1. As we come round the corner by Mountfield Gardens a football bounds across our path, bounces and rolls down the grass. It is followed by a boy in school uniform who looks embarrassed, as if he didn't mean to let it go so far.
2. 'I stuck, I stuck, I stuck' is poor Bettany's refrain today. She is feverish and her nose is snotty and she keeps being sick. I shove everything else to the bottom of the to-do list, cover the sofa with an old blanket and sit with her, dozing and nursing, chatting and putting on the TV and picking up her doll as required.
3. It is one of those days when it never really gets light. Everything is flat and grey, insipid, half-arsed and badly made. Nightfall, sometime around 4.30pm, is a relief because the dark feels entire and definite.