1. I put out a call for company on Facebook and a jet-lagged friend steps up. Bettany conks out, Alec is content to play by himself for a few minutes and it is good to just catch up and hear a traveller's tales.
2. "Why are the sofa cushions in the garden?" I ask Alec who is playing with a toy butterfly.
"Ice," he says. "This butterfly must go from ice flow to ice flow on its long journey, while this female," he holds up a plastic stegasaurus, "is looking for its mate over here," he indicates a green plush hippo by the kitchen radiator.
This is what I get for letting a David Attenborough documentary babysit.
3. I can't tell you how much I loathe eating outdoors, but it did shake things up a bit so that everyone came to the table without a fuss, ate plenty without arguing and the clearing up afterwards was minimal.