Many of me, really makes a difference, hurrah for cold weather

1. I love PastLouisa sometimes. Sometimes she’s a good girl. Sometimes she leaves blog posts written and ready for NowLouisa to post when she’s feeling grotty and can’t type. FutureLouisa should learn lessons from PastLouisa.

2. The book is printed in a crisp, clean font. A joy to read.

3. It’s not just a new sheets day (brand new sheets at that), we also switch onto our autumn duvet. Compared to the thin summer one, it’s fluffy and heavy like a luxurious hotel duvet. The fabric is coolly smooth but the weight promises warmth.

After the chicken run, stepping stone, repeating, evening walk, giveaway smell

1. I sneak back into bed and facing each other, we hold hands inbetween our chests. The dog snuggles her nose into the inverted v-shaped space between our arms.

2. I half open my eyes when I feel the cat step off me. I see her use the sleeping dog as a stepping stone to get to her dad. After she’s settled down on the other side of the bed, Lily finally reacts, looking first at the cat then at me. “Yes, I saw it,” I whisper.

3. I finally meet one of our neighbours for the first time. We chat chickens and growing things. A dog bark in the distance calls me away but just before I go, I think to introduce myself. As I walk away, I hear him repeating my name to himself as a memory aid.

4. We – Lily, John & I – take an evening walk in Thackley Woods. The world is still, the only sounds bird call & distant whinnying and over Baildon’s hills, the sunset is a hazy red.

5. The cat has been sleeping in the washing again. When she jumps on my knee, she smells line-fresh.

In lieu of breakfast, the most handsome cat in the world, baklava

1. After a day apart, we catch up before getting up. He tells me his news and I tell him mine. At half hour intervals, we discuss making pancakes for breakfast but neither of us moves.

2. The cats look delightful on the new duvet cover. It’s spotty (like Smarties, Katherine says) and multi-coloured, a strong contrast to their solid black. I pull my mum & dad in from the landing on their way downstairs to show them how handsome Boron looks on it.

3. The baklava there is usually delicious but chewy, as if it’s been microwaved. Today though, the pastry is fresh and the flakes melt in my mouth. I urge everyone to try it but no one does. They’re missing out but I don’t mind: more for me. ;)

She’s a funny one, damn good kids, strangely romantic moment, sleep hug

1. I go down to see the chickens – to fill up their food & water and take some photos for The Really Good Life’s chicken update. The one with black flecks seems delighted to see me and is intrigued by the camera – she looks at it, peers inside at the lens snapping shut and pecks at my fingers holding it up. I laugh and laugh, then looking at the pictures I’ve taken, I laugh again.

2. We spend most of the dress rehearsal nagging them to speak clearer, add more character and please oh please learn their lines before Friday – but I make sure to single them out afterwards and thank them for the effort they’ve put in thus far. Later, with the older kids, amid stalled improvisations & funny word games, I chat to them about fake tan mishaps, bra straps and chlamydia tests in public toilets. I’m going to miss them a lot over the summer.

3. They break the hug when the bus arrives and as she turns to the door, she licks her lips. Eyes shining & cheeks flushed, he watches her as she pays and moves up the bus. She sticks her tongue out as she passes him as if freeing him to go but he stays until the bus pulls away.

4. I’m hardly wake enough to realise what Boron’s doing – positioning himself under my arm for a cuddle. In my mostly-asleep state, I shuffle around him to get comfortable and he places his head next to mine on the pillow. Like Carla last week, he’s soft like a teddy bear but purring. I like when the nights are cooler and the cats remember where the warmth is.

3BT – five beautiful things before lunchtime

1. When I finally wake up, she’s stretched out next to me, fully stretched out with her stumpy chicken legs pushed out behind her. I ask her if she wants to get up – it’s late and she must need a wee – but she buries her nose back under the duvet. Hearing my voice, Carla jumps on the bed for a cuddle and since it’s the only space available, she lies down next to her – not touching at first but then they are. By the time sleepy John turns over to see and we both coo at the cuteness of it.

2. Everyone is brunching in their gardens. The intermingling laughter and conversations draws people’s attention from the woods as they walk past the gap in the trees.

3. If someone made a perfume from the slightly sweaty, slightly caramelised smell of sun-touched skin, I’d buy it by the gallon.

4. Ditto “sweaty cat” – as I’ve said before, my most favourite smell. Carbon was more renowned for the smell but after sitting in her favourite spot on top of the woodpile, Carla smelled delicious too.

5. The oak trees are big enough for us to hide behind so without speaking, we do. Lily looks around confused, then runs to the spot where we’d been stood a moment earlier and looks into the mid-distance. Her face says “huh, where have they gone?” until the giggling gives away our location and we run together laughing/tail wagging.

3BT – halo, trunk, indulgence

1. The branches practically invisible, the green buds form a lime halo around the trunk.

2. We sit down on a fallen trunk for a kiss. The sunlight dapples the world around us.

3. We nibble the rich dark biscuits in bed before turning to our books.