1. Alec asks to watch a DVD. I am eating my breakfast and I think it's too early for watching TV and too early to debate this point so I tell him that I don't know how to work the DVD player.
"Mummy after breakfast you must practise and practise and practise until you can," he tells me earnestly.
2. Sarah, Anna and I meet to plant up paperwhites. It's becoming a bit of an annual tradition -- we started doing it because we wanted to remember Elspeth Thompson. We all loved her writing and her style and she was kind enough to encourage me in my writing career. We still miss her and are still mourning this friendship that might have been. The paperwhites are for me a pure white light in a dark time of year, and I plant them up because I know from her books that Elspeth loved them in her house at midwinter.*
3. To hear two mothers who are a bit further ahead than us cackling with laughter as they describe phoning their husbands when the children were crying just to make the point that being at home with toddlers is the hardest work you will ever do.
*This is a rotten time of year if you suffer from self-destructive thoughts -- please talk to someone, don't walk alone. There is an international directory of suicide prevention hotlines here for anyone that needs it.