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 – on the road, on the pavement, two day week

1. The trees met high above the road and we’re grateful for their shade. We come across two men, topless, sunbathing on the roadside during their lunchbreak. Around them, there are ropes and tools, and we realise they’re the source of the occasional chainsaw noise we’d been hearing throughout the day.

2. When we fed the neighbours’ cats at Christmas, we had to wrap up warm for the short snowy journey – coats and wellington boots. Today I pad next-door-but-one barefoot. The west-facing Yorkshire flagstone are smooth and warm.

3. I realise as I’m going to bed that even though it’s felt like Monday (because it’s been the first day of work after a long-long-long weekend), tomorrow is Friday.

3BT – cereal, flowers, culinary freestyling

1. The doorbell rings and the delivery man is holding a large box: John had ordered 12 boxes of my favourite cereal to arrive just as I was running out.

2. Our neighbours return from their holiday and bring us wine & flowers to thank us for keeping an eye on their house while they were away. I carry the flowers around the house looking for something to use as a vase and my hands smell perfumed all afternoon.

3. We finish the rest of the cottage pie for dinner and because it was improvised, I realise it’s a George’s Marvellous Medicine dinner, never to repeated in the same form.

3BT – I saw it too, turn on/turn off, ice crystals

1. A squirrel appears on the fence just a foot away from Boron. He stares at it without moving and it stares back for a moment before escaping into the tree. Boron turns around to look at me – his eyes are shining with excitement and we share a blink.

2. I hear music and John’s laughter from the other room. He’s discovered these marvellous things: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Most-Useless-Machine/.

3. Our neighbour, fresh back from Banff, Canada, tells us about what it was like to breath ice crystals.

3BT – white world, worry, tell-tale signs

1. We wake up to a world even whiter than before. Even the tiniest branches are covered with inches of snow. It looks so cold but under our giant duvet together, we’re blissfully warm.

2. I’ve been worrying about the old house for a couple of days – we hadn’t been back to check on it since the cold spell really got going and I’ve been troubled by images of burst pipes, flooded rooms and arguments with insurance companies. We take a break from work to drive over mid-afternoon and everything is fine – in fact, it actually feels warm in the house even though there has been no heating for weeks. I become giddy as my anxiety floats away.

3. I return from neighbourhood cat feeding duties covered in white fur from furtive hugs – the feline equivalent of lipstick on my collar.

3BT – my dream guy, rocking out, feeding, the future

1. I wake up and tell John that I had a dream I was being wooed by another man. He was a very pretty Italian boy who worked as a waiter and repeatedly brought me great pizza. John understands why it would be hard to resist that and we decide that I should allow the dream waiter to continue to pursue me, and share the doughy reward.

2. We – John, Dan and I – play Guitar Hero until the room starts to scroll away from us and we see coloured dots whenever we close our eyes.

3. We’re feeding the neighbours’ cats over Christmas – two next door and three next door but one. I make small talk as I spoon out the meat and conduct rollcalls.

4. People start disappearing from our private work chat channel throughout the day, with messages of “see you in 2010”. The individual years of the decade have crept by without me really noticing but 2010 feels like the future. 2009 has been a difficult year but I’m feeling positive about the beginning of the next decade.