3BT – first spring, slick, the answer

1. (I sort-of mentioned this on Clare’s blog the other week but I’ve not mentioned it here yet so…) Where we lived in Leeds, it was green — the lawns of the park, the trees of the woods leading down to the canal — but north facing houses & gardens meant no flowers, no colour, permanent shade. Here, as I walk along the road, there are cheerful spring flowers, vibrant bedding plants, delicate tree blossoms and surprising wild blooms. The cottages with their cottage gardens, hanging baskets against stained black stone. A single red tulip. Next door’s garden spilling out through their front gates. It feels like the first spring in nearly a decade.

2. The pink meat falls heavily to kiss its own reflection in the glossy marinade.

3. It seems so obvious after we try it – why hide awkwardly in the corner when we can float in the middle of the room?

3BT – reflecting, making waves, unravelry, sway-sway-sway-swirl

1. The new floor reflects the light around the soon-to-be-decorated walls. I imagine how bright it will be when we’re finally finished: I can’t wait to work down there.

2. Her tail hits the water in a rapid beat.

3. The wool is tangled. It’s such fun to undo the knot.

4. Backstage, we mouth along the words to most of the songs but it’s only the last one that we join in the dance – the surge of joy that it’s very nearly over for another night.

3BT – happy hug, fungal find, pleasing polish

1. Carla purrs loudly: an early morning hug on the bed and in the sun. She doesn’t even care that the dog is on the other side of the bed: hugs, bed, sun – it’s all good.

2. I can’t remember what drew my attention first – the vivid orange of the rotting wood or the sight of a giant fungus growing on the dead stump – but I call Lily to go cross country (downhill between the two main paths) so we can check it out. The orange wood easily pulls away in chunks and is spongy to the touch. The giant fungus is hard – last year’s growth. Then out of the corner of my eye, I spot something more interesting – a twig dangling down, caught on two small branches, covered with coral-crested fungus. From a distance, it looks as tactile and solid as actual coral but it’s more delicate than that – each branch is flat, 2-D like it’s papercraft art.

3. The plasterers have gone but their dust remains throughout the house. It’s so thick and pervasive that I sometimes forget it’s there: assuming the whole world is just matte and dulled. Then I polish the shelves, the soon-to-be-fitted alcove units, and the grey turns into glossy conker brown. Colour and shine will return.

3BT – wrapped up warm, it’s coming together, casserole

1. They walk to meet her at the train station but end up meeting on the corner. He explains they were running late because it took longer than he thought to put on the dog’s coat. She picks up the jacketed Westie for a hug then hugs him too. They walk away together, holding hands over the leash, as she tells him about her day.

2. The shelving units – to be fitted in the dining room after the decorator has done his thing – arrive while I’m out. The wood is beautifully smooth to the touch and I’m delighted by the attention to detail – the handles, the hinges, the catches – on the cupboards.

3. The casserole is a bit of a hodge-podge but very welcome and warming.

3BT – those glorious days, bugs & shoots, happy crimes

1. I stay in bed longer than intended, re-reading ‘How I paid for college’ by Marc Acito. It’s one of my favourite books because the spirit reminds me of the best bits of my own youth – although there are less illegal antics and crazy Austrian step-mums in my story.

2. When I finally do get up, I potter in the porch. I get rid of the dead chilli plant that’s been a breeding zone for bugs for the last few weeks and note which of the houseplants have shutdown for winter. At the far end of the porch though, it’s more positive – the black seed trays are spotted with tiny green shoots, the start of next year’s harvest.

3. John keeps randomly saying how much he loves our new house/kitchen/bedroom/garden. After one such exclamation, I tell him he keep saying stuff like that. “I’m just dead happy,” he says with a smile, “is that a crime?”

3BT – too tight, warm, discussion and snow

carla-sunshine0. (From last night) I always cast on too tightly, making the first row of knitting on circular needles a right pain in the arse. By comparison, the second row at the correct tension is a joy and I happily, mindlessly, knit two, purl two until the item is finished.

1. After nearly a decade in a north-facing house, the cats love that the bedroom and living room in the new house are sunny in the mornings. Even in December, the sun streaming through the window is warm enough to make them toasty to the touch. We make sure there are comfortable places to sit to make up for their years of gloominess.

2. After a lunch of manchego cheese and Iberico ham (again, our holiday lives on in the food we carried back with us), we discuss genes and memes, fire and water.

3. John’s ill so we decided on comfort food for tea: fish and chips from the great place at the end of the road. The vinegar sizzles as it hits the straight-from-the-fryer fish and the woman serving remarks that she somehow got some salt in her mouth. We joke about how she must have been throwing it everywhere for that to happen, and she adds: “I’m pretending it’s snowing. I can’t wait until it’s snowing.”