1. I have been quietly wanting a copy of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West since before it was available over here. But it's been in our bookshops for a while now, and I don't know what was stopping me picking it up. On Saturday, I went into Waterstones on mischief bent, and spotted a beautiful new hardback edition. It's black linen with shiny silver and green decorations; and the pages are thick and green edged. I feel very spoilt reading it. The story isn't bad either -- enough tension to keep me turning; and the characters are nice enough to be likeable but bad enough to be interesting. Also, I've always been fond of Oz and I'm enjoying exploring a more grown-up, darker version.
2. A mother is cramming babies into her car and the passenger door is open so it blocks half the pavement. The other half of the pavement is blocked by her little boy. He glares at me threateningly and waves a cupressus twig. It makes me laugh and immediately he smiles back and closes the car door so I can get by.
3. When I was at university a housemate called Ben Hall showed me how to slice carrots for stirfry with a vegetable peeler. You take all the peel off and then keep on peeling one surface, pressing quite hard to get thick slices. I did it last night and my fellow cook was suitably impressed. So thanks Benny, wherever you are.