1. The clear oil cuts through the beetroot-stained vinegar on the plate.

2. I’m re-reading ‘I Capture The Castle’ by Dodie Smith yet again. The introduction to my edition tells me: “[Dodie] rewrote every line, under [husband] Alec’s critical supervision, hearing every line of dialogue in her head and unable to stop thinking about it even in bed. … She kept a 100,000 word notebook on the progress of the novel, recording how each character changed, and how even the minor characters, down to the [family]’s dog and cat, were kept in play.” One of my most favourite books.

3. After dinner, we go for a walk in the woods – I want to show John the new meadow I found and a balmy summer evening seems to be the perfect time to do it. We follow the faint paths to it, then through it, then away from it, stretching out into the horses fields then twisting back in the woods and home. We’re sweaty and nursing nettle stings by the time we make it home but have had a wonderful time.