1. There are black ducks on the lake -- no, not black all the time, because if you get them at the right angle, you can see the iridescent green on their necks.
2. I let a friend have a go with Alec in his sling. At first he looks confused -- "I'm snuggled up against someone warm and soft, and it's definitely not Dad, but I can see you. So who... who's carrying me?" But then he falls asleep, and she is happy to do a second circuit of the lake, so I think it was satisfactory for all concerned.
3. The best thing about making jammy thumbprint cakes is making the prints in the balls of bright yellow dough. Or perhaps it's licking the jam spoon at the end. I'm not sure.