Spot on, Stanislavski would be proud too, the Movie Thing

1. The perfect amount of brown sauce on a bacon buttie.

2. I like that I can satisfy their glances asking for reassurance. But I like it even more when they get so lost in the moment that they forget to look for me.

(2a. A silly one. I make a joke about “team Louisa” and the group take delight in the moniker. We have a hands-in-a-circle Team Louisa roar before heading into the performance space – which replaces their nerves with laughter.)

3. To come home to a house full of lovely, laughing geeks and a table full of pizza and treats.

Breakfast, animals x 3, showcase x3

1. The sweetness of the crisp bacon, the sourness of the muffin, the silkiness of the scrambled egg and the substantial chewiness of the sausage. A great breakfast.

2. Animals:

a) The chickens cluck around me, interested in what I’m doing to their drinker, to their grit hopper and to their coop. When I’m working on their nest boxes – in the strip of no-man’s-land outside their enclosed run, they gather around the run door watching and waiting for my return into their world – or plotting their escape, it’s hard to tell which. After I’m done, I take them borage leaves and before I can bend down to give them out, one cheeky girl flies up and snatches one out of my hand. Definitely getting braver.

b) She looks like a puppy when her back legs bounce up at the same time. I think she knows it too, knows to do that so we can’t help but fall in love with her more.

c) Boron is asleep in Lily’s bed – her big dog bed that’s actually a bit too big for her. Boron looks tiny in the cushioned oval, his extended paw clawing on/off at the blanket as I talk to him.

3. The last night of the showcase:

a) The scrap of paper – torn to just the minimum then folded many times to much delight – finally makes it back to me just in time for the start of the show.

b) I’m more nervous tonight than I have been because John’s in the audience and I want them to do a good job so he’ll enjoy it. Afterwards, he says he did.

c) From where I’m sat, I can’t see the action, just a slither of stage at the very back. Their shadows – from many different light sources – are overlaid so many times that they’re abstract strips of light and dark.

Chickens, titters & giggles, wrong just wrong

1. Noise from the chickens wakes us before 8. It’s not too loud (quieter than the birdsong but more persistent like the sound of distant Canadian geese) but we’ve been listening for it all night. We go down together to let them out.

1b. I sit and wait for the chickens to emerge from their pop hole and explore the run for the first time. It’s a long but peaceful wait. A pair of Great Tits take an interest in the gentle clucking coming from within the coop. The sun dapples the wood and makes the beck shine like diamonds. Eventually they all come down the ramp and after taking some photos, I leave them to their exploration. On the way out, I have an overly optimistic look in the nest box but it turns out I wasn’t being too hopeful – our first egg is waiting.

2. We’re making pleasant, polite small talk when A spots the couple on the lawn outside – from the way they’re sat, it’s not obvious but subtly suggestive that “couple” is the right word. Within seconds, the small talk gives way to an excited flood of gossip.

3. The kids in the advanced group seem incapable of doing any improvisations at the moment without them quickly getting very very wrong. Last week saw a scene around copiously scratching teenagers with genital herpes and this evening, they create a soap opera set in an old people’s home with the most sexually energetic elderly people ever, Yorkshire Tea flavoured condoms and the line “I’ve got sexual energy running through all my varicose veins”. We’re all crying with laughter during the rehearsals but it doesn’t seem to go over as well as we’d hoped when they perform it for the others. The journey – creating the characters, the setting, the blocking – is more important than the destination, and the journey was a hoot.

3BT – found heaven, I’m not THAT lazy, surprised to love it

1. I call John when he’s on his way home. “I’ve found heaven,” I tell him. “Really?” he asks, “are you phoning from there now? How’s the mobile reception?”. In fact, I’ve found yet another new part of the woods – daily walks for over three months and we’re still finding new bits – and it’s beautiful. A small glade at the hill, out of the way and as I enter, two red butterflies dance above the waist high grass. Judging by the path and the grass, no one has been here for months – or next to no one. There is a crushed crop circle of grass to one side of the clearing – is this where the deer sleep?

2. The bus driver is incredulously when I get up to stand near the door – had I really just waited ten minutes at the start of his route to go one stop? No, I explain, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying when I was sat down. I think he likes I’ve made the effort and we chat about holidays, travelling and the internet until the bus fills up.

3. If all kids were like them, I’d become a teacher in a shot. Wednesday nights at drama are amongst my favourite times of the week.

3BT – wake up routine, office at last, fun warm-up

1. Get up. Wee. Feed cats. Get dressed. Take dog for a walk. Feed dog. Have shower. Get dressed again. Sit with John as he wakes up. Have breakfast.

2. We’re working in our office at last. After months of stagnation, the room has been transformed in the last few weeks and is now beautifully bright and airy. The wide desks seem too big to start with but are quickly filled with paper. At the end of my working day, I put my laptop away and retreat upstairs, able to leave work behind for the first time in four years.

3. They make me laugh so hard and for so long that my lips stick on my gums when my smile finally falls.

3BT – yeasty, worth it, outsized

1. At five days old, the ginger beer plant is satisfactorily gloopy and the sourdough starter smells divine.

2. Even though the general backstage consensus is that Thursday night was better, John is impressed by the show – the music, the costumes and the kids alike. I clap like a proud mum throughout.

3. Sleepy Lily droops in John’s arms as he carries her to the car.