1. The swans swim around the curve in the canal: negative space cutouts in the reflected colours from the barges.

1b. Charlie-dog runs at us with his blue ball hanging from his mouth on a rope. We take turns throwing it for him while we chat and I tell his mum that he looks like he’s in a dog food commercial – bouncing ears, flowing white fur and a happy grin. Lily-dog puppies at him when he returns each time and in between, calmly sits at our feet. He’s not her favourite doggy pal but he’s quickly jumped up the ranks.

2. My blue and black pot has ended up neither blue or black, but I like it.

2b. I don’t like the grogged sculpture clay – it feels like gritty sand in the clay which isn’t nice to work with and whenever I try to cut/groove it, I feel like it tears rather than cuts cleanly. But when I burnish the fish’s head, I start to see why people like it: the grit disappears into the body and what is left is smooth and rich.

3. Perfectly cooked lamb chops – with a healthy dollop of mint sauce on the side.