Thursday, September 29, 2022

Having a go, firmament and what might happen.

1. We go to a secondary school open evening, and Bettany dissects a kidney, implodes a drink can, builds a circuit, does some match-stick puzzles, writes a secret message using starch, watches chemicals change from 'water' to 'wine' to 'milk' and decorates a paper leaf. 

2. After a quick supper in a Turkish grill we hurry home under a sky where rags of cloud and drifts of mist move aside to reveal the stars

3. We're definitely home before the menfolk, but Bettany wants to spend some time standing on the door step imagining that they are sitting in the dark on the sofa, and that when we come in, they will say in soft, creepy voices, 'We've been waiting for you.'

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Bedding, less than a packet and audiobook.

1. I briefly stop work to help Nick put clean sheets on the bed and enjoy the thought that later we'll be sleeping in fresh sheets.

2. There is a packet -- or rather less than a packet now -- of Fox's Crunch Creams in the biscuit tin.

3. I have read an awful lot of words today for work. To wind down with an audiobook.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hurry, unexpected rainstorm and sit.

1. I'm glad I went out to drink tea with a person who is in just as much of a hurry today as I am. It's cheered me up, and given me the energy to finish the afternoon.

2. I jog home in my shirt, my unsuitable coat bundled under my arm to protect it from the unexpected rainstorm.

3. What with one thing and another, I've barely seen Alec all day. There is time now, right before he goes to bed, to sit with him and hear what he has to say.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Sleeping in, conkers and bullrush.

1. I sleep so long and so hard that Nick gets up before me.

2. We have to keep stopping because the children are playing conkers.

3. There is a single broken bullrush in the pond, and I think it would be all right to take it so the children can examine it and feel its brown velvet coat and maybe pull the seedhead apart and let the fluff float away. They fight over it all the way to Nana's. When we get there, they tuck it carefully into her flower arrangement and forget about it completely.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Split, coffee time and eggs.

1. A tomato so ripe and full that it has split open. 

2. On a clear cool day, to drink hot coffee with Nick in the kitchen.

3. Hard boiled eggs with soft, deep yellow yolks.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Apples, real people and read aloud.

1. From my desk I can smell the apples that Nick is cooking for supper. 

2. We're watching Ronja on BBC iPlayer this month. It's a faithful adaptation of one of my favourite books, and Astrid Lindgren's story- and character-craft shines through so that Ronja's actions are utterly convincing. Bettany and I find ourselves discussing her parents, Matt and Lovis, as if they were real people.

3. Bettany lying half on me across the sofa reading aloud from her school book.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Soften, bus and handful.

I recently provided editorial support to this charity anthology of festive stories, Written in the Stars. All net profits to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and The Butterfly AVM Charity for their work helping children with life-threatening illnesses and supporting their families. There's something for everyone in it, and if you think the causes deserve more, there's also Go Fund Me page where you can learn more about the little girl, Sophia, who inspired the project.

1. After I pick up Bettany, tired after a day of school and tutoring, she walks next to me complaining loudly about everything. Nonetheless, as we wait for the crossing at the bottom of the hill, she reaches for my hand.

2. To rock along the side of a hill at dusk on a near empty bus.

3. I need to roll seven dice for this action: it's a good handful.

Having a go, firmament and what might happen.

1. We go to a secondary school open evening, and Bettany dissects a kidney, implodes a drink can, builds a circuit, does some match-stick pu...