0. There seems to be a tacit agreement in the UK: everyone knows that there are many acceptable ways to make tea and it’s simply a matter of personal taste. But equally, everyone, at any given moment in any given situation, is ready to engage in a light-hearted argument, jovially but staunchly defending THE ONE RIGHT WAY TO MAKE TEA. I had the same conversation twice within about an hour on Saturday.

1. With the chill in the air and the mist still clinging to the hills, it feels much earlier than it is. Even the horses aren’t really up and at it yet.

1b. She’s acting older than she is but something he says makes her laugh – well, a confident giggle – and she relaxes. When they stand, she holds onto him playfully.

2. My mum keeps telling me she can hear the birds tweeting over the phone. How could those birds comprehend that their conversations can be heard 100 miles away?

3. The word “mealy” pronounced in a Scottish accent. (Specifically, see King Creosote & John Hopkins’ Bats in the Attic.)

4. Sometimes, just sometimes, our goofy dog looks like a springer in an old painting, a disciplined and faithful field dog.