1. Sunbathing chickens – lying flat, legs akimbo, wings spread, in odd places around the garden – look like they’re cartoon birds that have been dropped from a very great height.

1b. Everything is growing. I marvel at the little buds on all the fruit bushes.

1c. Kaufman stands on the nest box with his catch (a baby rat) in his mouth. Later, Strange stands equally triumphant, leaning against the fence, though I suspect she just found Kaufman’s old catch rather than making her own.

1d. I’m amazed how much my gardening experience has improved now that I have a good supply of potting compost.

2. The flags around the barbeque are warm but the grass is still painfully cold.

2b. The heat haze reshapes the garden beyond. The corn pieces are a touch too “chargrilled” but delicious and sweet; the chicken is, surprisingly, perfect.

3. Lily races to the door when S arrives, her tail wagging at top speed.