1. I find Nick, still in his pyjamas, sitting on the edge of the sofa looking a bit... "I'm just stunned," he says. Alec has just woken him up and rushed him downstairs to the safety of the front room because there was a volcano erupting on the ocean floor in the kitchen.
2. Another fantastic planting in Calverley Grounds: a generous border of helichrysum around some tall grass specimens -- I think perhaps a rye grass. They are very splendid with swaying stems displaying a flock of swallowtail seeds but to my mind the real star is the helichrysum. I had to look up the proper name because I only know it as curry plant. In warm weather the silver grey foliage and soft yellow flowers make me imagine an Indian takeaway has just arrived. Set out round the edge of the raised bed at the top of the Italian garden it gives the illusion of a solid cushion and looks splendidly opulent.
3. We eat a picnic tea, scavenged from the Polski Skelp and the news agents on Grove Hill Road, in the park. The bread and ham tastes delicious and it feels good to relax and forget about all usual mealtime discipline.