I've scribbled a quick encomium to Sarah Salway's beautiful garden book Digging Up Paradise because I really have enjoyed it very much.
1. A lady with a storybook Scottish accent helps Alec on to the train and then off again at our destination. She is concerned about his legs in the gap between the train and the platform. (He is more concerned that people might think he can't do it himself.)
1b. Across the aisle there is a man holding a conversation through his tablet using sign language. The soft claps and clicks suggest strong feelings and much emphasis. In the still spaces he smiles at Bettany.
2. To spot gloomy purple mushrooms -- they are the colour of new bruises -- pushing out of the moss at the roots of a beech tree.
3. There are dark clouds on the horizon but Bettany is just too unsocialised to pick up our cues and . She just wants me to puff out my cheeks so she can pat them flat and then laugh.