1. To start to turn an odd, fleeting idea into reality – and to make it stranger still.

1b. By and large, the clay manages to dry at the exact speed I need it to: it’s a pleasure to work with, rather than fighting against, it.

1c. Peeling back the mask to reveal the birds.

1d. I carefully turn over the bowl to check and yes, the legs are just right – they hold it on the desired angle and are stable. Only two outer ones hover but G says “but it’s walking, so some of its feet will be off the ground”. Suddenly my odd bowl is a peculiar creature. I like it.

2. We dogsit while our dapper neighbours go to a wedding. Maggie greets me at the door when I come home and Lily, usually the super excited one, bumbles after her to calmly bring me a shoe.

2b. Her miniature size is a novelty, especially when she does things like real dogs do. She “SIT”s like a robo-toy; she builds herself a nest on a single cushion; and she struggles to carry around one of Lily’s bones.

2c. It takes a while for everyone to settle down but when we do it is cute: John stretched out on one end of the sofa, then Maggie, then Strange, then me using Lily’s bum for a pillow. (It proofs to me that we definitely have room for more animals.)

2d. I think Lily likes having her buddy over, and especially having a buddy join her for a walk, but I think she likes it even more when she’s an only child once again.

3. I’m achingly tired by bedtime and as I stagger into the bathroom, I jokingly ask John if he’ll wash my face. When he accepts, I picture it like a facial at a spa but instead he takes hold of my wrists and works my hands himself. Imagine a muppet washing its face: all jagged actions and fingers getting caught in nostrils. As we fling handfuls of water at my face, John is crying with laughter into my back.