3BT – not exactly graceful, real moments, my favourite dessert

1. There is just about nothing funnier than watching a chicken run directly at you.

2. There is, understandably, so much faked emotion in the drama studio that it makes real emotion – split-your-face grins, bursts of laughter exploding out of usually too-cool people, and coy smiles hiding swollen pride after compliments – seem all the more precious.

3. Chocolate melt in the middle puddings. The heavy, wet sponge is almost black, which contrasts beautifully with a splash of cream.

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.

No teeth to hold it back, up Thornhill, “ssh, I want to hear”

1. With each cough, his tongue pokes out further. It is almost impossibly cute.

2. A long walk at lunchtime. We bat some ideas around and enjoy the sun streaming into the empty woods.

3. The one person paying attention, the one person amongst the chaos who wants to listen and learn.

Sunlight & animals, Purple parasols, Eternal nerdy teenager

1. I have lunch – leftover kedgeree – on the balcony. The cats and dog sit together in the soft sunlight.

2. Always on the look out for mushrooms, we find Amethyst Deceivers (Laccaria amethystea) – an amazingly deep, rich purple in the brown leaf litter.

3. As usual, I come home from drama and tell John stories from class. After one story:

Him “it’s just like being back at school”
Me (gushing) “except the cool kids like me!”

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.

Mystery marinade, good show, cooling down

1. I throw various things into the marinade and when I’m spreading it on the meat, I worry it’s too many flavours – but it isn’t. The crisp skin is salty and spicy, but more than that too – rounded, pleasantly complex. Another George’s Marvellous Medicine cooking attempt worked out well.

2. When they hold hands – something I’ve been begging them to do when the wife offers everything to make her husband happy – I nearly cheer. They — all the groups — do so well, I’m so proud.

3. Finally feeling cool again as the night air chills the sweat on my skin.