1. I grab a t-shirt from the washing line: warmed by the morning sun. I also notice that its unrelenting red is beginning to soften – the fabric developing character as it ages.

2. I take us on a little walk while John is doing the paperwork. The signed public footpath doesn’t lead anywhere interesting – except allowing us to meet a tiny little horse – but back the other way there is a little park, shaded and wonderfully aromatic for a dog’s nose.

2b. Lily circles the garden then finds the coolest place to sit. I join her.

3. Just before Lily finds the pool of stagnant mud and somewhat ruins the moment, I watch a tiny little bird on a rock – it is clearly the day for miniature things.

3b. I meet them for the second time just where Thornhill Drive meets the woods. They ask me about the beagle who wanders around there, worried he’s lost (as they’d seen him on the other side of the woods the day before). I point out where he lives, and explain that he patrols the woods like he owns them. Then I mention that we call him The Major, because he’s an older, heavy set old chap, with an authoritarian stare and a no-nonsense walk. They laugh and seem to completely understand.

3c. To wash off the stagnant mud, we go down to the canal. Lily’s less interested in fetching sticks than usual (possibly because the better stick thrower is not with us) but is more than happy wallowing in the shallows.

3d. Later, after she’s had a shower at home, her feathering on her legs is beautifully silky. Sleepy, after a long day of doing things, she curls up in a tight ball and sleeps on my feet.

4. We order curry from the place that fluctuates – sometimes it’s mediocre, sometimes it’s excellent. Tonight is, thankfully, the latter and I’m as good as the food: putting away half of my portion for lunch tomorrow. Future Louisa will be happy.