2. Alec often wants to take a path parallel to the one I am walking. I have to fight with myself to stay calm while he is out of sight, but go he must. Today he peers through a tall planting and pretends he's lost: "Mummy, where are you! I can't see you!"
Three old ladies on a bench chuckle like contented hens: "Bless him, he can't see his mum. She's just over there, look. She's coming."
3. Alec and I collected some wild barley seeds from the old cinema site just before they (finally*) closed it off for demolition last week. They've already sprouted. I picked them because I was hoping to get something of their unkempt blond look in the garden next year -- I'll plant them in a shallow pan and treat them meanly to keep them short and scruffy.