Temporary passages, tired out, silky smooth

1. A dozen old streams are called into action for the day. Lily tastes tests each one.

2. The stove blazing, Bonnie Prince Billy playing, keyboards clacking, the dog is sleeping.

3. The papier mache mix is different this time and it flows much better. I feel like I’m sculpting soft clay into something elegant rather than a turning torn up Guardian into a silly chicken.

3BT – fighting it, warmth, perfect combination

1. Since she came to live with us a week ago, Lily has fought a constant battle against sleep during the day – she’s exhausted but there is a slim possibility that something exciting might happen (and everything we do is exciting at this stage) so she wants to keep watching us just in case. Slowly though, her eyes give in and the muscles around her eyes twitch as they relax. It reminds me of the time I watched my lovely boy Carbon fall fast asleep.

2. I think about lighting the stove to recreate the loveliness that was last Sunday afternoon but instead, we head out inside. After a morning of sunshine, the metal of the balcony is warm underfoot. I eat my lunch while the cats and dog sunbathe around me.

3. The cheese – a mature but creamy cheddar – is perfect on the jacket potato. The Tommy flakes* in the tuna are a hit too.

* A selection of spices supplied in a ready-to-use grinder by our friend Tom. The plan is that from his base selection, we’ll involve our own mix then pass some back to him, and so on – the spice mix evolving as our tastes change over time. Our current Tommy flakes mix is garlicky and salty, but with a spicy kick too.

3BT – Lily’s second day

1. She wakes up at dawn but is coaxed back to the sofa for another couple of hours sleep. When my alarm goes off at 8:30 (her old feeding time in the shelter), she’s still sleepy and we cuddle instead. I explain to her that this is how the Peach household works: we always start the day with hugs.

2. By early afternoon, the cats still aren’t sure of her but seem to have decided she’s not a threat. They keep watching but not obsessively so and blinking all the while.

3. I spend the afternoon stretched out on the floor in front of the stove, listening to Joanna Newsome. The dog and cats take it in turns to lie across the newspaper and when they do, I stare out of the window at the bare branches silhouetted against the brilliant blue sky.

4. She takes the blue rubber bone from me and carries it to her bed. She puts it down matter-of-factly at one end and looks at me with disdain: “the blue bone is clearly for later, mum, clearly”.

5. Tom arrives at bedtime and as I lead him through the porch, I explain that Lily can be nervous around new people so let her come to him rather than crowding her. Or rather I start to explain because before I can finish, she’s launched herself at him, tail wagging, the happiest, most welcoming dog in the world.

Six Beautiful Things from the weekend

1. “This wood will keep you warm next winter,” I tell Carla as she watches me pull thick branches from the giant pile and stack them on the dormant flower bed. Further down the garden, John is building a platform where the wood will season while I’m sorting it from the twigs (which will be chipped and used under our chicken run) and the ivy (which had been strangling the tree and will now be composted). The garden is so much lighter without the sycamore’s shadow.

2. The giggles and screams as John tricks people on ChatRoulette.

3. The worst thing about World of Warcraft is all the travelling about so I like it when I have a string of quests to complete on the way. I loop through the Hinterlands with perfect efficiency and level up twice when I cash in all the completed tasks at Revantusk Village. The game’s combination of micro tasks and multiple possible paths is deeply rewarding and I wonder how I could organise projects in my real life to be as pleasurable.

4. I finish reading ‘All my friends are superheroes’ by Andrew Kaufman. I enjoy the physical book as much as the story – super smooth ivory pages and a lovely choice of font.

5. Another day sorting and stacking wood. It’s pleasing to sweep up the last of the sawdust when the giant pile has finally gone.

6. The sieved flour disappears into the liquid almost instantly, leaving behind just a ghostly trace.