1. It's the first day of term -- after six months away from school. We wake up to discover that we are expecting the landlord and two hob fitters within the hour. It's actually fine: among the kitchen chaos the children forget to be anxious about the new school routine, and forget to act up.
2. Alec has started to enquire about walking to and from school by himself.
3. The sound of the front door and the sound of the children's voices at the end of the school day.