Justification, ker-plosh, bwark-kuk-kuk

1. The heavy rain disrupts my gardening plans. Instead, I curl under a blanket with the dreaming dog and finish reading my book.

2. On the drive to Bingley, John makes poo-hitting-water noises and I can’t help but laugh and laugh.

3. There is just enough time between the rain stopping and night falling for us to do our most important outside chores. I clean out the chicken coop and the girls cluck around me to say thanks.

Dream hens, milkshake flashback, polished by nature, naan heaven, distract my dream

1. I dream that our next-door-but-one neighbours have chickens too and that they’re chickens and are chickens are wandering around the gardens together. I wake up smiling.

2. Driving away from meeting the incredibly flexible baby Eva, we both think the same thing: milkshakes. Going into Headingley and to Shaky Jake’s is like reliving a random Saturday from 18 months ago.

3. The cool smoothness of conkers in my pocket.

4. The giant naan is fluffy and smothered with garlic. On the table opposite, I see some people – Omar’s virgins – eyeing it with concern, worrying about how many they’ve ordered for themselves. We’re finished before their food arrives so I don’t get to see their faces but from watching similar scenes for the last decade, I know how their eyes will widen, they’ll laugh and cameras will emerge to record the scene.

5. I start reading “The World in Winter” by John Christopher before I go to sleep and as soon as I start, I know it’s a mistake – the descriptions of the country falling into savagery disturb me*. I’m thankful I have another book – a gentle apocalypse-less book – by my bedside so I can distract my brain before dream time.

(Especially as, like in “The Death of Grass”, Leeds is singled out for a bad-shizz-going-down namecheck – as if the specific details of London’s decline isn’t enough to scare me…)

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.

100 miles north-north-east: day two

1. The happy fat cat licks his bum in the sun while the farm’s cafe’s customers bustle around him. His fluffy white tummy reflects the light and I think how much G would like to tickle it.

2. I can’t change my train ticket so have 2.5hrs to kill in a strange city. I head away from the station, up what initially seems to be a somewhat dubious alley, but it turns out to be the home of a wonderful pub. I sit on the roof terrace to read and while away the time – but when I see a meal brought out for another customer, I change my plan: I HAVE to eat there. I order steak and it’s wonderful: deep chargrilled checks on the outside, succulent pink inside. The veg is melts in the mouth without being soggy and the yorkshire pudding is a great gravy sponge. A fantastic find.

3. I open my fold-down table and find tiny pieces of yarn – wool-heavy cream and pale green, baby blanket colours. I feel a bond to the previous occupant of the seat.

4. The wait, the journey: the perfect excuse to read. I started the book at breakfast and by the end of the day, it’s closed and back on the shelf.

5. The red-dot chickens again, this time in the magic hour.

Rollmöpse, things past, wish I could Ctrl+F books to find it again

1. The rollmops – pickled herring – are perfect: neither too fishy or too vinegary, just sweet and tangy.

2. I sit on the steps up to the door of our old house and pull grass seeds and sticky buds from the dog’s ears, tail and feathering. I feel nostalgic for all the time I spent on the steps with the cats – a favoured grooming spot but also just a favoured sitting spot in fair weather. As much as I can’t wait to be rid of it, to not have to think about it any more, I’ll be sad when we have to say goodbye to the house – my home for a decade – for the last time. One day, I’m going to make a scale model/dolls’ house of it so I don’t forget the good times there.

3. Re-reading ‘Drop City’ by TC Boyle yet again. I find new things to cherish each time through. “…stone light of dawn” is a phrase that sticks with me this time.

Refreshing, uplifting, productive, coincidence, helping hand

-1. (from last night) I don’t realise how stifling it is in the house until I open the door to let Lily out for her bedtime wee. The comparatively cool air is wonderfully refreshing. I breath deeply and the skin on my arms tingles.

0. (also from last night) I finished reading ‘Miss Pettrigrew Lives For A Day’ by Winifred Watson. A wonderfully uplifting tale about seizing the day. A new one for the favourites shelf.

1. A full to-do list becomes an empty one over the course of two hours.

2. Twice today, when I’ve been watching the chickens, two of them have scratch-scratch-peered at exactly the same time. It looks like they’re synchronised clones in an animation or music video.

3. The job – repotting the 4ft tall tomato plants – is so much easier when there are two of us doing it.