properly for the first time in weeks.
3. The shadows are getting long in the park. It's tea and bathtime, so I try one of the parenting tips I've read about: if you give a toddler a choice, they feel in control and are more likely to comply. "Do you want to go home now, or in five minutes?"
"No," says Alec. Which is a reasonable answer, I suppose, because he's having fun in the little house and doesn't feel hungry yet.