1. Bettany's dance teacher is wearing pink sparkly bunny ears.
2. The children's excitement at the unboxing of the enormous red hamper we have won in the PTA's raffle.
3. Hitting send on an application.
1. A strange yellowish fog has settled over us during the night. It turns the view from the window into something extraordinary -- but I don't have time to get bored of looking at it today.
2. There's a bit of a buzz in the family WhatsApp group: a photo of my niece has appeared on CBeebies this morning.
1. First thing I go outside to brush the mud off Bettany's shoes and my gaze falls on the blank surfaces of the pots I planted up earlier in the week with summer bulbs.
2. There are plenty of people clustered around the bus stop, which suggests I won't be waiting long.
3. Of course the rain has stopped by the time I rush out of the house in my waterproofs and wellies -- but at least it's not an uncomfortable, cold, dripping outing.
1. The pictures and stories from last night's party start to come in and bring a lot of pleasure to us with our hangovers.
2. Because of the price of meat, we've had to cut the lamb curry with a tin of chickpeas. But it still smells and tastes amazing, and perhaps the chickpeas make it a little more nutritious.
3. The hesitant sound of Alec's piano practice, underlaid with his counting. I think I like this much better than any concert or perfected piece (which is lucky, because he will spend a lot more time practising than performing).
1. I realise that under the crocuses that are just now finishing under the driving rain I have planted crimson tulips.
2. It's a wet afternoon and there's nothing to be done but waiting, and nowhere to be but here.
3. It's been a busy, unusual day with too many moving parts. In the evening, once everything has wound down, I go back to work.
1. At coffee time, there are dark chocolate ginger biscuits. 'These are for adults only,' says Nick as we put them away separately from the family biscuit tin.
2. I clear out my gaming pencil case. Next month, when I've forgotten this, I will be surprised by some new pens.
3. One lawn daisy -- bright white and looking up -- has planted itself between the paving stones in our back garden.
1. I think I'm supposed to be listening to a meditation podcast but I keep getting distracted by the asterisk leaves of cleavers at the foot of the hedge.
2. Jo offers a wooden box of teas to choose from, which strikes me as much more civilised than our heap of boxes and plastic jars.
3. In tonight's game, we are making our way very slowing up the Amazon on a barge. It seems a very civilised way to travel, despite the rain and the heat and my character even bashes out an article on last episode's exorcism... only then we're attacked by giant mosquitoes.
1. Going through the spices to see if we've got everything we need for what Nick is making for supper.
2. To pull on the branches of a yew tree and shake out the pollen so it shines in the sun.
3. In a pot of lank, straggling leaves I find grape hyacinths shouldering their way up like greenish blue mushrooms.
1. Our neighbour describes the day jewellery robbers pursued by police rode a scooter up our street and into the park, flinging their booty into the bushes as they went.
3. Imagine our excitement when we discover that Alec has been picked for the team in an away hockey tournament.
1. We wake to the radio sounding out A.E. Housman's poem Loveliest of Trees, which is one of my favourites, particularly at this time of year; and particularly when I'm busy and feel I can't prioritise things like blossom trees.
2. It's a beautiful morning, clear air and bright sun, with triangles of frost where the gables' shade falls on the roof.
3. For no special reason, except that it's just the two of us today, Alec and I order in sushi for lunch. It arrives late and we end up eating it naughtily and in silence while he has a remote history lesson with headphones on and the camera off.
1. Nick mentions that he has filled the gaps in my meal plan for the rest of the week with recipes from a library book on Middle Eastern cookery
2. I'm sad and sorry that my evening plans have been cancelled -- but also pleased because I won't miss out on reading to the children and hearing about their days.
3. Debobbling a jumper is a tedious task, but it's mindless and fills my hands while I listen to the excellent golden age crime podcast Shedunnit. And at the end of it, my jumper looks much more respectable.
1. The weather forecast reminds us that these foul conditions are not forever: the wind is swinging round later in the day.
2. It's blowy and wet, but it's warm enough that I can go out without a hat.
3. My pot of tea comes with a couple of lemon slices.
1. I have my first skiing lesson for many, many years. The instructor takes me right back to basics -- how to position myself, how to move my feet -- and it makes all the difference. I please myself immensely by fitting another turn into my run, and by getting almost to the top of the rise at the end.
2. To poke around the garden centre with my parents.
3. 'Mummy and I are cooking from scratch,' Nick says when asked about supper.
1. On this chilly, wet morning when spring seems further away than ever, I spot more crocuses -- this time the white and purple striped variety -- reporting for duty.
1. I wake rather early and am the first in the house to know that it has snowed overnight. When I open the shutters, bin men are making the first footprints. One of them is taking a photo -- but I'm not sure if it's for work purposes or because he likes the look of the untouched snow.
2. My new monitor stand is an upgrade from the old one. Once we've screwed it all together and clamped it to the desk, we marvel at how easy and effortless it is to adjust the screens.
1. Another dark purple crocus is standing guardsman straight outside the back door.
2. It's a bitter, bitter evening and I'm very glad I've got a ski jacket to wear.
3. There's nothing to do this evening but listen to podcasts in bed among a pile of pillows.
1. Nick takes from my hands the task of choosing and buying a new monitor stand for my desk.
2. To be beaten by your own child at chess. Although I'm told I put up a good battle and used my queen well.
3. There is time before lights-out -- just -- to read a chapter or so of a very comforting book, The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
1. The teachers' strike means that Alec is working from home. I like the occasional updates that he rockets breathlessly up the stairs to bring me. Less pleasing is when he interrupts me to ask if I can come and find the pen he has dropped.
2. Bettany tries on the brand-new bargain basement ski suit that my parents have found for her. It is very, very pink.
3. The proximity of Venus and Jupiter, glittering distantly in the duck-egg blue evening sky, surprises me as I'm wrapping up my day's work. I can't resist sharing the marvel of it on social media. At supper, Nick reports that it's been on the news.
1. I meet some friends for coffee and we visit the new installation at the library. It's not a life-changing experience; but being there with friends is life-affirming.
2. In the last shop -- a local indie, as it happens, for max virtue -- I find the perfect hairband at an acceptable price.
3. With some pleasure, I see that I am two thirds of the way through this tedious book.
1. To spot a smattering of yellow on the forsythia hedge across the way.
2. Bettany and her friends have discovered the joys of urban legends, and we are treated to the highlights during supper.
3. Bettany and I have cut out a lot of felt raindrops for her World Book Day costume. But now they are pinned on to the skirt, I'm wondering about the minimum amount of sewing I can get away with. 'My mother will do those,' says Nick confidently. 'Or some of them.'
1. Bringing donations to the charity shop with Nick to carry the awkward things. 2. Sending an edit back when I have very little to say, ex...