1. To listen to Alec pulling Nick into his world: Alec is a dinosaur expert at the Natural History Museum showing off the collection of fossil footprints (in playdough) to David Attenborough.
2. I have been playing for just 15 minutes when I hear the schlup-schlup-schlup of Alec coming downstairs. Before he has a chance to ask for anything I tell him we are going to collect more snails and take them up to the Common. He must be a bit sleep-mazed because he complies. He holds the bucket and directs me from the ground as I balance on a ladder pulling snails out from their lair between the the wall and the gutter. We hurry away into the wet afternoon, leaving the stepladder dripping in the garden and Bettany and Nick deeply asleep upstairs.
2. Alec informs me, with all the authority of his three years, that he is an expert on snails, on woods and on rock climbing.